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Healthy House: Natural Detergent

Okay, confession: we’ve been known to leave a dish or two in the sink. But comparing a dirty sink full of dishes to the impact that artificial ingredients have on the health of your family and your environment has the annoyance of a dirty coffee mug shrinking significantly into proportion.

Happy, healthy people live in happy, healthy houses. Gretchen Rubin, author of Happier at Home says that even the small act of making your bed can give you a significant boost in happiness. Imagine that feeling proliferating out tenfold when you know exactly what and how much of each ingredient is contained within the everyday products you use around your home.

And with that seed firmly planted in our brains, we begin the first of our blog series “Healthy House” where we highlight easy, inexpensive, DIY ways to make your house a better, happier place.

Which brings us back to the kitchen and that annoying dirty coffee mug. We’ve found that a common misconception exists when it comes to natural cleaners: that they are less effective. With the right components, you can pull out some of the tough but gentle cleaning chemicals found in artificial soaps. For example, borax and baking soda are clean alternatives that act as gentle abrasives against dried on food, while citric acid and hot water softens and weakens grease.

With these convictions, we took to the chemist lab (and by that we mean the kitchen) to craft our own concoction. We started with a basic recipe from DIYNatural, but modified it a bit with the addition of more citric acid. 

5 Minute Bull Run Watershed Dishwasher soap:

1 part Borax (not to be confused with boric acid)
1 part Washing Soda
¾ parts Citric Acid
½ part Salt
(optional 8 drops of your favorite Essential Oil–we love Tea Tree–for fragrance)

One Tbsp. is all you need per load and voila! Clean dishes! Using white vinegar or lemon juice as a rinsing agent seals the deal on clean dishes and a healthier you.

Most of the ingredients are easy enough to come by, possibly excluding citric acid. We had trouble finding this one locally, so we mail order it.

Insider tip: the citric acid causes our dish soap to harden up like a rock. To remedy this, we put a small amount of uncooked rice into a nylon and tied it off. We replace it every few weeks to keep things fresh.

Keep up with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more tips and tricks of the trade for maintaining a healthier, happier house and living a healthier, happier life!

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