Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Stretching Out the Soap

File this one under a couple headings:  "Why didn't I think of this before?" and "Is this too obvious to post?" 

I finished reading a book about cutting down your grocery bill a couple weeks ago (book review to come soon) and among the many suggestions in the book was how to stretch out your dish soap by {gasp!} watering it down. Rocket science, I know.

According to one site I read, most dish soap is far too concentrated to begin with. In fact, cutting dish soap with water allows the soap to emulsify and spread out quicker on your dishes. This also makes rinsing easier -- no big (undetected) globs of soap that require extra rinsing.

I have a friend who says that we're twins except for the fact that she doesn't have kids and that she "uses normal dish detergent." Yes, I splurge for the eco-friendly stuff (though I do try to buy it on sale and sometimes even with a coupon). To me, it's worth an extra dollar or so. BUT, I would love to cut my costs, especially since I go through the stuff pretty quickly - I can use up a bottle of dish soap in about a week and a half. Sometimes, when I've been baking and cooking a lot, I can use it up faster than that.

The soap I use is pretty concentrated. With a few squirts, I can get my sinkful of dishes quite soapy. In fact, I often use more than I need. The dishwater is usually, to my son's delight, overly bubbly. So I decided to try watering it down. In the past, I've successfully used watered-down dish soap (as in, when the bottle is basically empty and I'm trying to get the last of the soap out).

Once my bottle of dish soap was empty, I grabbed the new bottle I'd just bought.  I filled the just-emptied bottle half-way with the new stuff, added some water, and -presto!- I have two bottles of dish soap instead of one.  You could also buy a new bottle for your watered-down soap -- my mom uses a tall olive oil dispenser for her soap, which looks nice next to her sink. 

Depending on how concentrated your dish soap of choice is, you'll have to determine how much you can water it down and still have it be effective.

So does it work? After a few weeks, I've hardly noticed a difference. Well, except that I've been buying dish soap less.


TamaleMaker said...

Hey that sounds great. But I have a better tip for you. Buy medium spray bottle (i got mine at the dollar store). Fill about half an inch with dish soap or a little more if you like more bubbles.... then fill the rest with water! One full spray bottle will usually last me a week and a half and I can refill it over and over and over again times 30! I sadly dont buy eco friendly detergent but I did buy a huge jug of dish soap at the dollar store and it hasnt even hit half empty yet! & ive been doing this for almost 3 months so yeah, that says something. ;) It works with any soap, give it a shot!

Heather said...

So you keep a spray bottle next to the sink and spray the dishes as you wash them? Or you spray the dish soap into the sinkful of water? Either way, it sounds like a pretty great idea to me!

Unknown said...

I join a cup of lemon juice and a cup of white vinegar in 0,5 l dish soap. Is very good and not cheap.

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