Readers’ questions on HE detergent
DEAR MARY: I have been making and using your concentrated laundry detergent for several years now, and I love saving money that the money with it. But sometimes I end up with lots of white, chunky solids at the bottom of the container. Am I doing something wrong when I mix the detergent with hot water? — Jean
DEAR JEAN: This crystallization that forms after a while is perfectly normal and harmless. I usually go through a gallon of this concentrate so fast that the cr ystallization doesn’t have a chance to happen. But when it does, I use it up just as if it were still in liquid form. No harm, no foul. I find that if I shake the detergent well each time I use it the crystallization is less pronounced. If this is a huge problem for you, you could easily halve the recipe to make 1/2 gallon of liquid detergent concentrate at a time.
And although you did not ask, but because others will, our homemade laundry detergent is HE compliant, meaning it’s suitable for use in high-efficiency washing machines. It is completely sudsless — which is required for use in low-water volume machines — provided you use a very small amount (2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup maximum).
DEAR MARY: Thank you for telling us about DentalPlans. Is there any possibility that something like this exists for vision care? — Carl
DEAR CARL: There is and a very good possibility! Actually, many of the insurance companies now offering these Dental Savings Plans (which I wrote about in “Dental Savings Plans Will Put a Big Smile on Your Face”) include and/or offer companion savings plans for vision care, hearing and pharmaceuticals.