Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Money Saving Tip

Just a quick stop in to share a very inexpensive way to wash your dishes in the dishwasher.  Not only are dishwashing detergents expensive, they are filled with harsh chemicals that harm our environment.  I switched to gel detergents a long time ago because the powders kept sticking in the little compartment in my dishwasher, and the dishes were covered with specks of detergent - not fun to place in your mouth!  But the gels are expensive, and honestly - don't do a very good job.

I've been looking at making my own laundry soap (a story for another day) and took some time to locate the ingredients for that.  It didn't really take much effort, but I had to look a little harder in my local store, since I was not accustomed to using them.  The ingredients just happened to be the same main ingredients for the dishwashing detergent:

Washing Soda (not Baking Soda)

Just a tablespoon of each in the little dishwasher detergent compartment will do the trick.  I then put plain white vinegar in the 'jet dry' spot to make sure no residue is left on the dishes.  Amazing.  It works.  The dishes come out clean and have no spots.

I figure I spend about $5 each 3 weeks or so on detergent.  Now, after spending about $3 on the two boxes of ingredients which will last a lifetime - well no, about a few months, I will be spending about 4 cents per load versus 23 cents per load.  Maybe not a ton of money, but the fact that I'm not putting phosphorus into the ground water makes me feel pretty smug.  Those lucky fish!


Barbara Bechtel said...

oooooh. thanks. i can't wait to try this. I've been using the 7th generation powder and i really like it (their gel version doesn't work as well as their powder, at least for me) since there are just two in our household, we don't go through quite as much but it is still very expensive. i also use plain white vinegar in my jet dry hole, and it does very nicely.

let us know if you find a good laundry recipe. i made some but i didn't like the way it worked. it was a combo washing soda, borax, grated castile soap, and hot water mixture. it seemed to be more harsh but didn't clean as well so i went back to my old stuff (also 7th gen.) but it is expensive.

Dogwood said...

Thanks for the tip! I will try it. I am always up for new money saving ideas along with the use of less chemicals!

goldenbird said...

Thanks for sharing your money saving tip. I would love to try that. I buy the gel dishwaser soap and don't like it much. My neighbor gave me these cool little pellet things from Cascase that worked well, but I'm sure they are expensive. I like the idea of making my own soap and not having to buy commercial brands.

goldenbird said...

That's Cascade, not Cascase :o)

Jill said...

As an update - our dishes are coming out pretty clean - better than with the Cascade Gel. And Barbara- I do have a recipe for laundry soap that is similar to your which people swear works amazingly well. I will post about my experience once I make it.