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This Reader Uses a Dishwasher Pod Hack That Leaves Dishes Spotless (& Saves Money)

Struggling with dirty dishes?
Dishwashers are super convenient, but they still have their issues. Running a rinsing cycle that doesn’t entirely clean your dishes can be frustrating! Luckily, this week’s Happy Friday reader, Rebecca, is sharing her hack, and it’s as simple as it is effective!

For over 10 years, I have been using only HALF a dishwasher tab to clean full loads, and my dishes have never been cleaner! Previously, I was having trouble where my dishwasher was always gross inside — gunky and slimy on the bottom, and filmy on the inside door and walls. Then I’d have to do a special cleaning cycle, running it empty with the heavy-duty dishwasher cleaner. But then the buildup would start again. Also, our glasses were so filmy/cloudy and etched-looking.

I thought I would test out less soap to try and help cut the residue buildup. First, I would cut off 1/3 of the tab (using 2/3), and that was a little better, then I started cutting the tab in half, and I have never had buildup problems again. I have only tested with Finish tabs, and all different varieties of Finish tabs have worked FANTASTIC.

I only do full loads. I always use rinse-aid. Lastly, I NEVER pre-wash or pre-rinse. (If you have questions about this, google “Should I pre-wash?” or “Why use rinse-aid in the dishwasher?” Good Housekeeping and Consumer Reports and Wirecutter, etc. have researched these.)

Detergent can work BETTER by not cleaning the food residue off first. The exception is if I find a plate that sat with hardened food on it overnight. I’ve lived at 4 different houses since trying this, and it works with hard water, soft water, old dishwashers, or new ones. Seems to improve results with any brand dishwasher.

Each package of detergent lasts twice as long, and I hope it’s good for the environment, too. I have especially saved money and water by not needing to do ANY dishwasher cleaning with special cleaners and an empty load. I have NOT cleaned out the machine itself since starting this. Any glass items we bought since starting this have not had cloudiness or etching.

If your pod comes in a little foil pack, just snap it in half before opening the package, it breaks easily. I use the ones from Costco that are in clear plastic wrapping, and I just cut them in half with kitchen scissors. I have a tiny dish on my windowsill, and I keep the other half there until I need it next time. It doesn’t seem to matter if the halves are a little lop-sided.

I can’t wait to try this, Rebecca! Thank you for sharing this Hip Tip because it’s definitely going to save many of us time (and money!) when it comes to cleaning dishes!

Do you have a funny, “Hip”, or unique tip to share?!  Fill out our Happy Friday form! Every Friday, we post one submission by a Hip2Save reader (view past submissions) that gives us a glimpse into their frugal lifestyle or simply makes us smile. For the best odds of having your submission picked, check out our Happy Friday tips post!
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