Matt and I don't use the dishwasher very often, because ours is such that we have to wash the dishes by hand either before or after you use it anyway, and thus in our case it is not the time-, labor-, or water-saving device it was intended to be. But every so often we'll have a major cookfest and be left with a batch of dishes we just don't feel like facing.
This weekend was one such occasion, and I was also spoiling to try out this recipe (from a blog I really enjoy), which I was excited about since I had leftover borax and washing soda from making laundry soap, and I had recently gone out to purchase some tea tree oil because my skin was acting up a little bit. So. I omitted the lavender oil because I didn't have any, instead just combining:
1/2 cup borax
1/2 cup washing soda
Two small drops of tea tree oil
I made a half batch since, as I mentioned, we don't use it that often. I put it in an old yogurt container and shook it up well, then labeled it. I also took the additional advice to fill the "rinse aid" compartment (which I'd never even noticed!) with vinegar.
I don't know if it was the soap or the vinegar or both, but honestly the dishes have never come out cleaner. They were streak-free and delightfully clean. There was really no lingering scent, either of tea tree or of vinegar. As with the laundry detergent, the ingredients are so cheap that it's a hands-down winner over anything you'd buy at the store. And much better for the environment. I give it an A+!