Saturday, June 5, 2010

Dishwasher Soap

I consider myself pretty frugal. We've lived on one, less than large, salary for a number of years with a number of children. I tried clipping coupons, but found that generally I got a better price with a bargain brand, so I just went with that. My time is valuable too, especially my time in the grocery store with the munchkins. It wasn't worth it to juggle a stack of coupons and try to determine what was the better deal, so I tossed that idea.

I happened across an idea yesterday though while reading a blog that I decided I wanted to give a go, making laundry soap. I currently have enough to probably serve us until we move, so it would be silly to mix up a two gallon batch at the moment, but the idea sounds good--frugal and maybe even fun. As I sifted through several recipes I saw some people are making their own dishwasher detergent too. I don't like buying it at all. I've had trouble with several different brands not working well and the stuff is quite expensive. I called up my husband (a chemist after all) and asked him if the ingredients sounded reasonable. He agreed that they did, aside for some concern that they might not dissolve as quickly as he would like.

So here's what I did:
3/4 cup of borax
3/4 cup washing powder (not baking powder)
3/8 cup salt
4 pkgs of lemon kool-aid (the stuff you would generally add sugar to)
1 cup of boiling water

Note--in adding the boiling water the concoction bubbled over. So pour very slowly! I added the water so it already partially dissolved going in (many people use the powders mixed together dry).

To use, I mix the goo with our longest measuring spoon and then I put about 2 Tablespoons into the dispenser cup and 1/2 Tablespoon into the pre-rinse cup. We also used a splash of vinegar (which we usually do anyway) to the tub, since we don't use JetDry.

This should provide about 15 washes for $1.71 (most of that cost is in the kool-aid [$.94], so I'll look for another suitable citric acid replacement).

All in all it took less than 10 minutes (and that's with the girls helping measure). The first load has gone through and it looks really good. I am all for things that work too, so as time goes on if it fails to live up to what I hope it to be, I'll be sure to write about that too. It's not a tremendous savings per load, but over time, if it works well, it should add up.

1 comment:

KentuckyGam said...

Sounds interesting. I've noticed lately that they're changing dishwasher soap to be more eco-friendly. I've also noticed that it leaves a not-so-nice film on my dishes. Keep us posted on how it's doing.