Weekly Roundup: Washing Machine Overdose

Did you know it is possible to overdose your washing machine with detergent? Yeah, me neither. I guess I always understood on some level that overloading household appliances with cleaning solutions was bad, but Consumer Reports has provided actual proof, and apparently detergent makers aren’t much help.

A post at the Consumer report blog explains how poorly designed caps on laundry detergents can lead consumers to add too much detergent to their washing machine. Not only is this wasteful (and costly), it can lead to soap and lint build up inside machines. It can also cause some newer machines to work harder than necessary to remove extra soap suds.

Bottom line? Be sure to check for the fill line to properly measure your detergent.

The Fab Five

Should You Stay At Your Cushy Job. This article presents an interesting dilemma. Do you stay at a “cushy” job which doesn’t require much mental, physical and emotional energy (and overtime) or move on to one that does provide those things, along with more challenge? I agree that the only way I’d stay in such a job is to pursue a side hustle that could one day become my primary hustle! (@ My Wife Quit Her Job)

7 Secrets to Raising a Happy Child. Great ideas here on raising happy kids. And guess what you won’t find on the list? Spending a ton of money buying things for them. (@Zen Habits)

Breaking Bad Financial Habits – Impulse Purchases.  We are guilty of making impulse purchases, but I make a lot less than I used to.  There are a number of excellent strategies for fighting the urge to make impulse purchases, but I particularly liked the $100-a-day rule.  Read on to find out what it means. (@No Credit Needed)

30 Days of Disney.  A couple weekends ago I mentioned that we might be gearing up for a Disney vacation within the next year. I asked for tips and resources, and received tons of comments with excellent ways to make the vacation special without breaking our vacation fund. One of the best tips was to visit The Happy Housewife, who is in the middle of a “30 Days of Disney” series herself.  Excellent resource! (@The Happy Housewife)

Powerful Advantages of Renting a Home Before You Buy. Everything seems to go in cycles. A few years ago the idea of renting was met with laughter with sophisticated real estate types. Now, people generally recognize that renting isn’t so bad after all.  I agree with the author that it can be a great way to “test drive” a home before buying. (@Debt Free Adventure)

Frugal Finds

  • 99 Painless Ways to Save Money The Dough Roller just released this eBook to subscribers, and there are some real gems in there!
  • Dry Cleaner’s Secret. The folks at Woolite were nice enough to send us a few samples of Dry Cleaner’s Secret, a new alternative to traditional dry cleaning (something I hate because of the bill). I tried it on a number of dress shirts and was pleased with the results. Best of all; no bag required.

What’s On My Nightstand

I’m making an effort to get back into a reading routine, and have selected two books I’ve had on my wish list. I don’t know that I’ll create full-length book reviews when I’m finished reading, but I plan to mention them here, and I’ll probably incorporate stuff I read into a post or two each week.

You might have noticed the “Best of the Rest” feature is missing. I plan to include those in a separate post over the weekends to break up what was becoming a very crowded weekly roundup post. Look for those familiar favorites as part of my Sunday schedule.


  1. I began making our detergent and fabric softener last fall and have continued the process now for almost a year. Five simple ingredients for the detergent (vegetable based bar soap, borax, washing soda,water, & essential oil)and four for the fabric softener (baking soda, water, vinegar, & essential oil). My 20 year old machine has never run better and our cleaning supplies cost us just cents to make! Recipes can be found at Tipnut.com.

  2. I’m definitely all for saving detergent (and money!) but it’s also a good idea to do some routine sanitizing with baking soda & vinegar to neutralize odors and remove soap & fabric softener residue. This will help keep your washing machine in good working condition and your family’s laundry smelling fresh.

    Starting with an empty washing machine, run HOT water up to the highest washing level your washer offers. When the water is full and the washer begins agitating, add 3 cups of distilled WHITE vinegar and 1/2 cup of baking soda to the water. Allow the cycle to run almost completely, advancing it to “spin” right as the water starts to drain so that the washer will spin & drain at the same time. Follow by wiping down the inner tub to catch any visible residue that’s been loosened by the cleansing process. To remove any remaining soap scum or deposits hiding in the inner drum (where you wouldn’t see it), follow this with a complete COLD water cycle with the agitation again set to “high.”

  3. @Matt & @Terry: After reading about the “dry” powder recipe I’m actually considering it.

    @Rob: Good suggestions for sanitizing our washer. Again, another one of those things we never seem to get around to, but would probably help extend the life of the machine and the quality of the wash.

  4. Thanks for the book recommendations. Both are available, plus the workbook, in my local library extended system and are already on my “Hold” list…. next up is an email saying the books are in 🙂 Luv this library system here!

  5. Nice post.

    Btw, I was wondering what happened to the 2 posts a day schedule. I liked having an afternoon dose of FrugalDad

  6. I’m a make-your-own detergent fiend because of this Web site. I take old bars of soap and dispose of them that way.

  7. @Jan: I’m excited someone noticed! I’ve dropped back to once-a-day posts until next month, when things settle down a bit at my full time gig (this is our busy time of year).

    Going forward I will try to post twice during the week, and once on the weekend (maybe take Sunday off). I won’t always have posts for the afternoons, but when I have something interesting to share, or a guest post, I will.

  8. I learned the hard way that powder detergent when used in excessive quantities can jam up your septic tank line. I learned that lesson to the tune of $1100 to have the main line augered. We use just the right amount of liquid now.

    BTW I just finished Scratch Beginnings myself great read.

  9. Thanks for posting the link to Should You Stay At Your Cushy Job.

    I have been haunted by that questions a few times. It’s nice to read others’ perspectives on it…

  10. My friend & I are going to make laundry soap next week. (the fels naptha/borax/washing soda recipe). I have a ?? about the amount to be used on a HE machine.

    Also does anyone have a recipe for “oxyclean”?