Don't fret or call PETA on us...we're not asking you to put Scruffy in the dishwasher to scrub out those caked on stains (though plenty of pets like to clean our leftovers clean when we're not looking). It might be Pet Month, but the image above is just a humorous aside related to this great DIY cleaning formula we found online that can save you quite a bit of money compared to store bought dishwashing cleaners. At 8 cents a load and doubling up as a light scouring powder around the kitchen, we're definitely going to try and make a batch for ourselves. Directions below the jump...
Here's the condensed instructions of the formula created by Lynn Siprelle of The New Homemaker:
Mix the following ingredients in a plastic container with an airtight lid. You're going to shake up an assortment of powdery ingredients, and you don't want to find yourself recreating a disaster from I Love Lucy:
1 cup borax
1 cup baking soda
1/4 cup salt
1/4 cup citric acid (Unsweetened Lemonade-Flavored Kool-Aid can be used also, but be sure to avoid any other flavours due to their food dye content)
30 drops a citrus essential oil of your choice
Shake it, but don't break it. Now you've got a mixture you can dole out into your dishwasher, one tablespoon per cleaning agent receptacle in your dishwasher. We personally don't have a dishwashing machine (though we'd most certainly welcome one the next time we move), but we like Siprelle's advice to use this powdery cleaning mix in a shaker canister (she recommends a popcorn salt shaker, but we're thinking more like pizza parlour shaker for our kitchen sink stains).