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Saving Money on Dishwasher Detergent

Category Cleaning
Dishwasher detergent can be expensive and sometimes ineffective. Finding ways to save on dishwasher detergent should not impact how well the dishes are cleaned. This is a guide about saving money on dishwasher detergent.
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By 9 found this helpful
July 31, 2009

Make your dishwasher tabs go twice as far! Buy only the dishwasher detergent in tablet form so it can be broken in half. Use just one half for each load unless running a very soiled load. Dishes get just as clean and the box lasts twice as long! Also, there is a $2.25 coupon for these tabs on a regular basis that often coincides with a grocery store special.

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Source: My frugal self - just tried it a few times and was convinced!

By Nan from Charlotte

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January 22, 2010

Do not fill the two compartments full with dish washer soap. The heat and the movement of the water will clean the dishes before the soap is released. So only fill the first compartment half full.

By Laurie R. from Elm Creek, Nebraska

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By 4 found this helpful
September 23, 2011

A few weeks ago I bought some powdered dishwashing detergent at a discount/damage store that had been wet. I took this home and put it in a plastic bag and broke the lumps up with a hammer. It was a 7.5 lb box of Cascade and I bought it for a $1.00. It works great. Never let a deal pass you by.

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By Cindy from Vaughan, MS

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By 2 found this helpful
July 15, 2017

I saw dishwasher pods for the first time at Dollar Tree. The pods were 10 in a package for $1, which makes them 10 cents a pod. They work just as well as the Cascade Platinum, which I can get for the lowest price of $3.99, which happens if they are on sale and I have a coupon. They come 11 to a package, or 36 cents each. The savings is considerable if I use the Ultra Shine pods from Dollar Tree.

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November 19, 20072 found this helpful

To keep your dishwasher in good working condition, stay away from gel type detergent. The repairman explained to me that it can cause the floater to get clogged and then the water to the washer cuts off. All he did was fiddle with the floater, (usually in a corner of the machine. In my washer, it was in the same corner as the detergent cups. Eventually, I could hear a little click when the floater was moved up and down. So, if your dishwasher fails to fill up, try this little maneuver - it could save you a repair bill. Bottom line - use powdered detergent!

By Cindyloo from Westchester, NY

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By 1 found this helpful
February 6, 2008

I had my dish washer repaired and I got a tip from repairman. If you are in an area like Memphis, which has soft water, you need use only a fraction of the amount of dish washer detergent recommended. Using more only clogs up the machine. In a hard water area, use amount recommended by manufacturer. Save some money and make your dishwasher last longer.

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By Wolf from Memphis

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October 21, 20050 found this helpful

Here's a great handy hint: When I am finished with my dishwashing detergent, I turn it upside down on one of the prongs in the dishwasher and there is plenty of detergent in the bottle to do one more load of dishes...

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By 0 found this helpful
November 24, 2011

I am looking for a good deal on dishwasher detergent.

By kaydencenaidensmom

Answers

November 25, 20110 found this helpful

I seem to save money buying the powdered versions than the liquid. Especially with laundry detergents also.

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November 26, 20110 found this helpful

Good Housekeeping magazine recently had a review of dish washer detergents. They determined that WalMart's Great Value brand of powdered dish washer detergent works the best! Plus, it was the cheapest! Not sure of the price, as that varies from area to area, but that is what I will be buying from now on!

I do add about a quarter cup of baking soda about once a month, to help keep the 'dishwasher smell' down. Hope you find something you like!

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December 17, 20110 found this helpful

I've found that if you don't have a good quality dishwasher to begin with, no matter what brand/type of detergent you use dishes will not come clean. A good dishwasher has two of the things spinning out water; one at the top and one at the bottom. My rental has only one and I've given up on using it. So I always wash by hand.

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December 26, 20110 found this helpful

I buy a 26 oz. box of (dry) Sun dishwasher detergent for $1.00 at Dollar Tree...AND it's made in the USA!

