Frugal Dish Washing

On this Frugal Friday, I’d like to share how I changed a hit-or-miss operation into a huge HIT!

I have always had a problem with things coming out of my dishwasher looking streaked, spotted and sometimes not even completely clean. And that’s after scrubbing each and every piece before I placed it in the dishwasher! Someone I know—maybe my forever friend Donna?—referred to her dishwasher awhile back as a “dish wetter.” Oh, how true that was for me! And using a rinse agent didn’t help at all. I know, because I tried lots of them.

Until … about a month ago, I decided to pour some white vinegar (approximately 1/2 cup)  into the bottom of the dishwasher before starting it up. I still use dishwasher detergent, but the addition of the white vinegar seems to enhance the cleaning effectiveness of the detergent. AND I end up with a little something extra: a very clean dishwasher!

If you’re worried that you’ll be able to detect a vinegar odor on your dishes and glasses, don’t give it another thought. It just isn’t an issue. What you should find when you unload your dishwasher is squeaky clean everything!

These days I don’t scrub anything. If something crusty is on the plate, I do rinse it a bit before loading the dishwasher. Also, I have a tendency to overload my dishwasher, so before I thought of the vinegar method, I tried running lighter loads. That didn’t help at all. And white vinegar is a super buy, especially if you purchase the gallon size like I do.

Happy dish washing!



Here’s the result of mixing my love of crocheting with my love of pink things. Sweet, huh? I’ve decided to call them “eco-cloths” because they save $$$ and don’t clutter up the landfill like paper towels.

These are the newest dishcloths I made last week but I have probably made 3 dozen in various sizes and shapes over the last few years. I use these cloths for everything from washing the counters and sink to mopping up spills or using as a hot mat/trivet.

As a result I probably purchase maybe two—yes, you read it correctly, 2—rolls of paper towels per year. I just don’t see the need to waste all those paper towels when I can easily wipe up spills with my homemade eco-cloths. Exceptions to this are nasty, goopy spills such as molasses or syrup. Then I wipe up as much as I can with paper towels and finish up with a wet cloth and spray cleaner. As for doggy accidents, we just won’t go there.

I know not everyone can crochet or knit but you could easily re-purpose old towels for cleaning tasks by cutting them up and storing them under the kitchen and bathroom sinks. As for my old towels, I’ve given them over to Rick. He uses them in his man-cave garage for automotive and mechanical tasks.

Oh! Another huge advantage of these eco-cloths is the nubby texture, which is perfect for scrubbing areas like refrigerator door handles or around light switches. So, good-bye magic cleaning “erasers”!