Thursday, March 19, 2009

Homemade Scouring Powder

Some time ago I came across a recipe for Homemade Dishwasher Detergent. It is very simple: 

1 C Borax
1 C Baking Soda
1/2 C salt

At first this worked very well for me, but over a few weeks, a nasty film buildup appeared on my dishes. Now apparently not everyone has this problem using this homemade cleaner in the dishwasher. Maybe it is my water? 

With some trial and error, I discovered this cleaner is great to stretch my normal detergent.  I mix the two half and half. It also will do in a pinch if I run out of detergent, but I also found that this concoction makes an excellent scouring powder. 

Take a little of the mixture, put it on a damp sponge or rag, and scrub away! It does an excellent job on the kitchen sink, and other places that need a good scrubbing. 

The cleaner is simple to make, doesn't use harsh chemicals, and is very economical. It did not work well for me as dishwasher detergent, but it does an excellent job as a homemade scouring powder. 

Photo credit: Big_Law


  1. I have used this too. I love it, but find I miss my Cascade Complete. Great thought to mix it!!! Do you think this would work on my smooth top range?

  2. Annon,
    I've yet to find anything that works well on my smooth top range. I do use this mixture on itby making a paste by adding a little water, but it takes my husband's elbow grease to get the thing clean. (It could be b/c I don't clean it as frequently as I should.) Several people have told me that the little bottles of stuff you can buy for the stove top work like a charm though.

  3. You can also try borax, baking soda, & baking soda in equal parts. Put vinegar in the rinse cycle or jet dry area to help reduce spots and build up. I have VERY hard water so this helps quite a bit. Every now and again, I switch to a commercial detergent for a few wash cycles until I can get my water softness regulated. Once I get it back under control, my homemade detergent works just like the pricey stuff.

    By the way, I nominated you for an award.

  4. Just the post i was looking for this morning! Thanks!

  5. We are thinking along the same lines today, as I posted homemade laundry detergent and homemade fabric softener recipes......

    Gill in Canada

  6. This recipe looks like it would fix a few of those issues: It's equal parts of Borax and Washing Soda (aka Soda Ash) for the detergent, with distilled white vinegar in the clean rinse gel dispenser to remove any residue or spots(particularly in hard water areas) in the rinse cycle. Here's the link for the article on it:

    Thank you!

  7. You know I had the same problem - worked well at first, but then started building up. I tried so many different variations of the recipe, then just resorted to the same solution: half 7th Generation powder and half of that homemade mixture. Hmpfh....I guess we tried!

  8. We have a large dog who has his own dinnerware. I hate the slime build-up! So I keep a re-purposed Parmesan shaker jar full of plain baking soda by the sink to scrub out his plate and bowls. Does a great job. Good for scrubbing out my stainless steel pots, too. We have real hard water, but I don't seem to have any build-up with soda alone. When I can find it cheap, I use cream of tartar on the stainless. Polishes just a little better than soda.

    Thanks for your blog. You've got some good stuff here! Liz


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