Sunday, October 14, 2012

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

I've been wanting to try making my own dishwasher detergent for a while now but I just never got around to it. We thought we could save money by getting the detergent from the dollar tree, it did NOT work.  The dishes were "clean" but they were not sparkly at all, and just had a dull filmy look.  So last week when we ran out of that awful detergent I told D not to buy any new stuff until he let me try my recipe.  I found it over at Simply Designing and it works wonders! Here it is:

Dishwasher Detergent:

- 2 cups of borax
- 2 cups of Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
- 2 cups of Lemi Shine
- 1 cup of Kosher Salt

1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir until mixed. (I don't have any mixing bowls yet, they are on my registry though, so I used my stock pot)
2. Let the open bowl sit out for 2 days stirring periodically to break up all chunks. (The citric acid of the Lemi Shine causes a reaction that makes the ingredients clump together. All you have to do is leave the mixture out in open air and break up the clumps every once in a while for about 2 days and then you can put it into a sealed container.)
3. Use 1 tbs of detergent per cycle, I put 70 percent of the tablespoon in the detergent part of the dishwasher and 30 percent of the tablespoon in the pre-wash section of the dishwasher.

(I forgot to include some ingredients so I just photoshopped them in lol)

The borax and the washing soda were found in the laundry supplies section of Walmart, the lemi shine was found in the dish soap section of Walmart and the kosher salt was found in the spices section of Walmart. All of these ingredients cost about $10.00 and there is enough to make at least 4 (maybe 5) batches of dishwasher detergent (with the exception of the lemi shine which was all used in this first batch because of the size I bought).  I predict this one batch has enough detergent to last 70+ loads, but I haven't measured it out.

Another fun tip is to put a small container (about 1/4 of a cup) of white vinegar on the top rack of the dishwasher while it's running, this works as a great (CHEAP) rinse aid!

Let me know if this works for you! Or if you have any other great money saving tips when it comes to cleaning supplies!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Snail Mail and Sleep Aids

We got our first wedding RSVP today! From D's grandparents! They have the cutest grandparent names: Hubert and Mildred. It makes me smile every time I think about it.  I think that when I get old and have grandchildren I'm going to change my name to Mildred. hmmm we'll see! Anyway back to the RSVP, I was so excited when I saw it on the table after I walked in from work.  D was excited too, it was open.  I guess he decided since it had his name on it too he could. Which is fine, I'm glad that he was excited to see who it was from and what the answer was.  I don't really like it when he opens mail that only has my name on it, even if it's a bill that we are splitting.  When I was growing up my mom opened pretty much everything, even if it didn't have her name on it, maybe this is a product of that environment? I hope we get more RSVPs soon, this is so fun and exciting! I love getting snail mail, especially since most of our letters are for previous tenants. Some guy named Karl and another lady named Lashonda get mail all the time. I'm not quite sure what to do with it, can I write "RETURN TO SENDER" or "CHANGE OF ADDRESS" on them and then put them back in the mailbox? I should look into that, I would want my mail sent to me if I moved.  On another note, I tried Nyquil's new sleep-aid product last night.  Even though I have sleeping issues I only took this because I had to be to work at 6am and I needed my sleep.  I knew if I didn't take something I wouldn't have gone to bed until it was way too late.  This stuff is really good and worked so well! It didn't make me feel groggy this morning when I woke up, and it didn't make me have crazy dreams. Although I'm not sure if I could accurately critique that part since weird dreams are a part of my sleeping-issues anyway, it's "normal" to me.  But I took it and then turned on an episode of Modern Family just to have some sound for my mind to concentrate on.  I started to drift away and it was a fairly quick process that felt natural! Next thing I knew my alarm was going off and it was time to get up (at 4:45am) and I didn't even feel like throwing my phone out the window like I usually do! So I would definitely take this stuff again if I ever had to go to sleep at a certain time that was off my normal pattern again (or next Wednesday when I have to do this all over again for inventory day).  It was 10 dollars for a large bottle and they also make tablets.  The price wasn't ideal but maybe I can find a coupon if I ever need to buy it again.  The flavor was "warming berry" and as far as liquid medicine goes it didn't taste too awful, so I don't mind taking this kind instead of the tablets.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Good Obsessions

Acai, passionfruit and melon green tea by Lipton.  This is my new obsession. That, and dehydrated banana chips.  The soon-to-be-mother-in-law let me borrow her dehydrator, and while this thing looks like it's older than I am, it works amazingly! Just take a look at these beautiful, healthy, homemade banana chips:

So so much better than anything you could buy in the store.  They are crispy and sweet and best of all not fried (which I just learned the ones you buy in the "health food" section are! No, really it's true!!)  I cut up almost 3 pounds of bananas (I got them on sale from Aldi for .20 cents a lb!! major steal!!) The chips were about 1/4 inch, some smaller because I'm inconsistent, and they all fit in the 5 rack dehydrator.  Since this thing doesn't have a setting, I had to leave it on until they were crisp enough for me.  Which was a long time. They spent about 9 hours in the dehydrator, then I turned it off for the night to let them cool.  When I woke up the next morning they were still not as crisp as I liked so i flipped them all over and turned the machine on for another 3 hours.  By this point they were the perfect consistency and so sweet!  I didn't soak the pre-dried fruit in any kind of preserve like lemon juice because honestly I don't care about the color and it's extra stuff that I really don't want added to my chips.  In the end I liked the color, they look "caramel-ish".  These things are so good, and 1/3 of a cup is the perfect snack.  Since bananas are a high calorie fruit you really gotta watch yourself eating these but the way I see it, a bowl of these is a whole lot better for you than a bowl of potato chips or popcorn!