Zero Waste Fails – Homemade Dishwasher Tablets!


Don’t all the blogs you read about Zero Waste preach about everything that works for them. I’m getting a little sick of it actually, it’s like the edited version of many people’s lives that are portrayed on Facebook. It’s simply not real!

So, I’ve been trying to find a Zero Waste alternative to individually, plastic wrapped dishwasher tablets for some time now. It’s been one massive fail. I’ve tried recipes for liquids, powders and tablets. None of them was successful, not successful enough to switch to anyway. They contained in varying proportions; soda crystals, bicarbonate of soda, borax substitute, essential oils, castile soap and citric acid.

The tablets fell apart as soon as I removed them from the ice cube moulds. Alongside that, they were only halfway effective – leaving nasty, gritty residue on my cups, making my stainless steel cutlery marked and rusty. In addition they were totally useless on tea and coffee stains – meaning that I had to wash many items again by hand or soak them in  a special solution to remove the stains.

The dishwasher powder was the same, only this added a terrible white residue to everything which I had to scour off with a metal scourer. The liquid was no better, with horrible water residue marks on everything. The whole point of having a dishwasher is to remove that heavy burden of washing up, multiple times per day. Because we cook most meals from scratch, we normally have a large amount of dishes and pans to clean.

Whilst I’d love to be writing about my fantastic homemade dishwasher tablet recipe – it just didn’t happen. I don’t know if it’s because we live in a hard water area, or something else. I ended up making a trip to the supermarket just for dishwasher tablets because I couldn’t bear the white residue on everything any longer and I was worried I was going to ruin my expensive cutlery permanently. On top of having to wash everything again, it simply wasn’t worth it.

What are your Zero Waste fails? Do you have a successful dishwasher tablet recipe you can share?

Switching to more sustainable alternatives

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I’m always looking to make sustainable switches now I’ve learned about going Zero Waste. Here are a couple of examples. I’ve used up the last of the green nylon scourers I always used to purchase without thinking. Instead, I’ve bought these cloths from E-Cloth. The large grey one is a e-cloth – Non-Scratch Scouring Cloth and the smaller one is a e-cloth – Washing Up Pad. I will see which works best for us and then probably purchase a couple more, as I only do hot washes once a fortnight.

On the other side, I am using up the last of my disposable feminine care products. Since I can’t use 1 Pack of Mooncup Menstrual Cup Size B 1 Pieces or the like for health-related reasons, I’ve decided to put my newly learnt sewing machine skills to the test. These are only my 3rd project and I found sewing round corners took some getting used to. I sewed my first one inside out (bottom right of picture) but since it won’t affect the function- I didn’t bother to unpick it.

I found lots of links by searching the topic ‘pantyliners pattern’ on Pinterest. I happened across this blog from there: I read through a few other sites, but this was one I felt I could attempt with my basic sewing skills and that I also felt met my needs. You will see from Pinterest that there are loads of ideas out there. I just downloaded the pattern and drew round it with a Sharpie. I was lucky enough to be given loads of winceyette off-cuts by my Mum who was downsizing her lifetime hoard of material. So these all hold memories of childhood PJs and nighties for me! Weird huh?! I bought metal poppers from my nearest haberdashers and Bob’s your Uncle! I am very pleased with the result- it’s satisfying to know I made these and there won’t be anymore paper/ plastic ones going to landfill everyday.

Next stop is to make proper sanitary towels, but I will need to buy some additional material for that. I will keep you posted with some more of my switches soon. In the mean-time, I’m heading back to my sewing machine! Chow for now.