What can be found really in dishwasher detergents? The articles dedicated to the INCI of cosmetics for face, body, nails and hair make it clear that often, unfortunately, many products such as creams, beauty serums, shampoos, masks, lotions or make-up contain irritating, sometimes harmful or even suspected carcinogenic ingredients. Also dishwasher detergents are not an exception and many contain chemical fragrances, which can often cause contact or respiratory allergies, aggressive surfactants and pollutants, brighteners, which remain attached to the dishes and so when we eat we ingest also some of these particles, and chlorine compounds that are activated in contact with water. In particular, when you open the dishwasher, the fumes that come out contain chlorine that could cause tiredness and irritations in the throat, eyes and lungs. Today we see how to make a homemade dishwasher detergent that can be used also if you wash the dishes by hands, totally green, natural and respectful, both for our health and for the Planet.
Detergent for dishwasher
Take 4 lemons, they should be organic since we will use everything, pulp, juice and peel.
Then you need 100 ml of white vinegar, 800 ml of water, 200 grams of coarse sea salt, even better if of organic origin. Cut the lemons in half and then in quarters, remove the seeds. In a large pot pour the water and add the lemons, bring everything to boil and then let simmer for about twenty minutes, after this time the lemons will be soft. Remove the pot from heat and leave to cool down, then blend the lemons with an immersion blender. Filter the mixture with a strainer. Add the vinegar and the salt and mix. Put on the heat again and boil for 15 minutes, then let it cool down, keep on stirring with a spoon. Pour the mixture into a bottle and the dishwasher detergent is ready. To use it put 2-3 tablespoons of this mixture in the detergent dispenser and start the dishwasher. The detergent should be kept in a cool and dry place for a couple of weeks. In order to make a higher quantity of detergent a good choice could be to pour the mixture into the ice molds and keep in the freezer or, in alternative, to pour it hot into the jars of jam that should be closed and flipped upside down for about 5 minutes. This detergent acts thanks to the citric acid contained in lemons, which is bactericide, disinfectant and a chelating agent, it means that it binds to metals and counteracts limestone (Ciriminna et al, Chem Cent J, Mar 2017 - Faot et al, BMC Oral Health, Jun 2014). The detergent acts also thanks to the essential oil of lemon, antibacterial and cleaning (Dosoky et al, Int J Mol Sci, Jul 2018), the salt works as a preservative and finally acetic acid contained in vinegar has a degreasing and cleaning action (PubChem Database).