Money Down the Drain

Homemade dishwaster detergent from The Dew Abides
Courtesy of Flickr/Tom Page

My Papa was a kind, soft-spoken man with an impish smile that belied the poverty he witnessed during the Great Depression.

He never complained or dwelled on those days, though he and my Granny remained frugal even after the economy turned around, content with what they had and generous to all their neighbors. That generosity and a never-ending well of patience led him to be elected Mayor of their small town for several terms — a couple of times by write-in vote after he tried to stop running.

All of which makes me giggle even more when I think about the exasperated look on his face when Granny would come home from the grocery with a bag full of cleaning supplies.

“I can’t eat that,” he would say with a grin before rolling his eyes and walking out of the kitchen with feigned annoyance.

I feel you, Pops.

Now that we’re attempting this asinine frugal budget for a year, I stood in the cleaning aisle at the supermarket, wondering what was a better way to spend $5.99 — a bag of dishwasher detergent or a block of cheese.

I think we all know the answer.

However, dishes still have to be washed, so I searched the Googlez for a homemade alternative and found a Huffington Post article aptly titled, “Homemade Dishwasher Detergent Is A Real Thing, We Tried It“.

It’s easy and only uses three pantry staples:

  • Add three drops of dish soap to the detergent cup
  • Fill 2/3 of the cup with baking soda
  • Top off with salt

This simple hack worked great, even on our fancy crystal glassware, and only costs pennies per load. Which means all that extra money can go toward things that really matter. Like Wensleydale.

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