Washing the dishes - the continuing story

by - November 18, 2010

What is it they say about hindsight? I thought we'd be perfectly happy with our sink when we had it redone a couple of years ago. We had a flood in the kitchen, when the dishwasher sprung a leak, and the insurance company paid for the replacement of the floor and the cupboard bottoms. Taking the cupboards out meant they had to remove the bench tops and therefore we had new bench tops fitted as well. We took advantage of this and replaced the old sink. Unfortunately we replaced the sink and drain with just two sinks, and no drainage area. When we got rid of the dishwasher, we had nowhere on which to drain the dishes. I've tried the dish rack sitting on a draining board but it leaks everywhere. Now I have the rack sitting in a tray on top of a tea towel that I keep replacing. The situation need to change. We need a sink with a drainage area.

Who would think the simple act of washing dishes would be so complicated. First there was the hand versus machine washing that was resolved quickly. Once I started to think about it I realised I couldn't continue to pour all that caustic detergent out into the drains and waterways. Then the problem of what washing aid to replace it with. Instead of using a detergent I wanted to use soap, and I wanted it to be castile soap. I chose to go against detergents because they're made using a variety of chemicals like Sodium Laurel Sulphate and Sodium Laureth Sulphate. Even the Australian Earth detergent contains this chemical which is why I don't use it now. I find when I use anything that contains SLS, my skin is red and itchy.

This is what is working for me. I have worked my way through a few "biodegradable", "eco", "safe" detergents. I've discarded Earth because of the SLS and I'm now working my way through Eco Store's Dishwash Liquid and Ecologic's Lemon and Lime Dishwashing Liquid. I am happy with both of them but especially like and admire Ecologic's openess in revealing their ingredient list - it's mostly organic botanicals and organic olive oil and it's made in Australia. Eco Store's Dishwash Liquid lists what it does NOT have in it but apart from listing "plant based non-ionic and anionic surfactants, mineral hydroxide and natural citrus oil" I don't know what IS in it. And it's a New Zealand product which I think is fine for New Zealanders but is not for me. BTW, for anyone looking for an biodegradable and relatively safe dishwashing liquid for a machine, Ecologic's Lemon and Lime can be safely used in a dishwasher - one teaspoon per wash.

I no longer use this dish rank on a daily basis. A couple of readers have pointed out that it should be turned towards the sink for the water to drain off. I did try that but the water always dripped under the drainer and pooled. I turned it this way after all the water had drained away, then put the towel there. Now I use a larger rack that sits on a tray but it's not much better.

So I've decided to continue on with my homemade liquid soap and will have to make another batch soon before these two bottles run out. I will make a thicker version of the liquid soap and use it with a foam dispenser that I found in my cupboard. Originally it held organic hair mousse and what looks like clear liquid in the bottle, comes out as a foam. It's working really well, so thanks to those readers who suggested I try the foam dispenser. Here is my post, and a recipe, on liquid soap.

Liquid soap in the making - this is at the paste stage.

My other requirements for safe and hygienic washing up are hot water - as hot as I can stand it, a little dish mop so I can use the hottest water (I make sure I sanitise this every week and fluff it up after every use so it dries out), rinse water, cotton dishcloths, scrubbing brushes, and a stainless steel scrubber. Pre-soaking, even for a few minutes, makes washing the dishes much easier and rinsing milk glasses as soon as they're used is a great help. I've found that egg and milk are the hardest to remove if they're allow to sit and dry on a plate or cup. Rinsing or soaking helps with those problems.

I don't have neighbours who live as we do so I can't sit down with a cuppa and discuss this mundane but relevant subject with anyone but you. So what are you doing, what have you tried and what is working for you?

