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Dishwasher detergent

 
Dawn Hoff
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Location: Andalucía, Spain
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Hi
We are soon moving to our homestead - and the last 6 months or so we have been experimenting with different detergents - for dishes (mashine) and laundry.

Now the last month or so I have been using baking soda, lemon juice and liquid dish detergent (not biodegradable - can't find it here in Spain). The results are only so-so... But acceptable (it helps if I use dishwasher salt and rinde aid - but that Linda sofies the purpose here).

But we would like to get rid of the soda as we live in an arid zone and worry about salt build up ... And the soap should preferably be biodegradable.

So my husband made Castile soap and mixed it with vinegar and lemon juice... And it was awful: Sticky soap residues on everything... Now I'm in doubt - what to do? We need something that works (as ising more water is not a solution here), and i can't find it on the internet.
 
Jennifer Wadsworth
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Location: Phoenix, AZ (9b)
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Hi Dawn:

You know, here in Phoenix we DON'T do greywater harvesting from dishwashers just because of the problems you mention. I do all my dishes in the sink (with Oasis dish soap, although others will work as well) and that goes out into an infiltration chamber in my yard.

If hand washing dishes is not your idea of a good time, you might set up a reed bed system to help clean the water on the way out.

There's a bit of information here: http://www.yourhome.gov.au/technical/fs74.html
And here: http://www.harvestingrainwater.com/greywater-harvesting/greywater-compatible-soaps-and-detergents/
and here (see section on Greywater): http://www.harvestingrainwater.com/2010/08/23/revolving-community-loans-for-water-from-allah/

 
Dawn Hoff
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Location: Andalucía, Spain
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So the bicarbonate soda would be Ok if we used Reed beds?
 
Dawn Hoff
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Oh and no - doping dishes by hand would end up as a serious health hazard in my house...
 
Jennifer Wadsworth
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You know, I have no experience with how straight bicarbonate soda might affect your dishwashing machine.... But as for using reed beds, they should filter out at least some of the salts.

Another resource to check out is Toolbox for Sustainable City Living: A Do-It-Ourselves Guide I actually arranged for Scotty Kellogg to talk here in Phoenix back when this book came out. He and his wife, Stacey Pettigrew, wrote up their project transforming a "brownfield" into a park in Austin. Really motivational stuff. There's a lot on bioremediation in the book. Looks like the link above is a legit "free download" of the full text!
 
R Scott
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Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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We have used various combinations of baking soda, washing soda, and borax as the soap with vinegar in the rinse agent container. Works well for us, but we have pretty good water to start with. When we tried it at our last house with chlorinated hard water it didn't work very well at all.
 
S Bengi
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Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even distribution
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Have you ever heard of soapnut. Use that to make your own soap. And vinegar to rinse it off. It is good for clothes and dishes.
 
R Scott
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Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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S Bengi wrote:Have you ever heard of soapnut. Use that to make your own soap. And vinegar to rinse it off. It is good for clothes and dishes.


I didn't know soapnut would work in a dishwasher. cool.
 
Dawn Hoff
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Location: Andalucía, Spain
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Tuens our that My husband has planens on using Reed beds all along So we will go with the bicarbonate soda/castile soap + citric acid solution.
 
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