As part of the Black-Belt Tightwad series, we’re going to go over ways you can eliminate exposing yourself to toxins while saving some money, sometimes big money, in the process. Saving money is great, yes, but the toxin end of the equation is far more important. Avoiding things your liver has to filter (or worse) keeps your body in better shape.
As a bonus, you have more money in your wallet so you can spend more on the things that really do matter- pastured meats and fats, organic veggies, a better lifestyle, organic clothing and other things that better your quality of life even more. I often find that middle class and upper middle class women don’t want to DIY because they feel being able to buy certain brands of these items are a status symbol. Personally, I’d rather save the money while having less nasties for my body to filter AND have more money to spend on really nice things. 🙂 Each of these items in this series will save you $30 or more a year; some will save more than $200 a year.
So every Monday for the rest of the year, I’ll be sharing my own DIY recipes with you for cleaning, personal care, home care, make-up, food recipes, spice mixes and more that will save you money while reducing your toxin exposure. Saving money is just the fringe benefit, however, some of these items can save you significantly. We’ll keep the tally.
Homemade Rinse Aid
For where we live, the need to use a dishwasher rinse aid is a fact of life. Due to having hard water, if we don’t use a rinse aid, we have a nasty film on our dishes that looks quite unappetizing. After a while, that film builds up and the dishwasher quits working well. If you let it go, the dishwasher will quit cleaning entirely.
The thing that bothered me most is that I couldn’t find exact information about what is contained in a rinse aid in the form of an ingredient list, so I could evaluate if it was something I would want my family to use or not. The one website I did find that had a link to their ingredients and MSDS sheet was very difficult to find and it was a broken link, so you couldn’t see the information. Yeah, no, no thanks. If I can’t know what’s in it, I don’t want my kids eating off of plates cleaned in it.
So instead, I use straight, white vinegar in the rinse aid compartment of my dishwasher. It cuts the soap film without causing problems. I’ve used it successfully for several years with no issues. I’m not concerned about my kids consuming vinegar.
There are two caveats. First, some people online have reported that it will not work for very hard water. Secondly, some people have reported that plastic dishes with printing on the outside have the printing wear off. We don’t use plastic in our kitchen, so that isn’t an issue for us. There are some reports of the vinegar damaging dishes, but those reports I found were anonymous, and because stronger acids are reported to be the main ingredients in rinse aid, I have problems believing that a weaker acid would cause those types of problems with china.
Cost of 1 year of Commercial Rinse Aid (730 loads a year): $47.94
Cost of 2 gallons of white vinegar: $3.10
Total savings for one year when running two loads per day: $44.84