Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Make Your Own Laundry Detergent

I've begun a quest to save money where we can. Larry and I have been more conscious about bringing our lunches to work and eating dinner at home. I've clipped some coupons, even though I haven't actually used any yet. I'm trying to pay more towards our credit cards every month trying to get them down. I'm really working towards the goal of staying home after the baby is born, or at least trying to cut my hours some.

Along this same line, when I saw Chickens in the Road's recipe for Making Your Own Laundry Detergent, I was intrigued. I always hate spending that $12 to $15 dollars on laundry detergent, which is basically glorified soap. After I read the ingredients, I thought it was even better because it's simple and I figure I can use it on the baby's clothes as well instead of spending more money on separate detergent.

I purchased the ingredients a few weeks ago at Publix. They were all in the laundry detergent aisle and easy to find if you are looking for them.

1 regular (not large bath-size) bar of plain soap
1 cup Borax
1/2 cup washing soda
1/2 cup baking soda

I should have paid more attention to how much the individual items cost to compare, but I didn't. I don't remember being mortified though and the boxes are so big, I'll be able to use it for a long, long time.

The directions were easy to follow (I made the concentrate) and within 20 minutes or so, I had a coffee can full of laundry detergent. Now, even though the mixture is a liquid when it is warm, once it cools it thickens and honestly, becomes the consistency of snot. Nice, I know.

I initially used the measuring cup that came with my last detergent, but I'm going to look for a scoop with a handle so I don't have to spoon the stuff into the cup before putting it in the machine.

I was so enthralled with measuring out my own detergent, that I forgot to add fabric softener to the first few loads, which may have been for the better for the initial tests as there were no extra smells to masked the detergent. Everything just came out smelling clean and fresh. So, yay, it was a success.

And with the ingredients left over still in the box, I probably have enough to make, well, I don't know, a lot more detergent. I'm going to try and keep track of how long this batch lasts me.

If anyone else has any tips for saving money, I am all ears!

**Edited to add: If you're not too crazy about making liquid detergent, I also found a couple of recipes for powder. It's basically one part of all the incredients mixed up really well. That's easy enough and I may do that for the next batch.

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