Caddywompus. I'm all kinds of caddywompus right now. A "the 101's" post on a Friday?? Goodness, I'm 3 days behind in life too. My beautiful Pixie turns 6 this week so I should start planning a party. And, thankfully, the house is finally listed in the MLS service. So far no bites except contentious realtors trying to scare us out of selling by owner.
But I have been wanting to post today's topic because I'm really excited. Dishwashing detergent can be effectively made at home and I can't wait to share what I've learned with you.
Not only am I saving quite a chunk of change by making my own detergents, it's also my way of stickin' it to The Man. You know, showing that he can't predict my shopping habits like I'm a little lab rat and then squeeze billions of dollars out of us while diabolically laughing. There is just no need to spend as much on detergents as we are expected to.
Now that I've tiraded, Cascade Complete heads off my list of top-performing dishwasher detergents. Those little packets are amazing, beyond what gel plus rinse aid alone do, and are the product of The Man, with his billions of research dollars and his fancy consumer research. I can pop one in and the dishes, unrinsed, will come out squeaky clean. That's a high bar and one that is tough to beat.
I'm really happy to say that I was surprised and pleased with the results of the homemade detergent. It may not pack the whole punch that Cascade Complete does, but it comes so close that it's not worth it to go back.
The list of ingredients are simple and while there may be one or two things you haven't seen before, they were easier to find than I thought: washing soda, borax, white vinegar, kosher salt, citric acid, and LemiShine.
Before you cast your judgment, let's talk about the money. I used to use Palmolive Eco+Gel, which I hated because everything ended up with a filmy residue coating it.
- Palmolive Eco+ Gel: $0.14/load
- Cascade Complete: $0.23/load
- homemade detergent: $0.08/load or less.
- **Update!! After using this homemade detergent for a month and seeing a few perplexingly sub-normal washes, I adjusted the recipe to double its volume with borax. The new price is $.10/load but I see alot less spotting and overall residue with a cleaning power very similar to Cascade Complete's. See photo below.**
So...it performs like Cascade Complete but costs less than most detergents. It may be late at night for me and my cognitive reasoning may be impaired, but it sounds like we have a winner.
I like to test my diswasher with unrinsed dishes to see just how well it does, for kicks and giggles. No, really. Instead of going out on a date with my husband, I load up the dishwasher with straight-from-the-sink dishes and when it's done, I inspect them all and yell out the play-by-play (or dish-by-dish) to him. (Oh, I'm full of great marriage secrets and tips. Just full of them.)
The maiden voyage for this homemade detergent was no different.
And in the morning, there was this:
I even took a close-up of the cups. While my old set is cloudier than my new set from age-related fine scratches, they were all wonderfully squeaky clean. Old cup on left, new cup on right.
And I was surprised to read about how down people are on Borax. Borax is an inorganic salt, much like table salt, and is toxic in large quantities. But most everything is. I'm just not feeling the alarm on this one and I think some people are just overreacting. I remember when I used to have to wash my hands in school with pink borax. It will always have a special place in my heart.
In summary, it's Friday and my life is upside down, Oberon may not end up flying home from his week-long conference tomorrow because of local tornadoes, and I am exhausted. The children and I just popped some popcorn and had a book-party where we read a couple of "Magic Tree House" books in my bed until we were all to tired to keep our eyes open. That was a really great moment in the middle of all this craziness. I think I'm unraveling from all this caddywompiness. If you're feeling caddywompus too, you may enjoy this song. The children and I love it jamming to it. I think though that the message goes a little deeper for me right now.
Download 10 Coconut by Harry Nilsson