I try to be as self sufficient as possible but there are certain things that I just don't do. I don't make my own toilet paper or paper towels and I don't use any "old fashioned alternatives" for those products. After all, we need a few luxuries in life, right?
I do make my own soap but I am not religious about doing so. Although, I would like to get in the routine and even begin making some to sell as the cow's milk soap does wonderful things to soften my skin.
Running short and not wanting to go to the store to get dishwasher soap a couple of weeks ago when I ran out, I grabbed some baking soda and some vinegar and ran a load of dishes. I was very happy with how they turned out, so I tried it again. After using this method several times, I researched "homemade dishwasher soap" on the internet and found several "recipes" that said to use Borax and Baking Soda in equal parts. So, the next time I went to the store instead of buying dishwasher soap, I bought the Borax and Baking Soda and mixed them in a little plastic container in equal amounts. I have found this to work very well. When I have especially dirty dishes or glass jars that have a lot of grease on them from butter fat, I sometimes put a little vinegar in the dishwasher as well as a pre-rinse to cut the grease. I'm not sure I will ever go back to using commercial dishwasher soap again.
*** Modified to include: Thanks to one of the observant readers of this post, it was brought to my attention that I did not specify how much of this powder to use per load. I am using 2 Tablespoons per washing.*****************