This Handmade Life # 10—How to Make Your Own Dishwasher Detergent

This is something that I’ve been wanting to try for a while–making my own dishwasher detergent.

Think about it–the commercial stuff is so caustic, toxic, etc, that you’re not supposed to touch the stuff with bare hands.  I tried it in dishwater to tackle some major things, and it was rough stuff on the hands, and kinda ate a little of the gloves.  And, it’s expensive!

So, I went searching around the net and ran across a recipe for homemade dishwasher detergent.  I actually found this through Tipnut.

Yesterday I rounded up the supplies:


Baking Soda

Lemon Juice

I didn’t remember how much of what to put in the mix, so I just dumped the contents that I had (partial boxes of both the borax and baking soda–the big boxes) into a mixing bowl.  I added about half a large bottle of lemon juice for the citric acid.  It was probably too much, but it works.  Then, I stirred it all up, put it into a couple of smaller containers and stuffed them into the fridge.  After they’d cooled, it became more of a hardened mush, and when spooned out, is crumbly, much like the powdered stuff box detergent.

I ran a test through our portable dishwasher (yes, the big things that hook up to your sink–makes a great bread board and mixer holder on top tho).  The first time around it left a little white powder on a couple of things.  No biggie.  I put in some Jet Dry into the rinse container.  It’s all I have on hand right now, til I get to go shopping again for vinegar.  A second run through with a really nasty smelling round of pots and pans, and it worked excellent!

There also wasn’t a heavy lemon smell afterward.  I like that.

I ran some cut glass (the heavy kind) coffee cups through as well, and they look amazing!  My pots and pans (like the stockpots I’ve been using today to work on my sourdough experiment and my bread pans) went through just fine and are nice looking.  They went with the cut glass on the same cycle and looks great!

I’m not a scientist or chemist or anything.  I just know this works for us.  If you’d like to try it, play around with the 3 ingredients til you get a mush, and go to town washing dishes!

Now, I haven’t tried this in regular dishwater yet (that will come in time), as I’m a fan of Dawn, but I imagine I’ll be using it as a back up when I run out of Dawn at some point in time.

I really like this recipe!  I keep Borax on hand anyway for making laundry soap, and baking soda is a given around our house for general stuff.  Citric acid could be found in a bunch of koolaid lemonade packages (probably 20 or so of them would do it), or the lemon juice (I think that’d be better), or you can buy citric acid by itself.  I used what I had on hand. 🙂

You know, if you put some fels naptha in this, you’d have some laundry soap and/or general cleaner!

This wraps up the 10th edition in the “A Handmade Life” series!

Shared at:

Tip Junkie The Better Mom Raising Homemakers Growing Home Modest Mom

What Joy Is Mine


Sourdough In The Making


I have never had the notion to make sourdough.  Honestly, I don’t like the store bought sourdough, had no desire to taste it homemade.

A couple weeks ago, I ran across a starter recipe that looked really easy, and hubby said he liked sourdough, so I figured, why not?

So, I put together 1 cup of wheat flour and 1 cup of white flour, and 2 cups or so of water into a bowl.  The first night it set, it stunk to high heaven.  It was brown, bubbly, smelled of grain alcohol combined with something dead, and just plain yucky.  After a couple days of feeding, the smell started getting better!  By day 5 it smelled kinda like regular bread dough.  Day 7, we have this:

Sourdough Starter “Herman”, day 7


To feed “Herman”, I used a couple cups of flour a day, with 1 to 2 cups of water, and lots of stirring.  Herman grew from his bowl and into a stockpot.  Now, he has 3 bags and a bowl in the freezer, and a little brother “Norman” in the fridge, plus he’s still growing after baking about 1/3 of him.  He’s a very prolific little thing.

I made some dough with him, enough to make 4 loaves of bread and some flat bread things that taste like saltines.

sourdough mix on the first rise


The loaves were near satin and beautifully elastic in handling!


Then baked at 400 degrees until they were extra golden brown.  I put a pie pan full of water in as well to keep humidity going.  I LOVE how the water works in there when baking breads!


I love how these have turned out!  And as prolific as Herman is, there will be lots lots more!


