So. It’s not Monday. For two weeks in a row.
Maybe it’s better if I promise a simplicity post as my first of the week, whatever day it happens to be, rather than on Mondays. You guys copacetic with that?? Cool.
One aspect of simplicity that I really love is the fact that it’s drastically reduced the amount of stress in my life. Things are much calmer and more relaxed around here, partly due to the fact that through our exploration of simplicity (the becoming self-reliant part), we’ve started making our own detergents in addition to foods we used to buy processed. It’s very freeing knowing that when I run out of laundry soap or dishwasher detergent, I’m only minutes away from a huge batch that will last me a really long time. Especially in the case of the laundry soap. A single batch of that makes 5 gallons, which lasts our family about 4 months, and costs less than $5. You can’t get commercial detergent for that price, and the homemade stuff works just as well.
Similar story with dishwasher detergent. Using products I always have on hand anyway, I can make a nice big batch of it that will last 2-3 weeks (and we run the dishwasher a lot – at least once a day, sometimes twice). I love never having to worry about a) scrubbing my dishes with chemicals, and b) running out of dishwasher detergent and not being able to get more quickly enough. By making my own, it’s always a no-stress situation. And the method couldn’t be simpler.
Homemade Dishwasher Detergent
1 box baking soda (2 cups)
2 cups borax
1 cup salt
There are two ways to make this. The first way is to mix your dry ingredients, then stir in about 4 tablespoons of lemon juice. The chemical reaction will cause quite a fizz, so make sure you’re working in a big bowl. When all the ingredients are well combined, divvy the mixture up into an old ice cube tray and leave it somewhere to dry for about 24 hours. Pop the cubes out and use them like you would the dishwasher tabs you buy from the grocery store. If they don’t fit in your detergent cup, just put one on the bottom of your dishwasher with each load.
The second option, and the one I use, is to combine the dry ingredients in a bowl with an airtight lid. When you run the dishwasher, put a small scoop (1-2 tablespoons) of the dry stuff into your detergent cup, add a few drops of lemon juice (you’ll still get that fizzing action), close your trap door, and run as usual. You go through more lemon juice this way, but I like it better anyway, because you don’t have to wait for the cubes to harden and the powder is easier to store than the cubes.