So far the Pinterest bug has been kind to my family’s pocketbook. This is because I have done a lot of “pinning” and only a little bit of actual creating. I think my success in not going broke over Pinterest so far is that I have chosen a lot of re-purposing projects to focus on and I have hosted a crafting potluck to help spread the cost of creations.
As we head into the holiday season I am ITCHING to create even more of the lovely things I see on Pinterest, eat even more of the yummy foods I see on Pinterest and give all of the neat gift ideas I have seen on Pinterest. I will need to really be careful and try hard to stay restrained.
I did have a bug that needed to be squashed though and that was in my desire to make some homemade household items. For awhile now I have been pinning homemade items (such as candles, bath salts and soaps) This weekend I took the plunge and went to the store and indulged in the required supplies to make both my own powder dish washer detergent and liquid washing machine detergent. Since this is my first time making anything like this I did have to incur some additional one time costs that will make these first batches cost a bit more- but people who are WAY smarter then me have done posts with cost break downs that show these soaps costing mere pennies per use. (for me it is working out to about a nickle per use)
So here is how it all went down:
Homemade Dishwasher Detergent(originally posted on Being Creative to Keep My Sanity
1 box Borax
1 box Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
24 packages of unsweetened lemonade drink mix, like kool-aid. (**Note: lemonade will stain soap dispenser yellow, another option would be to use citric acid instead of lemonade)
3 cups Epsom Salt
Lemi Shine rinse aid (this recipe does not work very well without it)
Combine all of the ingredients into a very large bowl (I had just purchased a brand new homer bucket to use to make my liquid washing machine detergent so decided that would work for this)-Note that if you simply dump these all in- it will create a cloud of “dust” so be careful of that LOL
Mix all of the ingredients together very well–I stirred and stirred and stirred–this also creates more dust clouds-I eventually snapped the lid down and did some shaking of the bucket (which I am sure looked hysterical) It was probably even funnier since I started humming this song while doing it:…and shake it all up *and you are WELCOME for that earworm of the day
Then transfer it to your containers of choice and add the measuring spoon to help keep costs low!
I had some scrapbook stickers laying around unused so went ahead and labeled the top of the lid (I chose the top since we will store it under our sink- so being able to read the lid from above will be nice.) -yes I ran out of lower case e’s and its all slanted but I think it makes it that much more homemade looking!! LOL
Here are my out of pocket costs (shopping here in the Phoenix, AZ metro area in November of 2011 -I was at the Walmart at Power and Ray in Mesa, AZ)) for one batch of the Homemade Powdered Dishwasher Detergent:
**Arm and Hammer All Natural Super Washing Soda (3 pound box) $3.24
I found this in the laundry aisle at Walmart near the oxyclean and fabric softeners-be careful to get the washing soda and NOT the baking soda–my store had a box of baking soda right next to this so just pay close attention.
**20 Mule Team Borax 4 pound 12 ounce box 2.98
this was right next to the washing soda above-
Epsom Salt (this was only sold in a 2 pound box at my store) $.88
this was in the health section at Walmart near laxatives
24 packets of UNsweetened Lemonade mix @ $.12 each= $2.88
this was in the drink mix aisle- you could splurge and get the kool aide brand but you are using this for the citric acid so why bother- be sure you get UNsweetened which ever you choose. Alternatively you could buy straight citric acid…which supposedly will not leave a yellow stain on the soap dispenser of your dishwasher…In my case- a yellow “stain” on the inside of my dishwasher will prob enhance it’s appearance since it is pretty thrashed from the hard water we have here so I don’t care. *From what I read- this yellow staining does NOT happen to dishes.
Table spoon $.88
(I wanted to have a table spoon dedicated to this container and you can’t just buy individual increment measuring spoons-the set I got came with cups as well so it was pretty decently priced. You could skip this part.- Kitchen aisle at Walmart
Large plastic storage container $5.74
Tupperware aisle at Walmart —You can of course re-purpose something and cut this cost completely. I wanted to have something tall and narrow with a handle so I could store it under my sink exactly like how I store the store bought soaps..so this is what worked for me. It is also recommended that you split the recipe between 2 containers and keep the 2nd one air tight until you go to use it. This is because of this recipes tendency to dry out and clump up like brown sugar can do…I just dumped it all into that one container shown above and will keep and eye on it for now
$16.60 + tax
Cost without the container and measuring spoon =
$9.98 for 161 ounces of powdered dish washer detergent
There is half an ounce in a tablespoon so you should get 322 dishwasher runs out of this recipe!!!! That is about 11.5 months worth (at one washer run per day) of dishwasher detergent for under $10!!
Caveat- you will still need to use a rinse aide along with this detergent- you can use straight vinegar and keep costs really low or buy LimeShine and sprinkle a dash in the bottom of the machine each wash. I already use LimeShine even with store bought dish washer detergent because we have really really hard water here so I will continue using that- I get it at Walmart for around $3 (cant recall exactly) It is in the dishwashing aisle.
**Now if you are anything like me you will see the Borax and Washing Soda boxes next to each other and wonder what the difference is since they are both called “laundry boosters”– So here is a little extra info for the curious: Borax is Sodium Tetraborate which according to people much smarter then me at About.com ”Borates bond with other particles to keep ingredients dispersed evenly in a mixture, which maximizes the surface area of active particles to enhance cleaning power.” Washing soda is Sodium Carbonate, which (as per some random wikipedia entry that “sounds legit enough to me”) “It competes with the ions magnesium and calcium in hard water and prevents them from bonding with the detergent being used. Without using washing soda, additional detergent is needed to soak up the magnesium and calcium ions”
So now we know…
but this did lead me to ask.. “what is the actual detergent in this recipe then”
I guess time and trial will tell if this is actually a good deal that works. I will post a review with pictures next week after we have used the recipe for about 10 loads of dishes.
Until then see you over at Pinterest