I finally came up with a combination that works well for me. We have well water which is hard even though we have a softener attached to our water pump.
Here's my recipe:
1 cup baking soda
1 cup borax
1 cup water
Stir together for a few minutes and allow to sit for several minutes before using. It is very watery until it has time to sit. Use 2 Tbl. per use.
I have my recipe written on a card that I keep in my recipe box. It's handy when I need to make a new batch of cleaner. I had to make a new category - Natural Cleaners - to keep the cards in. I'm getting quite a collection of cleaning recipes.
Along with this cleaner, I found that I must use vinegar as a rinse agent - you know, in that little dispenser in your dishwasher that you're supposed to fill with an expensive rinse aide. I fill up my dispenser whenever it runs low (to check mine I press on the *bubble* on top of the dispenser - when I can't see any more liquid, I refill it)
My son found a set of these canisters at the thrift store and brought them home for me. I've been using them to store my new natural cleaners in. I like the spoon holder on the side. They came with wooden spoons, but I replaced them with old plastic measuring spoons so that I can control the amount of cleaner I use.
I like using items that I have on hand to make my own cleaners. I like not adding harsh chemicals and bleach to my septic system. I like saving money. What natural cleaners are you using?