Our Expectations

Many of us parents with special needs children are immersed in the daily world of quirks.  Some of our kids have sensory issues, some tactile, some physical, and so on.  We see the oddities that they do, and more often than not are used to the different things that look ok to us but are very “odd” to the rest of the world.

We get used to the child bolting toward traffic.  We get adjusted to the screeching and screaming.  Stimming no longer bothers us.  Tics don’t grab our attention anymore.  We get so accustomed to behaviors that they are nothing unusual to us.

But they are to others.

When we go to visit family and friends, there’s time we forget that our children are “different”.  Our expectations are different, we know what our kids do, we’re used to it, no biggie.  Our friends and family–they may not be ready to adjust to what we normally see.

If we go to visit an older family member, they may not appreciate Johnny darting into traffic.  An older person may not be able to chase the hyperactive child running all over the house.  They may not be able to handle the screaming or screeching.  The friend(s) we may visit may not understand why our children must taste everything in sight, why a child feels the need to run around naked, why a child rocks like they are in a rocking chair, etc.

We parents with special needs children really must look beyond our own families.  We need to be as understanding of other people as we expect others to be of our situations.  For instance, can we really expect people who are from the times when special needs children were institutionalized to truly be comfortable with ours up close and personal?  My own parents, I admit, would not have been comfortable around my bio son or stepchildren.  My stepchildren’s stepdad (say that 5 times fast) has older parents who absolutely will not let Mr. Michael or Miss Jess in their home.  Period.  Nada.  This stopped any and all visitations while the kids’ mom and stepdad lived with his parents.  Do we hold it against the older parents?  Of course not.  They know they aren’t able to handle the needs the children have.  This didn’t stop visitations for mom and stepdad, as long as they found a different location for visits.  My father and mother in law are unique, in that at their older ages they are able to handle the quirks the kids have.  The kids listen to them, well, usually.  They would move the earth for Mami and Papi, Aunt Becky, Cousin Javier, Cousin Luis, etc.

I don’t expect any of my friends to be able to handle my children’s need.  The needs  are my responsibility, not theirs.  I choose not to take them often to other homes, instead I choose parks and areas where the kids can run.  There’s not a lot of small toys that one of the children will decide to hoard, tear up, crash into, break, etc.  They can run off their energy instead of running wild confined inside four walls.  I’ve found this works especially with the two of ours that are severely adhd.  It’s much easier to turn them loose at a play area outside than to have them be small tornadoes in someone’s home and break an irreplacable item.  I can’t expect my friends to have to handle the damage our children are quite capable of doing, and have done.

While the world we live in is all about tolerance, let’s face it–not everyone is jumping for joy to be one on one with our little ones.  Not a whole lot of folks are just chomping at the bit to spend time with special needs children, whether it be physical or mental health needs or both.  I’ve had comments from not only older people, but from people my own age (mid 30’s).  The person in the mid-30’s was a Pastor, in the suburbs of a large metropolitan area, who told me to institutionalize my Kevin in order to go back to work, when Kevin was 4 years old.  So this is not limited to an older age group who have little tolerance for special needs.  His comments came out of left field, but I digress.

We as special needs parents do need to keep in mind those who do not have experience with special needs children, who have no knowledge of the needs, etc when we visit.  We need to be mindful of their situation, and not expect them to bow to ours.  We need to be respectful of them.  If they do not accept our special needs children, that is fine.  No one can force another person to accept what they will not or cannot.

We need to prayerfully consider what to do before visiting family or friends as we travel about this summer.  Speak to God first, seek His counsel, especially when going to family members who are not too fond of the quirks our children have.  Shower the situation in prayer, but don’t be hateful or vengeful if the situation goes awry.  You have a chance, if you are a blood bought child of God, to show grace and mercy, thoughtfulness of the family member, and be a witness, if you seek God first.  Should the family member or friend not accept the quirks and needs of your children, don’t let it get to you.  Give it to God and let Him handle it.  He has bigger shoulders.

Have a great summer with vacations and visits.  Don’t forget that the Lord is with you along the way!


Making Illegal Legal

This is a touchy topic for some, and I will state up front–this is MY OPINION.  You are welcome to disagree, and if commenting, please do so with tact.

