Monday, May 04, 2009

Homemade Laundry Detergent

I found the recipe below from here and was intrigued enough try it. If we could save $18 every time we needed more laundry soap, why not, right?
  • Box of Borax Natural Laundry Boost (this can be found in the laundry soap aisle)
  • Box of Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (baking soda will NOT work as a substitute)
  • 1 bar of Fels-Naptha soap, a stain removing laundry soap
  • Scented oil of your choice {optional - I didn't use any}
For the instructions, visit Little Birdie Secrets post {with pictures, mind you!} here.

Well, I was kind of skeptical at first. It was just a liquid and I couldn't see how it would become more gel-like, but of did.

Here's what I learned:

1. Don't put into containers until the next day, once it has had a chance to gel up. I funneled it into my gallon milk jug and laundry soap container while it was hot. The next day the container I filled up second was complete solid and the first was still a liquid. So I had to dump both of them back into my huge pot I used the first time and mixed them altogether and had to use my whisk to break it all up and make one lovely homogeneous soap.

2. Wait until ALL the soap melts. Ryan was awesome and grated the soap for me. Instead of looking like the picture from Little Birdie Secrets, ours grated into more of a fine dust. That made it easier to 'melt' into the water.

3. Make a half batch. 2.5 Gallons is PLENTY. I didn't really learn this for the next batch because I was smart enough for this one :) It will probably last us 3 months. It cost us $1.25* for 3 months of laundry detergent. suh-weeeeeet!

4. Fabric Softener has plenty of scent. I didn't have any essential oil and didn't want to go buy any so we skipped it. We still buy the lovely scented FS and makes the clothes delicious to the olfactory senses.

We've used it for 3 days now and 5 loads {'s been laundry weekend} and I like it. Everything smells fresh and clean and I am paying a little more than a $0.015 per load. Read that? Less than 2 CENTS!

Anyone else have homemade remedies that have saved money? Please share!

*I should clarify: It wasn't $1.25 at the grocery store checkout. It was closer to $11 +/- $2. But that's what the breakdown is. The bar of soap is what will need to be repurchased every six months but we only used half the bar for our 2.5 gallon venture. Therefore, $1.25.


Heidi said...

very cool! thanks for the idea!

disillusioned said...

Maybe someday--when I have time (ha ha). The Duggars do this--could you imagine?

Mary P.