Dear Mary: I read in a recent column that I could use Cascade automatic dishwasher powder in my washing machine to remove grease, ground in red dirt and even old stains not removed in previous washes. That sounds like just the ticket for me as I have a husband who can get his work clothes dirtier than any child I have ever seen. This begs the question though, and the reason for the email:
First, can I use this powder in my high efficiency (HE) top load washer? Second, do I use it along with my regular HE detergent or instead of? Since I already purchased the Cascade powder, I am anxious to give it a try. Thank you for your excellent column. I look forward to reading it every day. Suzie
Dear Suzie: The quick answer is, Yes! You would use Cascade powder (about 1/2 cup per load in the wash cycle) in addition to and right along with your regular HE detergent and the hottest water the clothes can handle. For an additional boost, add 1/2 cup Arm and Hammer Washing Soda as well. Now you’ve got a triple punch to attack those stains.
If the additional products will not fit into the washer’s detergent dispenser, put the Cascade into the detergent compartment then dissolve your regular HE detergent and the washing soda in a quart of hot water and add this to the clothes before you close the lid. You could use this method even if your HE were a front-loading machine.
Cascade automatic dishwashing powder, is completely suds-free, suds being the enemy of HE washing machines. And it is powerful when it comes to removing dirt and many stains both from dishes and laundry!
If your washing machine will allow you to put in on “pause” without draining, hit pause several minutes into the wash cycle, once the detergents have been dissolved and well incorporated into the clothes. Allowing those dirty clothes to soak for several hours, or as long as your machine will allow without canceling and draining (you may have to experiment a bit here), will let that detergent combo do its best work.
I’m anxious to hear how this works for you. I’ve had excellent results over the years and I’m confident you’ll experience the same.
Dear Mary: I am a big coffee drinker and love powdered coffee creamer. Do you have a good recipe for French vanilla coffee creamer? I’d love to know how to make it myself. Thank you. Pamela
Dear Pamela: I do have a recipe for you to try.I can’t guarantee it will be exactly like your favorite commercial creamer, but it will not have any chemicals, high-fructose corn syrup or other mystery ingredients. Actually, I think it will be better. I have two recipes: one for powdered creamer and another for a liquid version.
By the way, “French vanilla” has nothing to do with the type of vanilla bean, but rather the method for making vanilla ice cream using an egg-custard base. That’s where the term “French vanilla” came from. When it comes to coffee creamer, vanilla is vanilla the world over. Oui?
Powdered Vanilla Coffee Creamer
- 4 cups whole milk powder (not to be confused with nonfat dry milk)
- 1 cup vanilla sugar, (powdered optional)**
- 3 teaspoons coconut oil, melted
Place all ingredients in a large bowl. Use a fork to mix well, until the coconut oil is well incorporated. Place a airtight container. Store on pantry shelf.
*To make vanilla sugar, place two cups while granulated sugar in a bowl that had a well-sealing lid. Cut one whole vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape the seeds into the sugar using the blunt edge of the knife. Bury the scraped bean into the sugar (cut it into pieces if needed to fit). Stir to mix and seal the bowl so it is airtight. Wait for two weeks to allow the sugar to become infused with the flavorful vanilla. To use: Remove the amount of vanilla sugar you need, leaving the scraped bean parts in the bowl. Replace the amount of sugar you removed with fresh granulated white sugar. Replace the lid. Shake to mix. It will be ready in two weeks to use again.
**To “powder” sugar, place it in a blender or food processor. Pulse until the sugar turns to powder.
Liquid Vanilla Coffee Creamer
1 can (14 oz.) fat-free sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 cups fat-free milk (skim)
2 teaspoons good vanilla extract
Combine all three ingredients in a quart-size Mason jar. Add lid and shake vigorously. Use within one week.