President Obama this past week paved the way for children of illegal immigrants to be legal without having to go through the legal processes that legalized citizens must go through.  This adds a good 12 million “citizens”, who are rightfully citizens of another country, mostly Mexico.

I do not believe this is the right way to handle immigration.

My husband’s family is one of immigrants.  His father is from Cuba, who arrived in America legally, before Castro took over the island.  In order to become naturalized, his dad had to do extensive work and also return back to Cuba to obtain documents needed to declare him to be who and what he said he was.  At the time he returned to the island, Castro had started his revolution.  This was dangerous, as Papa took with him Mama and then baby Becky.  It cost a lot of money, took a lot of time (months), and he and the family were very close to not coming back to America, as Castro had taken over the airport in Havana.

But Papa did what was legal and right according to the laws of the country in which he wanted to be a citizen of.

He did not skirt around laws, ask for exemptions, nor simply live here illegally.  He and other family members who arrived from Cuba took the steps necessary to become American citizens.   They worked hard, held solid jobs, obeyed the laws, and still do.

We are at a time where our liberal government allows any and all who wants to come to simply come, no strings attached (well, maybe a vote in an election would be a good trade).  What would happen if we did this in other countries?

In Mexico, we’d be imprisoned.

In Iran, we’d be imprisoned for simply stepping across the border, let alone live there illegally for years.

In other countries, if we weren’t imprisoned, we’d be deported back to the US.

Yet, we allow illegals here regularly, and are now allowing children of illegals–all the way up to 30 years old (plenty of time to return back to the home country and obtain documents needed for naturalization), to get a “stay in America free” card.

This negates the work people like my Father in Law did in order to become a citizen.  This negates all the hours and studying and such that the family did in order to each one become a citizen.  This makes being a citizen less of a privelege, less of an honor, when it is bestowed on those who choose not to follow our laws in order to obtain it.

As I said in the beginning of this piece…this is simply my opinion.

New Items At Sunny Patch Etsy Shop!

I’ve been working on some new items for the Etsy shop!

Be sure to enter the giveaway at Growing Home for a chance to win $20 in credit towards the items there!!










The Sunny Patch Cottage Giveaway At Growing Home (And A Review By Pure Modesty!)

When you get a moment, head over to Jacinda at Growing Home to enter a giveaway!

Sunny Patch Cottage is offering $20 in credit toward merchandise in the store (and I’m creating more items as we speak).  To enter, go to Growing Home and follow her instructions.  To read more about my items, you can also go to Pure Modesty , where Stephanie has pictures of her adorable daughter in one of my halter pillowcase dresses!  You’ll also find a long list of resources for modest attire!

While at Growing Home, you’ll get to see Jacinda’s adorable little girl in a custom set made just for her, a peasant top with a double skirted jumper made from the Olabelhe pattern Jillian’s Jumper.  When put together it looks like a peasant dress with apron, with the versatility of use in more than one outfit. 

I’d love to have you join in the giveaway!  For those who don’t win the $20 in credit, I’ll be starting a 10% off sale next week, with a coupon code on the Sunny Patch Cottage Etsy page as well as found here and on our Facebook Page.

Cleaning This Gun

I don’t know if any of you all have heard the song “Cleaning This Gun” by Rodney Atkins, but it’s a cute one from the view point of a dad with a dating age daughter.   If you haven’t, you listen to it below:

The other day I had all the kidlets at Lakeside Park here in town.  Miss Jess is very soft spoken, quiet, have to have a megaphone in front of her to hear her ask to be excused from the table.  Not that day!

She and the boys were playing on the playground, and another little boy, bout a year or two younger than her, came over to play with them.

He asks: “Are you my girlfriend?”


The little boy was very persistent.

So was Jessica!

He asked her a few more times, and she yelled the same answer each time.

I was sitting there listening to the whole thing while crocheting, giggling under my breath, and proud of Miss Jess.

I told hubby about this later on in the evening, and he laughed.  Although…he had told her 80, instead of 18.  But close enough. 🙂

Dad’s thinking the guns are in need of a good cleaning now….the boys are starting to come around already!

What does your hubby tell your little girls about dating?





Shared with:

Raising Homemakers The Purposeful Mom Raising Mighty Arrows Feminine Adventures