You May Also Like


  1. I didn't have room for my dishwasher when I moved to this house, and as there is only me for most of the week, and due to decluttering I don't have a full dishwasher-full of dishes, even if I used them all, I opted for hand washing, but I have to use rubber gloves or it affects the skin on my hands - perhaps a good time to think about making my own soap, even though it sounds a bit dangerous :-)

  2. Hello Just a quick question, why do you not put the drain side of the dish drainer so it will drain back into the sink.I see in your pic that it has a tea towel there if you turn it into the sink it should drain into it. Try putting something under the other side it will naturally drain into sink.I had that problem also.
    Maybe you have tried it and I am making no sense.

  3. Rhonda, how do you make your liquid soap?I would like to make some for our kitchen.

  4. I don't want to be insulting if you know this (said with a smile), but the dish drainer you are using is facing the wrong way. It is made so that the part where you have the tea towel in the last picture rests over the lip of your sink, so the water drains into the sink, not your counter top. So just turn it all a quarter turn and place it right next to the sink and you should not have any "leaking" problems. Hope this helps.

  5. Hello Rhonda
    Have you thought of doing this (as it looks like you wash and rinse your dishes)
    wash them then put the dishes in the rincing water and transfer to a bowl, when you have the bowl/rincing sink full of your dishes drain away the soapy water and put the dish dranaer thingy you have in the sink that once held the dirty soap water as I have no doubt it will have been wiped down by you then stack you dishes in the draner you have placed in the sink.
    hope thats undesrandable to you it kinda scans right we me ... but then Im a pom ands we have a tendency to think a lil sideways? lol
    hope you get me drift

  6. Dear Lady Dorthy and Buttons, I should have mentioned before, I did use the rack and drainer the correct way as you've pointed out but it still dripped water under the drainer.

    Kimmy and Jo, I've added the link to my liquid soap making post.

  7. My drain sits in the other sink. I fill the washing sink 1/4 to 1/3 with water, add soap and then give the dish a quick rinse into the soapy water and drain in the other sink. By the time I finish washing the dinner dishes the washing sink is full of water, but all the dishes have been rinsed in clear water and I have only used one sink full of water in the process. This has worked for me, I actually don't have room to put a drain on the counter top (or bench, as you say). If this doesn't work for you, try turning the drain and placing it close to the sink so that the water that drains from the dishes drains back into the sink.

    I always enjoy your posts.

  8. I have a problem similar to yours. I have a double sink but the drainer only has room for a couple of pots and lids, not my full load of dishes for just the two of us. While we have the space for a dishwasher we have never felt the need to purchase one. I guess they just assume a dish drainer isn't needed in these days where most people use a dish washer.
    I love my double sink but this has come at the price of reducing the size of both of them. I have one tiny vegetable one and a too small "large" sink. I thought it would be OK, but I would prefer a much larger sink and a drainer at least twice the size of what I have.

  9. We predominately use a dishwasher and we have a bio-cycle septic system (we are not connected to town mains water) so all of our dish/shower/toilet water goes into that and is recycled onto trees out in the paddock as clean, clear water. In over 6 years we still have not had to have the system pumped out (it is usually required after 2-3 years) so what we put in their must be breaking down okay as the trees and grass thrive on the recycled water.

    When we built our house 6 years ago I made sure I got a sink which has draining on either side. Left side for stacking dirty dishes, right side for washed dishes. I did not want 2 sinks as one is hard enough to keep clean!

    I am amazed how some people can wash their dishes in a gloop of lukewarm water with oil and food floating in the top. Erk! That is why I like my dishwasher - everything is quite sterilized because of the heat drying method.

    Your tips for hot, hot water and clean items for washing up make sense - you don't want to be putting germs on your cutlery and crockery and utensils as you put them back in the cupboards!

    Thanks again,


  10. Rhonda I'm halfway between dishwashers and hand washing -- it's a matter of getting the household on board and making a commitment to myself.

    Although I've made the shift with soap, I am yet to make our own dish washing liquid so I've found your comments on what you are using very helpful.

    Hindsight is a great thing - I have one and a half sinks but would much prefer a double. I do have a drainer on one side.

    How do you sanitise the dish mop? Bleach?

