In an effort to reduce toxins in our home, I try to make as many natural home care products as possible, like my no-streak window cleaner, shower cleaner, fruit fly trap, weed killer, foaming soap, and my not-so-homemade laundry soap.
I posted a super simple Homemade Dishwasher Rinse Aid previously, but it's been about a year (I can't believe it's been that long) since and I have a very important update to share with you.
And this homemade rinse aid is at least as simple, if not more so.
Why the need for an update? And how could it be very important?
Read on. Please.
You know I am always looking for easier, more natural, and less expensive ways to do things around the home, right?
Well, when I wrote that first post, I was super excited when I figured out that I could get super clean and shiny dishes and glasses just by putting white vinegar in the rinse aid compartment of my dishwasher.
And, I was pleased with myself when I thought to add food coloring to the vinegar so that I could see when it was time to add more vinegar.
I mean, who can beat saving that much money, doing it naturally and not mucking up the environment with all of those chemicals and extra packaging? (Not that I've ever bought rinse aid in my life — I haven't :-).)
So–why the need for an update?
Well, here's what happened.
My super duper homemade rinse aid was doing a great job for awhile, but then our dishes started to have some sort of gritty residue on them.
I thankfully was able to negotiate with our manufacturer to have a repairman come out for free since I had called about the issue when the dishwasher was still under warranty.
Well, I proudly showed the repairman my frugal prowess and felt I had really beaten the system with my homemade rinse aid, but I did ask him about something that had been bothering me. And I wondered if this was partly the cause of my gritty dishes. (Turns out we have slightly hard water, but that's a different story.)
See, the rinse aid compartment was still full of green-colored vinegar even thought I hadn't refilled the compartment for maybe 4 months or so.
Well, the repairman told me something that I had no idea about.
The acid in the vinegar can damage the rubber components in the rinse aid compartment.
I mean, here I am trying to save myself and my readers money, and I might have created a big problem instead.
Now, I am not for sure about this, but another repairman told me the same thing.
This second repairman told me that on newer dishwashers, the rinse aid compartments have rubber components that aren't really compatible with acidic things like vinegar.
He recommended the technique that I am sharing with you today.
So—first of all, please accept my apologies for possibly steering you down the wrong road. It's not fun for me know that I might have steered you all down the wrong road.
And hopefully I can make it up to you with today's tip for a Homemade Dishwasher Rinse Aid that is at least as easy as, if not more easy than the original rinse aid that I shared with you.
Homemade Dishwasher Rinse Aid
1. Place small cup in your dishwasher's top rack.
2. Fill with a small amount of white vinegar.
3. Run dishwasher as usual.
So there you have it. Super simple. You can avoid the step of the food coloring, but you do need to fill your little cup each time you run the dishwasher.
But at least it will work and you won't be possibly damaging any components in your dishwasher.
Here's a photo of our dishwasher for your enjoyment :-). The vinegar is in the little plastic container in the lower left.
By the way, if you are wondering why we have rubber bands on our glasses, you can read this post here.
I can't confirm that the rubber components on my dishwasher were damaged by the vinegar, or that yours will be, but who needs to find out, right?
And I would recommend that even if you have an older dishwasher, that you use this technique.
Just. In. Case.
Or at least call your manufacturer to make sure it's OK to put vinegar in your rinse aid compartment.
Looking for other ways to save money and detoxify your life? Here are some other posts you might be interested in:
Do you use a rinse aid?