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January 12, 20120 found this helpful

I also just started using the the Sun Dishwasher Detergent @ Dollar Tree, and it is better than I expected it to be. With any brand I use I will often add a splash of vinegar inside the dishwasher bottom and the glasses are never cloudy.

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January 28, 20120 found this helpful

Coincidentally, I was just researching this on google yesterday. There are many recipes, most consisting of the same ingredients, with straight vinegar for the rinse reservoir. However, one recipe also listed citric acid, which is supposed to prevent the baking soda ingredient from caking and streaking. I am listing that recipe here:
1 cup borax
1 cup washing soda
1/2 cup citric acid*
1/2 cup kosher salt**

*This is the most expensive ingredient purchased in bulk, but comes out to $1.35 per batch. Apparently, brewery supply stores sell this. Look online.

**Some commentators questioned the kosher salt and tried this recipe without the salt.

Also: I re-read my DW instruction manual, and if I use the short cycle, I am only supposed to use the regular dispenser cup (not the prewash cup) and only fill it 1/2-way if my water is soft, full if my water is hard (our water is soft), so that is a savings. I also saw a GE Youtube video on loading a Dishwasher and actually learned a thing or two, surprisingly! For the most effective washes.

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By 0 found this helpful
February 6, 2012

Since they have taken out the good stuff in dishwasher detergent, mine just does not work. I had been using Sam's Club brand, which was a good price. Does anyone use one that's cheap and actually works? I have been told the Finish Quantumatic works, but it's so expensive.

By N.

Answers

February 7, 20120 found this helpful

I just use the dollar store off name brand. It works well and comes in a big bottle for a dollar.

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February 7, 20120 found this helpful

I buy a 26 oz. box of (dry) Sun dishwasher detergent for $1.00 at Dollar Tree. It works well, and it's made in the USA!

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February 8, 20120 found this helpful

I use the store-brand bottle of "palmolive" green stuff from the Dollar General for $1. Works really good & is the only kind that is kind to my hands.

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February 11, 20120 found this helpful

I use the family dollar brand and put vinegar in the spot for the rinse agent and it seems to work quite well.

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By 0 found this helpful
August 5, 2010

I just heard that using Tang in your dishwasher will keep your dishes crystal clear and from spotting. Does anyone know if this is true?

By Rhonda from Clyde, TX

Answers

August 10, 20100 found this helpful

Using Your Dishwasher? TANG and More (from everydaysimplicity.blogspot.com)

Okay, using a dishwasher may not be the simplest of things. You're using electricity and water that washing by hand avoids.

However, simplicity is a continuum -- we are all on different points on the line. And, for those still using their dishwasher, here are some handy hints:

1. Don't pre-rinse the dishes with a running tap. Take a bowl; fill it with hot, soapy water; use a sponge and wipe the dishes using this water. Tell yourself you're being European if this helps. Studies show that running a tap to pre-rinse the dishes uses 25 gallons per meal. Appliance manufacturers suggest that you just scrape and load: as we all know, this doesn't work well - which is why pre-rinsing continues.

2. If the dishes come out spotted, or worse yet, with a soap film - try Tang. There are those vinegar stories out there, but a half-container of Tang run thru a full cycle in an empty dishwasher gives a better result. (It's the citric acid in the Tang that helps to clean the dishwasher itself.) For a really good cleaning, after the Tang run, try a run of vinegar and baking-soda combo -- the dishwasher will run as good as new.

3. Run the hot water in the tap till it's hot, before you turn on the dishwasher. Hot water is essential for a good dishwasher result. Hey, and use the water you ran for something: make tea, water a plant, refill the dog bowl.

4. Always run the dishwasher when the load is full.

5. Don't use the dishwasher's "dry" function. Once the rinse is done, let the machine's work be done. Crack the door open, and air dry.

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August 11, 20100 found this helpful

Haven't tried Tang, but it could possibly work! I use a product called LemiShine which is basically a citric acid based product. It works great! I wonder if it would be cheaper to use Tang or powdered Lemonade? I guess I'll have to try it out tonight. :-)

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