  11. hi rhonda.

    thank you for your wonderful writing, you've been an insperation to me as we try and 'set up home' in a way which is simple and sustainable. I don't mean to be silly but why do you make liquid soap? I've used your great soap recipe to make bar soap and have grated it and then melted it with water to use as w gel in place of my old multiple purpose cleaner. could I use this for washing up or would I need to make liquid soap.

    thank you for your advice,


  12. I have that same red dish drainer rack and it never did drain right!

  13. ive got an old original sink bench, complete stainless steel, single sink, rack sits beside it and naturally drains, just a quick wipe underneath when finished, no problems at all

  14. rachel, I know what you mean, even if you are a pom. LOL! I tried that, in fact that red drainer fits perfectly into our larger sink, but we have our filtered water tap on that sink to and when the sink is fill of plates sitting on the rack, we can't get at the water tap.

    Thanks Brenda, I like that clear rinsing technique you're using. I might try that and see how much water I use.

    Hi Harriet, I hope I can get a sink with drainer fairly soon. Are you going to change yours?

    Joolz, it sounds like your septic system is working very well. It's a testament to what you're using at your sink and dishwasher.

    Rose, yes, I use a small amount of bleach once a week in which I soak the mop, steel scrubber and brushes.

  15. Sarah, you could use the bar soap gel for washing up. I don't like the feel of it, although I have used it and it's quite effective. Don't expect suds though. The commercial soaps and detergents have SLS added to make bubbles, which, BTW, aren't necessary for cleaning. Good luck with your new home.

  16. Hi Rhonda Jean, I have never owned a dishwasher and probably never will. I don't miss what I never had. My sink is a double with draining on both sides (lucky me).

    Thank you for bringing to my attention about the "Earth" products, I have been using the detergent for a while.

    I was using just a bar of velvet soap wrapped in a mesh bag I made from an orange bag. I am hoping to get the proper old soap shaker one day when I come across one. I just shake under running water. There are no suds but the dishes come up so clean and smell so fresh. I just looked on the box of velvet soap (given to me by a friend) and it doesn't list the ingredients so must be an old box. Do you know whether this is safe to use?

  17. Outback, is this Tania? Here is the MSDS for velvet soap. It looks fine to me - it's 90% tallow and coconut oil and water, the rest is bits and pieces that don't look too bad.


  18. Rhonda you aren't the only one with this problem. I work with my electrican husband and we see and work in plenty of new houses being built and even more being renovated and all of the sinks we have seen being put in have no drain area or only one small one. Most new houses all seem to have dishwashers. It's got to the stage if we don't have to wire for a dishwasher it's a bit of a shock. Obviously manufacturers aren't listening to consumers who want and need drain areas for their sinks. Personally I could go without a drain area if I could just have two huge sinks to sit my dishes in to dry - but that's just a personal preference. Could have something to do with the fact I seem to always knock something off the sink :-( Thank you for these posts I'm finding them fascinating.

  19. wow, can't believe I haven't found your blog sooner! and we are local neighbours- I'm on the Sunshine Coast too. Love your blog, will be popping in regularly for sure! xLeah

  20. Hello Rhonda again, yes this is Tania.

    That is good news about the velvet soap, I guess I will use that from now on then. Thank you for finding this out for me, as I know you are very busy.

  21. Rhonda .. how does your homemade liquid soap feel/work differently than grated bar soap mixed up with water? Does it really clean better? I made up a batch of grated soap/water/corn starch/vinegar mixture today .. I don't like the feel of it at all ;( I have a large sized dish drainer on a drain board .. and room for a towel laid out on the other side for large pots and pans.

