Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I made laundry detergent!

One of my passions right now is saving money. We are trying very hard to pay off our credit card (it got a little high during the time we were looking for a preaching position and from our move cross country). Anyway, I love looking at all the adds in the Sunday paper and coupon clipping. It makes me so happy when I go into Walgreens and I come out with completely free toothpaste. I makes me even more happy when I made money buying a product.

One of the things I don't seem to be able get as cheaply as I would like is laundry detergent. Don't get me wrong. I get good deals, but laundry detergent is still a bit expensive. And I'm not a brand snob. It doesn't matter which brand is on sale if it's a good sale.

While trying to see where I could cut corners and save pennies, I went on a quest for a more economical way to wash laundry. I found several websites with instructions on how to make your own laundry detergent. I know one of my real life friends does this and also one of my blogger friends. And to tell you the truth, I thought it was a little weird (sorry guys!). I never pictured myself even being remotely interested in making my own laundry detergent....until one site did the math. Their numbers may be a little different from mine, but the final price is going to be somewhat close. I paid about $10.00 for the ingredients to make my laundry detergent and I will use around 2 to 3 Tablespoons for each load of laundry. The recipe that I used (I actually changed it a bit) made 12 cups of detergent. Keep in mind that I will only be using 3 Tablespoons at the most meaning it's going to last a while.

If you are interested in making your own laundry detergent, I have instructions with pictures below. I'm also going to include a recipe for dishwasher detergent. I haven't tried it, but I may after I get through all the detergent I already have. Also, if you are interested in liquid laundry detergent, just type "homemade laundry detergent recipes" into your searchbox (swagbucks if you are a member, if you're not a member you can sign up with the button at the very bottom of my page and earn bucks to redeem on lots of awesome free stuff!) and it should bring up links to several sites with recipes.

Homemade Powdered Laundry Detergent Recipe

4 Cups Borax (the brand is 20 Mule Team and you can find this in the laundry aisle in your grocery store. I had no trouble finding it in 3 grocery stores in our town of 6,000 people)
4 Cups Washing Soda (The brand is Arm & Hammer. This is NOT baking soda {totally different}. I had a lot of trouble finding this. My friend said that she gets it at Wal-Mart. I had to special order mine from Ace Hardware. Some grocery stores carry it, not Food Lion, though.)
2 bars of Zote laundry soap (You can also use Fels Naptha or Ivory. This was in the laundry aisle of two of our grocery stores. I didn't find the Fels Naptha anywhere.)
1 container to store the detergent

If you have a hard time finding these ingredients, they are sold on Amazon.com.

The first thing I did was measure out the borax and washing soda and put them into the clear container. Then I grated both bars of Zote (the picture has 3 bars, but I only used 2). I used the smallest grater I had.
To mix the detergent, I originally just put the ingredients in the container I'm using to store it in and then shook it up. That actually didn't work like I wanted it to. The powder mixed fine, but the soap didn't want to mix in with the powder. I ended up putting it in a large bowl and stirring it and that worked much better.

After I mixed the detergent I put it back in the storage container, put a tablespoon for measuring in it and put the lid on it. I'm so excited to try this out! I'll put an update on here after I use it.
Here is the recipe for the dishwasher detergent:
Homemade Dishwasher Detergent
1 Cup Borax
1 Cup Washing Soda
1/2 Cup Kosher Salt
1/2 Cup Citric Acid (you can use fresh fruit produce protector found in the canning aisle or 15 packets of unsweetened lemon flavored kool-aid
Put all ingredients into an airtight container and shake up. Use 1 Tablespoon per load.
Also, put some white vinegar into the Rinse Aid compartment of the dishwasher. This will keep your dishes from having a cloudy look.


Ashley said...

I've thought about making my own - can't wait to hear your reviews! I wonder if there is homemade fabric softener...there's bound to be!!

Audrey S. J. said...

Hey. Just found your blog..am following now.
Hubby & I know of money being tight, & I too have seen others try this...after reading your post, I am gonna look into it myself! Thanx! Can't wait to see the review of how it works out for you!

Miss Tori said...

Do you know if the laundry detergent is good for high efficiency (HE) front loader washing machines?

Definitely post again and let us know how it's working for you. I'd be interested to see if it works well on grease stained clothing, as my hubby often gets cooking oil on his clothes from work.