DIY Dishwasher/Scouring Powder
If commercial dish detergents that contain phosphates do indeed end up being banned, it may be worth making your own natural cleaning product, especially considering that current eco-friendly brands like EcoVer and Seventh Generation are so costly.
I pulled the following recipe for natural dishwasher/scouring powder from The New Homemaker. The ingredients are simple and pretty affordable – according to the author you’ll end up saving around 14 cents a load (when compared to a brand like Cascade). On the subject of whether or this detergent cleans as well as commercial brands, opinions are varied. Though the recipe recommends using citrus essential oils, some folks swear by tea tree and peppermint oils. Either way, this may require a little experimentation but it seems worth a try.
In a plastic container with a firmly fitting lid, mix:
1 cup borax (20-Mule-Team Borax, available in any supermarket)
1 cup baking soda
1/4 cup salt
1/4 cup citric acid (available in brewing stores among other places--if you haven't tracked it down yet but must try this formula, use two packets of Lemonade-Flavored Kool-Aid, ONLY lemon, or you'll dye your dishwasher! and ONLY unsweetened Kool-Aid!)
30 drops citrus essential oil--lemon, grapefruit, orange, tangerine, or a mixture
Put all of it in the container, shake it up.