  22. Hello Rhonda! :) I put my dish rack in the other side of my sink. I used to have it up on the counter, but it was a pain and took up too much counter space! Could you put your dish rack on the other side, down in the sink? I didn't totally follow what you meant about the drain (i'm fighting the last effects of a terrible headache)...so maybe putting your rack in the other sink wouldn't work? Just an idea. :) Wishing you the best of days and always enjoy your posts. :)

    Katy :)

  23. Dishes are my most dreaded task of all. I've decluttered a lot but they still seem to pile up and I can't keep on top of them. We have a single small sink and no counter space. It is an arduous task doing dishes. I am constantly changing the dish water because it gets gross quick, even with rinsed/scraped dishes. I use a locally made non chemical additive dish soap. It doesn't suds much but I feel pretty good about using it.

    ps: I have troubles with my dish drainer too. I ought to try a towel under it.

  24. Hi Mrs Mac, I find the grated soap to be very slimy whereas the liquid soap feel just like water. It does clean well although I waste a lot of it because it's so watery. Putting it in the foam dispenser seems to have worked though.

  25. I'm right in the middle of redoing my kitchen, so the comments about sinks and drainers is interesting. I've bought myself a 'butler's sink'(Belfast, farmhouse) a variety of names, I've always wanted one, but this is the first time I'm able to do my kitchen the way I want.

    And there won't be a drainer, which I've thought about, but decided to forgo one for my heart's desire lol For the last few weeks I've been washing up in a small bowl, balanced on the bathroom vanity, rinse in the basin and drain the dishes on a teatowel on a cupboard that had to come out of the kitchen.

    It seems to work ok, I end up with only a little water on the cupboard, not enough to be a bother, so think it should be ok once I have my new sink in.

    I wonder Rhonda if your floor is level, if not, it would make the cupboards lean, even slightly, preventing the water draining where it's meant to. Having just had my house restumped, and leveled, and thinking it was ok before, I know now how much difference this makes.

  26. Hi Rhonda, I wash my dishes in a plastic basin that fits just perfect in my sink then I that water on to my garden,If you did the same then you put dishes in the rinse water take basin out that will free up the sink and put your dish drainer over the sink. problem solved. I hope that makes sense.Our house has a double sink but only one draing side which I don't like I like one on each side one for dirty dishes and one for clean.

  27. Lots of interesting replies to your dishwashing and draining saga/dilema. I found a rack a few years ago that is about 8 inches wide, and it has overlap stationary handles that enable it to fit over the rinse sink. This leaves me room to rinse and drain in the rinse sink. Lucky me!

    I used to set my rack on a cookie sheet with a tea towel in it. At days end, I'd rinse the wet towel out and hang it to dry. Worked fine.

  28. Hi Rhonda, I started using bicarb and white vinegar in my Siemens dishwasher a couple of months ago. Two tbs bicarb each load, and am very pleased with the result - clean dishes and no chemical smell when I open the door. It has "eco cycles" which use less water and power. But I only use it when I am overpowered with dirty dishes otherwise we handwash.

  29. I have been using environmentally friendly products made by an Asutralian company based in Newcastle N.S.W. These products are all plant based, not tested on animals and very very economic. They are all concentrated and don't have useless fillers and when used sparingly and frugally the initial cost becomes very very cheap. I can also empty my sink or washing machine water onto my trees or flower beds as the products are grey water friendly. Some of the products are also approved by NAASA - the organic farming organisation. The name of this company is Trinature and they can be looked at on www.trinature.com. I started using these products nearly twenty years ago and cannot imagine using anything else now.

  30. Greasy dishes I never rinse - they get wiped out with kitchen towels and the towels thrown out. While it seems wasteful to do this, it's better than grease going into waterways.

    We are on septic and replacing pumps prematurely is a wasted resource too. I view the paper kitchen towel as a lessor evil of many.

    The way I avoid rinsing dishes is by washing the less soiled dishes first, then I do a pre-wash of all my yucky dishes in the same water. I empty the sink and refill half as much water for rinsing the dishes I did in the yucky water.

    If it seems like a waste of water, I generally have jars I can soak the labels off or manky saucepans I leave to the utmost last.

    As for my sink, I have one and a half tubs, with one draining side. I find the half tub really great at draining large saucepans after they're washed - or make a great drain to tip unexpected liquid into as I'm washing the dishes.

