Monday, December 3, 2007

The Price of Baking Soda

CNN had an interesting report this morning: Baking soda could help save planet, which has me wondering if the price of baking soda will go down in the future! (I can dream, can't I?)

Coupled with another article I read at Dollar Stretcher this morning: Homemade Dishwasher Detergent wherein someone said they added baking soda to their $2 a box Dollar General dishwasher powder, I couldn't help but wonder if a little number crunching was in order.

Baking soda is a great help in doing many things - too many to list here - and it seems inexpensive, but it does cost money. I don't know how big the large box of dishwasher detergent is, but if she uses it in equal portions with baking soda, she may be paying more than if she wasn't using baking soda at all, which is still around 50 - 60 cents a pound. To put that in different terms, that's about a cup full. How much does a cup of cheap dishwasher detergent cost?

You'll have to help me out here. I don't own a dishwasher, so I don't pay attention to those things. How many cups are there in a normal size box of dishwasher detergent and how much does it cost?

Hopefully, we'll see the price of baking soda drop in the future so that using it in the dishwasher really will be frugal. It's frugal enough for other things, like brushing your teeth or absorbing odors, but it pays to check the actual cost.

Baking soda does have some very good properties. It won't hurt plumbing or you or your kids or pets and it's versatile, doing everything from softening water to removing black marks from the floor and a lot in between. Just don't confuse convenience and safety with frugality. '

Don't get me wrong. I use baking soda all the time and wouldn't be without it. If we're going to count pennies, though, let's do it with our eyes open.


  1. I make this mistake a lot. Thinking something is so cheap it doesn't matter how much I use. But, of course it does:)

  2. Yep, money is money, no matter what we spend it on! :)

  3. I haven't done the math on this, but the cheap detergent doesn't work very well. I took the comparison to be between the cheap detergent coupled with the soda and the more expensive detergent. That way, you can buy the cheap stuff and soda for less and it may actually work.

  4. Thank you! As I said, I don't know much about dishwasher detergent, having never used it. :)