from Organic Housekeeping by Ellen Sandbeck
Many dishwasher detergents contain chlorine, phosphorus, and antimicrobials, which are potentially dangerous, completely unnecessary, and very hard on the environment. Whether you are concerned about the health of our waterways, or are merely trying to keep your septic system working properly, it is a good idea to choose a dishwasher detergent that does not contain any of these ingredients.
Look in the health food store for environmentally friendly dishwasher detergents that utilize enzymes, washing soda (sodium carbonate), and borax.
You can make a batch of homemade dish detergent by mixing equal parts pf laundry borax and washing soda:
1 cup washing soda (Arm & Hammer)
1 cup Borax
An efficient dishwasher should only need one tablespoon of detergent. If your dishwasher has a detergent dispenser and a rinse dispenser, fill the rinse dispenser with vinegar to prevent mineral build-up on your dishes and glassware.
Do not wash aluminum or Teflon pans with this homemade detergent.