  31. Hi RJ
    Yes, like Buttons said, try putting a piece of wood (I call it battening) on the opposite side under the red draining board and turn it towards the sink. Raising the other side up should encourage all the water to go down into the sink.

    Barring that, maybe the red one was 'too cheap' and doesn't work right, like your other commenter suggested? I'd be incliined to buy a different one altogher before spending money on a new sink. ?

    Just some thoughts! Good luck with it, I'm sure it is a right pain! :D

  32. Hi Rhonda, for the past few months I have been using a soap shaker for manual washing (pots and pans). In order to get the best results, it's important to use very hot water. I use sunlight laundry soap in the shaker and it works awesomely. I usually rinse off with a little white vinegar in the rinse water and that gets rid of any residue. I use the dishwasher for bigger items, because I have a very small kitchen, and two growing boys. I've tried numerous concoctions of making my own powder, but I always end up with slight crazing on glasses and milkiness on cutlery and glass, so I have gone back to the supermarket stuff - but only use half the recommended amount. For rinse aid, I use white vinegar. I haven't given up on the dishwasher recipe hunting, but will give it a rest for a while. Best wishes, Bev

  33. Message to Bev:
    Bev I have a great dishwasher recipe that works great for me. If you are interested u can email me at - homekeeper247@yahoo.com

  34. Donna,why not share your wisdom here with everyone?

  35. When we have a little dish, we will wash by hand. And we try to do this with an eco version of the soap. Just like Jo said: I really want to try making my own soap, but also think it sounds a bit dangerous.. ;o)

    Love from Holland

  36. Rhonda,

    Hope you don't receive this message twice. Trouble with messages today!

    I used to put a drain "in" my sink. Worked well.

  37. For what its worth here is my two cents....I, like some others have mentioned, prop up the end of the strainer away from the draining side to increase the slope so the water drains quickly. I also have another stainless steel drainer that fits in my other sink for those times when I have large amounts of dishes to wash. You just have to rinse last. I also have yet ANOTHER strainer that is a grid set in square pan about half an inch or so high. I use this to drain glasses.

    Then of course if I need to I can always stop and dry a few and put them away immediately. LOL.

  38. Yesterday I bought Planet dish detergent for the first time (I have used Ajax up till now) and it is made of coconut oil based cleaners,salt,and sodium bicarbonate.It is hypoallergenic,
    biodegradeable,scent and color free,and works great! so long,Ajax!

  39. I use a drainer and tray just like yours. I have the drain tray turned with the drain lip toward the sink and the lip extending over the edge of the sink. It never leaks under the drain try that way.

    I use a bar of castile soap that I buy at the dollar store. I grate a little of it into hot water, add a teaspoon of vinegar and use that to wash my dishes. When I use the store boughten dish soap or detergent my skin gets really dry and red.

  40. When sinks come with a side splash or draining section, then it's easy to put your dish rack on top of the draining section. It is made all in one unit out of the same material as the sink eg aluminum. It looks like a giant spoon before it is installed ie the draining section is the handle and the sink or double sinks are the bowl part of the "spoon". There's no need for an extra tray or plastic section for draining underneath the dish rack. This works for me here in Cape Town -- a simple wipe off straight into the sink is all that's needed about once a day. For big handwashes, I have another dish rack that I put next to the other one and the pots & pans and dishes just drip-dry onto my black granite counter top. Again, just wiping off the excess water occasionally is easy to do. And washing out the dish rack.

  41. I use a dishwasher because I am feeding three boys (two teens and an almost teen) so we have LOTS of dishes and I simply do not have the time to hand wash them all. (I'm a single mom and I homeschool all of them so time is very scarce). I try to buy detergents that are safe ecologically but they are quite expensive and would love to know how to make them for dishwashers. I do a fair amount of hand washing, too, since wood, cast iron, and good pots and knives need hand washing (I am in the process of getting rid of plastics entirely for cooking and was fortunate enough to have inherited my mother's wooden-handled cooking spoons and spatulas as well as both of my grandmothers' cast iron cookware).

