Do you wish, every time you pour dishwasher detergent into the little indentation in the door of the dishwasher, that you didn't have to shell out for dishwasher detergent? I do.
So I tried some things.
I washed the dishes au naturel, in water only, with no soap. The dishes were still greasy.
I used a substitute: One drop of liquid soap and two tablespoons of baking soda. This worked ok! I would save oodles of money! I'd buy baking soda in bulk and save even more!!
I did some second grade math.
Baking soda in bulk is 89 cents a pound.
Sun (aka "brand X") detergent is $3 for 4.75 pounds at Walgreens, that's 63 cents per pound!! Cheaper, even, than the clever baking soda substitute!!
Safeway brand is $3.49 for 4.68 pounds, or 75 cents per pound.
Cascade is, like, $6 for 4.69 pounds, or over $1.25 per pound - don't even look at the Cascade, not even on sale. You're paying for the advertising.
Conclusion: Sun is the cheapest dishwasher detergent, even cheaper than home-made.
Cheapskate, I know what you're thinking.
Does one use the same amount of baking soda as dishwasher detergent?
Are baking soda and dishwasher detergent the same weight per volume?
I wondered, too.
I washed the dishes using a mere two tablespoons of detergent. The dishes were perfect! (If "perfect" means "mostly clean but you still have to wipe off some crud, as usual".)