Ok - I ran some numbers and my savings on laundry and dishwashing detergent isn't quite what I thought it would be. BUT it is still significant! And, if it keeps me from having to venture out in this frigid weather, I'm all for it.
I ran my first load of dishes using my homemade dishwashing detergent and the load came out quite nicely! I was most curious to see how my cheese grater would come out as it was the most gunked up of the items in my dishwasher. Even though the house we are renting is newish, the appliances in it are not even close to 'top of the line'. The dishwasher, for lack of a better term, sucks. The sprayer arm consistently comes unattached from the bottom of the dishwasher, doesn't retract the telescoping arm, and often leaves much to be desired in terms of the quality of the wash. Needless to say, we prewash out dishes, which annoys the snot out of me. Why HAVE a dishwasher in the first place if I'm going to wash my dishes in the sink before I put them in the dishwasher?!? This load was no different than any other load and received the same prewashing that all of our loads receive.
Before I show you the 'after' picture of the cheese grater, let me show you the recipe I used and the cost breakdown. The ingredients:
1. Borax: $10/76 ounces
2. Washing Soda: $8.75/55 ounces
3. Lemon Kool-Aid: $0.20/pack = $0.80 total
4. Kosher salt: $9.38/48 ounces
My recipe was:
1/2 cup borax
1/2 cup washing soda
1/4 cup salt (used Kosher...it's grittier)
4 packets of unsweetened lemon kool-aid
Using Amazon.com's prices, the breakdown is as follows:
4 oz Borax = $0.52
4 oz W.S. = $0.64
4 Kool Aid packs = $0.80
2 oz salt = $0.40
TOTAL COST for batch = $2.36
I use about 1 tablespoon (0.5 oz) per load which equals out to about $0.10/load. Assuming you compare it with Cascade Gel-Packs which cost $0.27 per load, you're saving about $0.17/load. Not too shabby! A savings of about 60%. And that's assuming that:
a.) you have no coupons
b.) the prices you find are comparable to Amazon.com's prices
c.) I can't find these items at the commissary (I can find Borax, Kool-Aid, and salt but not washing soda)
And here is the final product - my cheese grater!