Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Welcome to the game

Updated 3/8
...Or, a victory, a failure, and a P.S.

Homemade cleaner month continues.  I tell you what, people, the ups and downs I've had are unbelievable.  And pathetic.  I mean, we're talking about cleaners here, not world peace.

First, the victory: I found this recipe for bath, sink and tile cleaner online.  It is AWESOME.  (I'd previously been using a baking soda/vinegar combo, which worked fine, but this works much better.  Plus it's sudsy, so I can see where I've cleaned, which, when you're OCD, is a plus.)  I have it stored in a quart jar right now because I'm out of squirt bottles, but someday, this cleaner will have a bottle all its own. In the meantime, I just pour a little in the sink and swish it around.  It doesn't take much.  One little note--it separates, so give it a good shake before using.

UPDATE: I tried to put my pre-made mixture into a squirt bottle today.  It didn't work--the baking soda is all puffed up from the water/castile soap/something or other and it refused to go through the funnel I'd hilariously thought would be up for the transferring job.  So I've decided it is going to live in my quart jar and I'm going to like it.  It IS a great cleaner, so I figure I can bend on this.

2/3 cup baking soda
1/2 cup castile soap
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1/2 cup water
A few drops of tea tree oil

It's good I had this little victory, truth be told, because my dishwasher continues to offend.  I think I've gone from anger to... wait, what's the next step again?  More anger?  That sounds about right.

The failure: When I wrote on Monday, I had come to the conclusion that I needed to rinse my dishes well before putting them in the dishwasher.  I did, threw in my homemade soap, and!  Success!  Well, mostly success.  For some reason my bowls and glasses just want to revel in residue powder/foodstuffs.  Just because you're all curvy and fancy doesn't mean you don't have to behave, bowls and glasses!  Why aren't you more like the dinner plates?

So, emboldened by the best load of dishes I'd had in a while, I decided to run the dishwasher with my homemade soap sans initial rinse in the sink.  And do you know what happened?  Right, I got to run the entire load again.  Even the plates rebelled.

Fine.  The next load I cut down on the soap, thinking maybe that would cut down on the residue, and rinsed everything off.

So you can imagine the fit I threw, alone in my kitchen, when the bowls and glasses STILL were all residued-up.  (It's possible I just made up a new phrase.  My mommy will be ever so proud.)

Fine, fine, fine.  BE LIKE THAT.  I filled my sink with a bit o' water and rinsed those bowls and glasses off my dang self.  I'm pretty sure another run in the dishwasher would just bring more of the same, so why bother?  Plus I had a few things to wash by hand anyway.  What's an extra ten minutes of my life?

(I'm trying to be wise and mature on purpose.  Anyone fooled?)

So we'll see what the next load brings.  I'm thinking rinse in the sink, less detergent, a few drops of castile soap.  Well, what could happen?  Aside from a complete mental breakdown, I mean.

UPDATE: People!  I actually got a CLEAN LOAD OF DISHES!  (Heck yeah, I'm yelling.  THAT is how excited I am.)  True, I rinsed off everything before loading the dishwasher.  And I added a wee bit o' castile soap.  And somewhere in there I must have flipped open the rinse agent dispenser, so perhaps we just had a motherlode o' vinegar pouring out.  Who knows.  The point is, I had only one bowl--one!--that didn't rinse completely off out of an entire load of dishes.  I am dancing as we speak.  I am also hoping we can hit two in a row.

A P.S.: I forgot to mention that I almost cut my finger clean off* on Sunday while attempting to make a grilled cheese sandwich.  You know when you realize you've done something very, very bad before the pain and blood kick in?  That was me.  Abby ran to get me a band-aid, and I'm sort of surprised she even found one because Johanna tends to need band-aids all the time, for scratches or just for style.  Perhaps this is another waste issue we need to address... when I've healed.

*Fine, not clean off.  Not even deep enough for stitches.  Just deep enough to bleed like crazy and hurt.  Are you happy now?

Breaking Benjamin, Hopeless.  Oh, Ben.  You might need a hug more than I do.


portershouse said...

I had the same problem with my dishwasher! I tried "cleaning" the dishwasher using instructions I found on Pinterest. No luck. I finally gave in and bought a different detergent (Finish gel packs). I hate to say it, but my dishes have never been cleaner. I have not found a homemade recipe or other detergent that gets them as clean. Yes, it's more expensive as detergents go, but when you don't have to clean them twice, I'm sure that makes up for it! Plus, they come in a cardboard (recyclable!) box!

I'm glad someone else is trying different homemade cleaner recipes too! I can't wait to try some of yours. I buy vinegar and baking soda by the big boxes, and I started doing my own laundry detergent too! Less chemicals = happier Sheryl! Except when it comes to the dishwasher, apparently!

Trisha said...

Wow, my first comment from a stranger! Thanks for taking the time to write. And the time to read my ramble.

This whole dishwasher ordeal is pushing me to the brink. I keep thinking if I tweak it a bit it will work, but so far, all I've done is throw a lot of tantrums. What keeps me going is that I wasn't having much better luck with the Cascade powder I was buying anyway. There's just gotta be a way to make this work... except I tend to be optimistic about all the wrong things, so who knows?

On the upside, the other homemade cleaners I've made have worked really well. (Thank you, Internet!) There are so many different recipes out there that it's sort of fun sifting through them and seeing what works for us. Aside from the dishwasher extravaganza, I mean. I find myself cleaning more because it's just a much more pleasant experience. I agree, less chemicals makes a girl much happier. I love that my house smells fresh now instead of like a chemical dump. I also love that there is less product under my sinks.

Hey, what laundry detergent recipe do you use? That's next on my list. I found something on Pinterest, but am still researching to see what else is out there.

makingmoreroom said...

I hate to burst your bubble - did you figure out that we're not strangers? :)

I made the recipe from The White Silk Purse blog for my laundry detergent (can't figure out how to link it here, cause I'm a dork). Next time I make it, I'm going to add more water though, it's a bit thick for me.

Happy Thursday!

makingmoreroom said...

oh, that's funny, I just realized it took the other blog name this time! Hey, I'm just increasing your readership by the minute!

Trisha said...

Ooooh, right. Sheryl, Porter. I should have put two and two together. In my defense, I didn't know you read my blog. :) Also, I didn't know you blogged. I've added you to my reading list. (Do you have more than two? If so, comment using those user names. Cha-ching, baby! Readership is SKYROCKETING!)

I'll see if I can find the recipe on that site. I appreciate the tip. Oh, and hey, I actually got my homemade dishwashing detergent to work today--I about fell over from shock--but I don't know if it's because I added castile soap or because the rinse agent thing flew open and a ton of vinegar poured forth. We'll see if I can hit two in a row...