Sunday, September 28, 2014

Daily Domesticity: Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

As I mentioned last week in this Daily Domesticity post, one of the ways I am trying to simplify life for my family is to reduce the amount I spend at the market each week. As you know, I have four growing boys, as well as my husband to feed, so the grocery bills can really start to add up, which also means that they eat into the other areas of our monthly budget...not good, not good at all.

I feel that as the CEO of my household, as well as chief cook, it is my job to try to find ways in which I can be frugal with my grocery shopping, yet still manage to stock the fridge and pantry with healthy foods, and the dinner table with healthy meals. I do have food shopping saver tips that I plan to share in the future, but today I am sharing another non-food related product, that actually does help the overall grocery budget by helping to reduce the amount I spend on household items...
Homemade Dishwasher Detergent Tabs.



After doing much research online, I decided to use a recipe that comes from the Happy Money Saver website...here is what you'll need, and how to make it:

Ingredients:

1 Cup Water
2 or 3 Ice Trays
{Optional} 3 packages Unsweetened Lemonade Drink Mix (added cleaning power, antibacterial, adds fragrance) - I bought the Walmart Great Value brand, but did not even use any in my last batch

Directions:

Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. You can actually leave it in this powder form if you like. Just add a tablespoon to your dishwasher and run the cycle as normal. The only issue with the powder is that it can harden in the container. You can try putting a sock tied up with rice in it and that should help though. I prefer adding the liquid and making dishwasher tabs, especially since my boys usually have 'dish duty', so it's easier for them to just grab one out of the container and put it in the dishwasher.



To make the tabs, you just add the water. It will start to fizz, so wait until the mixture is completely done fizzing and bubbling (1-2 minutes).



Once all the ingredients have combined together into a clumpy texture similar to really moist sand, you can spoon it into two ice cube trays.

Use your fingers to compress the detergent into each cube into the tray until firmly packed.



Place them in a dry and sunny spot.

Once they are completely dried, crack the trays like you would with ice to get the detergent tabs out of the tray. You can store your homemade dishwashing tabs in an air tight container!



I have been very pleased with the results of the homemade detergent, but I do want to note that we have very hard water where we live, so I was getting quite a bit of spots on my glasses with my first batch of tabs. I found that adding vinegar to the mix completely eliminates that issue though. Now instead of using water, I use white vinegar and mix it as the recipe states. It works really well, too.

All of the ingredients for the detergent are available to purchase on Amazon, and they are also available in Walmart stores (that's where I found mine), as well as most other grocers.

That's all there is too it! Nothing too difficult, and the savings are substantial, especially when you consider how costly dishwasher detergent is nowadays.

Is this something you might consider giving a try? Have you tried it already? If so, what are your thoughts? Are you also looking for ways to cut costs and save on your monthly budget? Please do share...I always love hearing from you! :)

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