Okay, this may seem out of place for this forum but we all do dishes and this is a problem some of you may be having, as well.
I've been going nuts trying to get clean dishes out of my new dishwasher and everyone was telling me that it was something I just was going to have to live with. My old dish washer was about 12 years old and all the dishes were coming out with a white scum on them. It seems like the problem started to get really bad about two months ago.
Since the dishwasher was so old, I decided it was time for a new one. I purchased a GE Performer (I liked the Performer name because my grill is a Performer), had it installed and happily loaded it up with dirty dishes that night. Well to my shock, they came out with just as much scum as with the old dishwasher.
The manuel that came with the washer blamed it on hard water and the fact that dish detergent doesn't have phosphate in it anymore. I went through all the adjustments the manuel recommended from increasing the water temperature to adding extra soap and it still did a crappy job.
After doing some research on-line I found out that white distilled vinegar added to the rinse cycle would take care of the scum issue. I tried it out and it worked great but it was a hassle to wait for that cycle and open the door to add the vinegar. I keep thinking that if I could only find some phosphate and add it to the detergent it would solve my problem and make life simpler.
I did more research and found a link to an article on home made dish detergent and rinse agent. The article was really selling the cost savings and environmental aspects of the detergent more than its ability to solve the scum issue so I was a bit skeptical.
Anyway, I went out and purchased the ingredients so I could give it a try and was I ever pleased. My first load of dishes came out spotless and I didn't even have to put any vinegar in the rinse . . . NO WHITE SCUM TO BE FOUND ANYWHERE!
There are only four ingredients needed to make the dish detergent: Borax, washing soda, citric acid, and kosher salt. Three of them are easy to find and inexpensive. However, the citric acid takes a bit more effort to locate and get a good price. I got a 4 oz bottle in an organic food store for $5.00 but since then have found a 4 pound tub of it on-line for $20.00.
Heres the recipe for the detergent mix. You only need to use one tablespoon in the detergent holder for a full load of dishes and everything comes out sparkling.
1/2 cup of Borax
1/2 cup of washing soda
1/4 cup of citric acid
1/4 cup of kosher salt.
There it is. If you have hard water in your area and are having issues with scum on your dishes, I would really recommend that you trying this out for yourself.
Link to article: http://diynatural.com/simple-effective- ... nse-agent/