Sunday, August 5, 2007

Frugal Thoughts About Dish Soap

Do you buy generic or thicker name brand dish detergent? Which really is cheaper? It's a serious quandary for a frugal soul!

I decided to sacrifice a few dollars and get one two-dollar bottle of name brand and one one-dollar bottle of generic dish soap to experiment with. My conclusions may not be absolutely right, because part of it depends on how hard your water is, how greasy your dishes are, how fast you wash them and hot the water is.

Washing dishes quickly in the hottest water you can stand will complement the qualities of any dish soap, but if you have very hard water, you're going to use more - there's no way out of it. Unless you soften the water with a little baking soda. A half teaspoon per dish pan or sink should be enough.

Rule of thumb: If the generic is less than half the price of brand name thicker dish soap, the generic is cheaper, even though it will take twice as much to do the job. If the generic costs more than half the price of brand name, the brand name is cheaper. If the generic is exactly half the cost of the brand name, take your pick; they'll both cost the same in the long run.

That's IF you discipline yourself to use half as much of the thicker liquid. A simple way to do this is to pour half of it into another container, then mix each half with the same volume of water - in effect, creating your own, cheap, generic version.

So... that was my frugal piddling around for the weekend. How'd yours go?


  1. I have very sensitive skin and have NEVER found a dish soap I can use without gloves to protect my hands, and I NEVER remember to use them! However, I accidentally found that All Free Clear will do a great job on dishes - plus many other things like floors, walls, you name it. I get about 100 ounces for $3.33 on sale - I think that's a GREAT deal! Danielle

  2. Soap is soap is soap... as long as it doesn't have any harmful chemical in it, there's no reason to not use it for anything you like! Sounds like a good deal to me. :)