nailed it.

So, confession time, even though most of you probably already know this: I’m a Pinterest-aholic. Really. I have 67 different boards, mostly organized by topic. Most of them are food-related, because I’m trying to organize the eleventy-billion recipe and kitchen-related things I have saved there, but I also have boards dedicated solely to things like nail polish and inspirational quotes. But it’s mostly just cupcakes and cookies and icings. You know, the staples.

But I also have a DIY board, for all of those projects that I just know I’m going to magically have the time for someday. I see things like make new candles from your old ones! or you can make this adorable duvet cover yourself in just 39 easy steps! and think Yes! That is what I will do this weekend instead of sleeping in and then sitting around in my pajamas all day while re-watching episodes of Dawson’s Creek! And then, well, you know what happens.

Enter Sonja Foust, the Pintester, who actually gets off her ass and tries these things out, usually accompanied by plenty of swears and crude jokes — a gal after my own heart. And then enter The Pintester Movement, in which a bunch of bloggers vow to quit lusting after Joshua Jackson and actually tackle one of the projects they have Pinned. (Should that be capitalized? I’m not sure. Just go with it.)

My project of choice? Homemade dishwasher detergent tabs, because I had just run out of the ones I normally buy, and because I’m sick of paying $12 for a box of them (even with a coupon! so expensive!).


It didn’t seem too hard. Buy all the stuff, mix it all up, pack it into an ice cube tray, wait a bit, and then voilà! No more giving my hard-earned money to the dishwasher detergent industry.

Everything started out pretty well, until I decided I didn’t want to spend $10 on a tiny bottle of lemon essential oil. Reading through the comments on the original post, I saw a suggestion to substitute lemon Kool-Aid. DONE.


And, you know, it wasn’t exactly a hard process. It’s kind of hard to screw up mixing a bunch of white powders in a bowl. The biggest problem I had, really, was trying to get the damn Borax out of the box, because it was one enormous box-sized clump.


After almost forgetting the lemon Kool-Aid, I managed to get it completely mixed and packed into ice cube trays — ones that I bought specifically for this task, actually, because I didn’t like the idea of packing a cleaner into my actual ice cube trays. It wasn’t until later that I realized that almost everything I eat off of and cook with is going to be washed with this same substance. Oh well.

Even though it seemed like a foolproof process, imagine my surprise when, after letting the trays sit on my balcony for a day and a half, it actually seemed to work.

Nailed it.

Nailed it.

The hard part, believe it or not, came when it was actually time to use the damn things. They’re too big for the detergent compartment on my machine.

So, well, they’re made of powder, right? I’ll just push the lid closed and the tablet with crumble and we can all go on with our lives.

And so I pushed.




At which point I snapped too because I was already running late for Memorial Day festivities and all I wanted to do was go to a parade, eat some potato salad with my family, and come home to clean dishes.

So the moral of this story, friends, is either (a) use a smaller ice cube tray, (b) get a dishwasher with an enormous detergent dispenser or (c) don’t even bother, because after buying everything but the vinegar (because I already had that on hand) this project cost me $33.24 and my sanity as I sat on my kitchen floor with a tiny screwdriver while trying to get the tiny spring in the right position so I could reattach the tiny door at 11pm at night.

But, you know, otherwise I’d call it a success.


  1. 3


    I feel like this is always what happens when I try to make homemade cleaning products. It’s nice to see I’m not the only one breaking appliances or going insane in the name of homemade.

  2. 4

    Andi says

    BWAHAHAHAHA! Not that we didn’t already know this, but you speak/think exactly like me – I found this hilarious, despite your misfortune with the lid. I have 52 boards (but should probably have way more – most are not organized all that well) and 2172 pins. I’ve made peace with the fact that I just like looking at pretty things. And that my Noms board and Crafty board will probably only ever be boards. At least for the time-being ;)

  3. 5


    Oh no!!!

    that SUCKS about the detergent hatch on your washer — I would have flipped too! And I’ve always wondered if those “DIY at home” things really do save or spend more money than their premade counterparts…

  4. 6


    Oh man, it sucks that your dishwasher broke. I wish you’d found a pin from Mike Jabbs website, but I doubt there ARE any pins from there. It’s the same thing, but you just leave it as a powder instead of going through the trouble of making tabs. Then you just add the vinegar to the rinse aid dispenser.

    Did you wear gloves when you were packing the cleaner into the ice trays? I suppose the vinegar might have lowered the pH of the washing soda enough to be handled while wet, but the thought still gives me the wiggins.

  5. 8


    I see these things and think “That’s awesome!”.

    Then I stop and think “How much is my time worth? Once I buy the materials and take the time to do it, have I actually saved anything? Will the experience be fun or will I just end up pissed off at life?”

    Regardless of the answer, I drink and beer and forget about it.

  6. 10

    Ranah says

    I am sorry, but I seriously laughed out loud. I sort of enjoy pinterest fails though, so call me morbid :D Kudos to you for actually trying it though. I mostly just sit there and repin things, only to never try them!

  7. 11

    Noreen says


    Okay, I *think* I also have this pinned somewhere, but I noticed how incredibly tiny my detergent compartment was as well and thought that they would never fit, so I haven’t bothered to try it yet. At this point I might not, but I do have all the ingredients already (for homemade washing detergent), so I may give this a go with a smaller container.

    FYI, if you use Cascade, Amazon usually has better deals on the tablets than most stores, free shipping (with Subscribe and Save) and no tax!


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