    I haven't found a good solution for drainers. Mine always leak, too. I just mop up under them on a regular basis.

    Thanks for this post. It made me think about when all of my boys are gone and it's just me. Then I'll probably go to all hand washing.

    Joy (VA)

  42. I can totally relate to this post!! years ago we had our tiny kitchen done up and foolishly decided that as counter space was at a premium we would have a small circular sink and no draining board and a dishwasher under the counter. well thats was fine until we no longer HAD a dish washer and for 3 years I had to wash by handn with no draining board.
    In the end I brought a cheap melomine (sp?) tray to sit the drainer in and had a towel under that to catch spills and drips. When we moved the kitchen a couple of years ago I found a sink and drainer on freecylce and although its just a basic one I was as happy as larry lol. Now if only I had running water to the kitchen ;)

  43. Hi Rhonda,
    (FYI - I read your blog regularly but this is my first time leaving a comment)
    I use a normal rectangular washing up dish bowl as a dish drainer. I usually dry the dishes straight away so water scums is never a problem. Once I'm done, all I have to do is tip the water back in the sink and voila.
    With regard the washing up liquid, what's wrong with using castile soap (that's what i use, diluted) such as Dr Bronner? (Sorry I think I might have missed something here as i read the post rather quickly).

  44. One of the things that I missed when I came from Australia to Canada to live was the stainless steel draining board as part of the sink, and I still miss it! I now resort to having the rack in one side of my double sink so it drains there. That frees up counter space (as I don't have much) but is not as convenient. Plastic draining trays never satisfied; they are too flexible, hard to keep really clean and they develop dimples where the "feet" of the rack sit.

  45. umm I'm not sure if I'm pointing out the ovious or not but the space at the end of the mat under your rack the one that seems to bend down is to be placed on the side of the sink so that the excess water run down into the sink and not your counter. :)

  46. ok disreguard my comment I hadn't read your comment backs yet, but it just stands to reason not as much is going to leak when used properly and if it's still leaking I think I would look into buying a new one because I've never had one made like that leak. Good luck

  47. Many sinks come with a splash or draining section attached made in the same material as the sink eg aluminum. When not installed, they look like giant spoons with the splash/draining section being like the handle and the sink(s) being the "spoon". I have a double sink like this and put my dish rack on top of the draining section. When I put the washed & rinsed dishes in the rack to drip-dry, some water falls onto the draining section. It either falls back into the sink--or if not, I wipe it back into the sink about once/day. After putting the dishes away after they've air-dried, I rinse off the dish rack from time to time under the tap. If I have a lot of dishes to hand-wash, I put a second dish rack next to the other one--but right on top of my granite counter top with nothing underneath it. Dishes dry off quickly (esp in the hot South African summers) and the bit of water is usually minimal on the granite tops. I think my dish racks are a bit sturdier than what you have, Rhonda, and so maybe the water stays in them until it evaporates. But, it's the splash guard/draining section that really is the answer. Hope your new sink comes with it! Thanks for such a fantastic blog--always a pleasure to read and apply little by little.

  48. I've never had a dishwasher. In this house, the edge of the sink is a good half-inch above the counter top. I use a plastic tray and rack to one side, supported on a piece of old cutting board right next to the sink, and a piece of 2x4 on the far end so that it drains into the sink.

    I don't like the look of the shiny plastic tray, nor the white spots left by my hard water, so I line the tray, underneath the rack, with a colored tea towel that coordinates with the rest of my changing seasonal decor. It dries quickly, and is easy to just slide out, throw in with the wash each week, and then replace.

  49. I have read somewhere that lemon juice and white vinegar help cut grease. Is there some way this could be added to your liquid soap or at least add some to your sink water when you are soaking?

    I have made CP soap one time over a year ago and it was very fun. Your posts have inspired me to give it a go again and try to get more chemicals out of my house! My husband groans when he sees I've done another experiment changing out store bought products with a more frugal option but I love it! Thanks for being one of my favorite inspiring blogs!

