How to make your own dishwasher tablets ... you've got to be kidding!

8 November 2013

I love my sister.  She's older, wiser ... most of the time ... and it's seems of late becoming wonderfully eccentric.  As I leave from a visit to her home she hands me a gift ... home made dishwasher tablets.  "Try them.  I'll give you the recipe, if you like."

Now that we're both retired and have, supposedly, time on our hands, we get to dabble in all things obscure.  Home made dishwasher tablets was not what I expected her to be making in her non-working time. But, it seems she is.

Carefully encased in a zip-lock bag were around eight strangely ice-cube looking dish washer tablets ... my gift.
"Just drop them in the bottom of the dishwasher."
"What about Rinse Aid?" I ask.
"Nope, you don't need it."
"What, not even vinegar or anything?"
"You could use vinegar if you like, but you won't need it."

So, I mean, I have to give them a go.  She is my older-wiser-sister after all. And they worked.  They worked, in fact, VERY well.  Gleaming dishes and sparkling glasses emerged from my dishwasher, much to my surprise.  No vinegar rinse aid, no nothing.  I think she's onto something here.  I have to give this a go myself.

So, off I go to Woolieworths to get the supplies.  I have to venture to my most favourite store, Bunnings for the Borax and I'm set.  But I delay.  This is insane!  Will making my own dishwasher tablets mean I have to grow dreadies, wear weird leather sandals and velvet harem pants??

My ingredients wait patiently for me to make my move.

My sister's recipe.

Then, I decide it's now or never.  I don my apron, of course, and rubber gloves (I think I need to be careful with Borax.) and begin the concoction.  I do EXACTLY as the recipe says, one cup at a time.

It does fizz a little, but not to a scary amount.  And, finally, they are ready to sun bake.

After 24 hours, I try to get them out of the ice-cube trays. (MLP is shocked ... thinks the ice-cube trays will corrode ... but they don't.  He's also concerned about the flavour of the ice for his next rum and coke!!)  I find I have to bash the back of the tray with a sturdy knife handle and my 32 little tablets emerge onto the kitchen bench.

They didn't cost much to make.  Took about 20 minutes or less to do.  I think they're green friendly tablets.  My sister makes three times the recipe which, she says, gives her three months' supply.

So, how are the home made dishwasher tablets faring after many weeks' use?

Well ... the first few uses were fine, really good, in fact, ... but ... then ... the tea and coffee stains on my cups started to appear and my glasses started to gradually go cloudy.  Mmmmm ...

I went immediately to Mr Google, knower-of-all, and asked questions.  Yes, it appeared some other people were having the same problems as I was, while others were deliriously happy with their homie-dishie tablets.  There seemed to be a general consensus that hardness of water determines the efficacy of the tablets.  So, what to do???

I spoke with my older-and-wiser sister and her daughter, mummy Marigold, both of whom are homie-dishie tablet converts and gurus and, yes, they too had similar problems. So, would I go through this process again?

No, I don't think so.  I like my cups to be gleaming white and my glasses to sparkle.  So, I've cancelled the hairdressing appointment for dreadies; I wasn't sure they'd suit me anyway.  I'm sticking with my purple Birkenstocksthe weird leather sandals will have to wait for another time, another life maybe.  Harem pants, surprisingly, seem to be trendy again, but they haven't found a spot in my wardrobe yet.  MLP can cease worrying that his rum and coke will froth and bubble.

My advice ... do what I do.  Go to your local Sam's Warehouse and buy your Finish dishwasher tablets there.  They're super cheap and in big boxes.

My sister is still becoming wonderfully eccentric.  Sometimes, even often, she is wiser.  But, as I incessantly remind her, she's always going to be older.

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