Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Tuesday's Tip: Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

I am about to tell you something that may shock you: I buy my dishwasher detergent online.
Yup, you read that right: I buy my dishwasher detergent online.  Why?  Because
  1. it's cheaper and
  2. I can sit here in my pjs and order it and
  3. I don't have to go to the store (I hate shopping) and
  4. I get a package!  Hooray for packages, even when they contain dish detergent.
All terrific reasons, right?  Yes, I think so, too.  The only problem is Amazon recently changed the way they do subscribe and save (which is how I save an extra 5%).  Now they only send out shipments once a month, and for my primary account the date they chose was the 26th.  I was planning ahead, but...decided I needed to order more on the 27th, thinking it would arrive within a week or so.  Ooops.  For my other account the date is the 16th.  I thought I could make it til the 16th, but was content to handwash for a couple of days if we ran out before the shipment arrived.

It was Thursday morning, and my dish detergent had shipped on Monday.  I used the last of the detergent on Tuesday, and the dishwasher was full of dirty dishes, so I did what any reasonable person would do in that situation.  I googled "homemade dishwasher detergent."  Just as I thought, there are tons of variations out there, and one of them even contained items that I already had on hand. 

What?  You think a reasonable person would run out and buy some at the store?  Pffft.

I was planning to use this recipe from TipNut (click for this and 15 other variations):

1 cup Baking Soda
1 cup Borax
  • Blend thoroughly and store in a plastic container, use approximately 2 TBS per load.
  • Use vinegar in the rinse compartment as a rinse agent to help prevent residue.
  • Try adding 2-3 drops essential oil.
Do y'all not have Borax yet?  You should get some.  It's in the laundry detergent aisle for about $3, and not only can you clean with it, but you can also make slime and beautiful ornaments with it.  Totally something every household should have.

Anyway, I figured it didn't have to really work all that well, because there have been times when our detergent dispenser doesn't even open, which means there's no detergent in there at all, and the dishes still come out clean, but I still wanted to try it.

You may have picked up on the "I was planning" up there.  Apparently, my husband is not a mind reader, and apparently the both of us do not have great minds that think alike, because he decided he needed to run the dishwasher that morning (and thank you, Hubby, for taking care of household chores like this--I really do appreciate it).

And not having any actual dishwasher detergent to use, he decided to use dishwashing liquid.  Which brings me to today's tip:

Do not use dishwashing liquid (especially the ultra concentrated kind) in your dishwasher!

Oh, you thought the tip was going to be the recipe.  No.

Just so you know, I do have Hubby's permission to share this photo and blog about his goof.  When he came in to tell me that (I was right and) the dishwasher was overflowing with suds, I asked him if he would please do something about it before he left for work.  A few minutes later he came back and told me he did something--he took a picture so I can blog about it.  Now that's the man I love!  Totally typical--I love that he can laugh about his mistakes :)

Well, at least the floor is clean!  (Our dishes, too, after a couple of extra rinses)  And yes, as you might suspect, given the ironic nature of the universe, my dishwasher detergent arrived later that day.

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