  50. I had an idea which may help a little Rhonda. What about an old metal fridge shelf, placed over one of your sinks? Then place your draining rack on top of that.

    Both the shelf and rack can then be put away after use.

    Fridge shelves can be found in second-hand shops or rubbish tips with a Lifeline shop attached. All you need to do is take the measurements of your sink (allow for overhang) and rummage through the shelves that would otherwise go into landfill.

    I've always wondered how people could use those metal (pvc coated) fridge shelves. They're everywhere!

  51. I use a dishwasher; studies are now showing that dishwashers use less water than washing by hand, though of course there's the electricity they run with so it probably still isn't perfect. However I do not have the energy with my health the way it is to wash by hand. It's not convenient at all - the dishwasher is in an outbuilding and requires me to go back and forth with a tray to put everything away and then to put it in. But once it's done once, it's done for the day, and I don't have to stand in one spot for it, which puts me in just too much pain.

  52. Hi, I was discussing with my Aunt Irene the other day about alternatives to phosphate base dish washing liquids and she mentioned using bicarb and vinegar in the dishwasher. I have been trialing this plus using them in the washing machine. For details

  53. I use a commerical size stainless steel cookie sheet, no leakage!

  54. I know Ikea sells a sink that has two bowls and a drain board attached. I almost bought it when we redid our kitchen. I really really wish I would have. I opted for the counter space but that was silly because I can never use it anyway...dishes are always drying there.

  55. hello, im new to your site but just love all the very useful information you post.. right off the bat i tried the lemon butter and the home made dog food. my husband fell in love with that lemon butter.ate a whole pint himself in little over a day..and my dog food budget has went frpm aprox 70 dollars every 2 weeks to aprox 15.. dogs love it and saving money is great.. thank you so much.. keep posting...new friend GLORIA

  56. I know this is slightly off topic, re scouring powder. I have my own recipe for this. Use a firm bristle brush and scrub with pure soap combined with either table salt or baking soda. Baking soda alone on a damp sponge is also effective on most surfaces. You can also personalise your scouring powder by adding an aromatic herb or flower. Put the ingredients in a blender and run until the fragrance has infused the powder (source: Greenpeace website http://www.greenpeace.org/new-zealand/en/news/blog/green-cleaning-share-your-recipes/blog/24499). Blessings, Bev

  57. The ecologic product sounds really good. This New Zealander doesn't use that NZ product - I have gone back to what my dear Maternal Grandmother (my Nana) used, sunlight soap.

    I would love to be making my own soap howeever my home is tiny and I share my life and home with an older resuce cat. Once upon a time, hopefully way in the future, my rescue lad, Zebby, will have passed on and then soap making may be possible.

    Until then I'll use sunlight soap for the dishes, make washing powder using a mix of plant oil and sard soaps, and wash my delicates in grated Pears soap. A microplane grater is brilliant for grating the soaps - the gratings dissolve very fast even in cold water.

    I'm a singleton and don't wash the dishes every day, however I always ensure they are well rinsed. I'm loving the gleaming shine on my cutlery and stainless steel sink and benchtop from using the Sunlight soap for the actual wash.

  58. I don't have a dishdrainer and it drives me nuts!
    where do you buy the ecologic dishwashing detergent?
    [ps - i have been busy moving or rather downsizing.. and moving mum to an aged care unit at the same time! love that i now have time to come and read your blog :) ]

  59. Good to see you again, Miss R. I bought the ecologic at my local IGA,

    1. Hi Rhonda, I'm joining the convo a few years late :) but I wondered why you went back to making your own soap when you were happy with ecologic? Or is it just much cheaper to make your own?

    2. Claire, I didn't stay with ecologic long, it was difficult to find and I went to ecostore, which I'm still using.


Thank you for your comment today. I love reading your opinions and thoughts. We have built up a wonderfully diverse community here that I'm very proud to be a part of.

Please remember, comments containing links will not be published.