Yep, you can save $164/yr by mixing your own dishwasher powder. Have a look at the numbers:
|Finish all in one dish tabs||$0.51/wash||Or $186.15 for 365 loads|
|Fairy lemon dish tabs||$0.55/wash||Or $200.75 for 365 loads|
|Coles max dish tabs||$0.35/wash||Or $127.75 for 365 loads|
|Ask Sarahs Homemade Powder||$0.10/wash||Or $ 36.50 for 365 loads|
Now, all of this pretty math (took me ages guys) is based on the price of things in my local Coles. I am comparing to tablets because it is easier to get a per wash cost. My pic shows the little shakers of citric acid you get in the supermarket – if you use these to make your dishwasher powder it will cost you more like $0.20/wash. That’s still and annual saving of $127.75 on Fairy. I found a 3kg bag of citric acid on eBay for $28.55 inc postage which brings things to $0.12/wash and even better my local sell to the public wholesaler, Gaganis Bros, had citric acid for $3.95/kg bringing my total cost to $0.10/wash, with everything else of the shelves in Coles. I could probably bring it lower if I got everything at a wholesaler.
Now, you may wonder why I wanted to trial this when you can easily buy dishwasher powder and tablets. Well I really dislike the taste/feel some leave on my dishes, The Bestie needs to use a dishwasher (more on that further down) and she is a frugal gal. I’ve seen quite a few recipes out there in the DIY corners of the net but based mine on this post as it worked the best. I upped the citric acid due to Adelaides notoriously hard water. Both Bestie and I have always used vinegar instead of rinse aid so that is a budget tip right there.
Now, of course the concept had to be proven before I brought it to you all. I normally test the hell out of something myself before bringing it to you but I wasn’t so well equipped on this one, I hand wash all my pots (so as not to wreak the enamel on the cast iron) and try (okay, I’m sometimes to slack) to wash my dinner set by hand too. So this one was left in the hands of The Bestie, who as the mother of two has interesting dishes. You know, weetbix stuck like glue, the aftermath of flubber production, trays after cooking grilled sausages and other sticky messes. So like any good blogger, I made up the potion and left it with her for a few weeks. This is what she had to say:
“In my world having a dishwasher is a necessary evil. I have quite bad eczema that affects my hands and wrists (lots of other places too but these bits are the worst of it). I found doing dishes not only time consuming but often painful. With my skin at times inflamed the thought of putting my hands into hot water with detergent was cringe worthy. I live in a rental which did not come with a dishwasher so I went and bought a small bench top one. Not always ideal as I sometimes need to do two or three loads to get it all done but for me it has been an absolute saviour!
Something I never really understood until I needed to know, dishwasher tablets are EXPENSIVE! Although to save my skin I was more than willing to cough up the cash. But guess what, there is an alternative and it works. I was sceptical to say the least when Sarah told me her plan to make dishwasher powder but was happy to test run it for her and give it a go. So happy I did.
Now I put some really filthy dishes in the machine not fully believing the homemade was up to the job, I was wrong. For me the only obvious difference is the clean dishes don’t dry as well as they do with store bought, I can live with that. Given the cost saving to be had here, so what if I need to grab the tea towel. I would strongly recommend it be stored in an airtight container somewhere dry otherwise you may need to take to it with a screwdriver 🙂 Other than that it works great and I am very happy with the results.
Happy washing up, Jenine (The Bestie)”
So, if the proof is in the pudding, we had fun eating it and the dish is clean too!
500g borax (laundry isle)
500g washing soda (laundry isle)
250g salt (baking isle)
300g citric acid (baking isle)
Mix together well and store in an airtight container.
Use 1 tblsp per wash (maybe more if you have a very dirty load or a large dishawasher. We found 1 was enough).
Plan out how you will spend your savings whilst feeling smug at your DIY skills.