Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Dishwasher Repaired.... hopefully (updated)

As it turns out, Fridgidaire makes some of the noisiest dishwashers a person can buy. Ours was making the most awful noise (and lights were blinking) so the repair guy came by and installed some new motor. Hopefully this fixes the problem (though one of my friends has already had 3 different machines because they couldn't repair hers properly). While he was here, he informed me that the dish-washing liquid we were using is not recommended. He told us we needed to use a powder, which makes sense. He said that the liquids are actually gels. Companies must add extra ingredients to the soap to make it a gel. This means that in a dishwasher, it doesn't work as efficiently if it has to break down all the extra ingredients as well as the soap.

Because powder detergent is recommended, that got me thinking. I could make my own dishwashing detergent. This would save me money and I could use all natural ingredients that are safe for my family as well as the environment! Why didn't I think of this earlier!? Most recipes I found use borax. While borax is all natural, it is considered toxic. When using borax in the dishwasher, you must make sure that your machine goes through the entire cycle (and no soap residue is left on your dishes). I think this goes for any dishwasher detergent.  And with any cleaner, make sure you store it where kiddos and pets can't get into it. Also, (as the repair guy told me) you must make sure that the water temperature on the heater is no lower than 120 degrees. A bit higher is even better, unless you live in a home with small children.

Through searching for recipes, I decided to develop my own recipe.

1 tbs. baking soda
1 tbs. borax
1-2 drops of essential oil (optional)

Add these all to the dishwasher dispenser. Essential oil is added more for the smell than anything. American seem to be obsessed with the idea that something has to smell good to be clean. Some oils also have antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, which is always a good thing when it comes to cleaning.

For the rinse aid, pour distilled white vinegar into the rinse aid dispenser.

Happy washing!

*An update:
I cannot get this to work right. We have extremely hard water and every time I wash with this, I end up with really cloudy dishes. Anyone have a solution/suggestion?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Elections... ugh...

Can I just say how I am sooo glad that the elections are over? I hate how politics just seem to drive a wedge between people, as opposed to bringing them together (unless, of course, you believe the same things, then I guess it can be uniting). Each is entitled to a unique opinion, but I firmly believe that we should not belittle someone simply because they don't believe the same things we do. Here is where it can get a little crazy though.

I believe that Jesus is our savior and I try love God and love others. I think this is essential for those who follow Christ. But why is it that when politics are brought up and there is always some bill that is being pushed that the "Christian community" is against, that those trying to live their lives for Jesus seem to forget how to love others and NOT be the ones passing judgement? I believe there is a loving way to dialogue with others and share beliefs. However, I do not believe that method is often used when it comes to politics and so many just end up feeling hurt or angry. Pressuring another person will never help them to see your point of view or help them develop a desire to understand where you are coming from. This isn't how God wants us to share His word, or His love.

So how do we change someones opinion? Do we need to change other's opinions? It seems that I can see both sides of the argument and don't really have answers to these questions. Does this make me fickle? I'd like to think I am just keeping an open mind.