Saving money doing dishes

No one likes doing dishes…am I right? 

My husband would actually rather vacuum or clean a bathroom before loading or even unloading the dishwasher! But it makes it a little more enjoyable when you know you’re saving a ton of money by doing it your own way. About a year ago, I was looking for a way to save money on everyday household items. And I was having trouble with those convenient little individual dishsoap tablets not releasing all the way during the dishwasher cycle, which would leave a mess in the compartment {not so convenient for me!}. I had also read that the detergent manufacturers had stopped putting phosphates into their formulas because it was not good for the environment. I’m all for that, but why pay a fortune on overpriced cleaning agents if I can make my own using the same ingredients they use? So that’s why I started making my own dishwasher detergent. And I have not been disappointed, in fact, I love it! Since then, I have had several family members ask me about the recipe I use and how to use it.

At first I used a very simple recipe using equal parts borax and baking soda, but we have very very hard water where we live so the dishes were coming out cloudy. Sugarfree lemonade drink mix helps a lot with that. Alternatively, you can use Lemishine which is also shown in the picture. Lemishine can either be added in place of the drink mix, or you can sprinkle a little in the bottom of the dishwasher before you start the cycle.

Here is the price breakdown at my local store:

76oz box of Borax $3.38

55oz box of Arm & Hammer Washing Soda $3.24

Lemonade Drink Mixes (24 packets) $7.92

Epsom Salt $2.86

(Optional – Lemishine $3.66)

The total is only $17.40 and should last a VERY long while!

I used the recipe I found on http://beingcreativetokeepmysanity.blogspot.com/2011/01/dishwasher-detergent.html. 

You  just mix all 4 ingredients into a very large bowl and store in an airtight container. It made about 10cups of powdered detergent and you only need 1-2 tbsp per load. I did actually cut the recipe in half so the picture you see below is only half the recipe.

The mixture may harden after awhile, so you can either stir it frequently or add some rice wrapped in a cheese cloth and place in your container.  

Another thrifty tip: if you have hard water like us and need a rinse agent, white vinegar does the trick for much cheaper than store bought rinse agents! You can just fill up your rinse compartment with it just like you would with Jet Dry. Regardless of the size bottle you buy, vinegar averages to about 6 cents/fill. Jet Dry costs $3.99 per fill! You will not smell vinegar at all during or after the cycle – it is completely rinsed away. Give it a try!

I have also been making my own laundry detergent for awhile now. It has saved me a bundle but I’m ALWAYS looking for ways to save more! So check back later for money saving tips in the laundry room! See ya next time!

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