Thursday, July 27, 2006

Homemade Frugal Laundry Detergent

I know that the picture is kinda washed out. I'm not sure why. But I'm so excited by what I got done yesterday! Finally, after wanting to do so forever (and being unable to find washing soda in our area), I made our laundry detergent.

Can you believe, other than water, this is all it takes to make laundry detergent?



I grated the soap and used, get this, 1/3 of the bar.



Melt the soap over medium heat with 3 pints of water. Take off heat and add premeasured washing soda and borax. (ETA: ½ cup of each) Stir until dissolved.



Pour into a large bucket. Add 1 quart of very hot water. Stir well. Then add another gallon + 6 cups of hot tap water. Stir again. We then poured it into an empty huge (2+ gallon) liquid detergent containers from Sams. Use appr. 1/2 cup per load.

I washed my first load of laundry yesterday and neither DH nor I could tell any difference. In fact, if anything, we liked it better.

We figured the cost, based on the local price of ingredients, and were astonished to find that it cost appr. .52 to make the entire batch. The container at Sams costs appr. $15. Other than grating, it took about 20 minutes.

Definitely worth the time in my book.

I also received a bread machine I "won" on eBay yesterday. Much to write about that later. Hopefully pictures to follow on that too. Assuming this posts well. These pictures were a bear to upload here. I'm sure I'm doing something wrong. :/

ETA: There have been many questions on where to find washing soda. I tried to answer as best I could here.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

How much Borax and Washing soday do you use for each recipe?
nancy

Michelle said...

That info would help huh? Geeze, I can't believe I left it out! It's 1/2 cup of each. Be careful not to go over 1/2 cup. Especially with the borax because your finished product will become too "jelly" like.

Tammy L said...

What is "Zote", and where do you purchase it? How is it different from another bar soap? :)

Michelle said...

Zote is just a laundry soap. It's very cheap in my area (about .69 a bar) and it's pretty big (14.1oz).

You could certainly substitute another laundry soap, like Fels Naptha, or I've had success with plain old ivory soap (and have heard others have success with just about any soap). It just takes it a bit longer to melt in my experience.

The most frugal way to do it is to take your family's scrap soaps, (you know, the little soaps that are too small to use in the shower?), and grate them up when you have enough. I've found that I like about 4-5oz of grated soap per batch of laundry detergent.

Honey said...

Hi, Michelle. I just came over from moneysavingmom. Like your post about homemaking. I also consider it to be my "job", and I am surprised at the frequent little joys I find in keeping house, & caring for husband and children. On another note, I just made my first batch of laundry detergent. I decided to do powdered, because I wanted to skip the stovetop experience. Also, I did not have any large buckets. I love the powder I made with washing soda, fels naptha, and borax. Thanks for showing everyone how easy and moneysaving it is!

Honey said...

Hi, Michelle. I just came over from moneysavingmom. Like your post about homemaking. I also consider it to be my "job", and I am surprised at the frequent little joys I find in keeping house, & caring for husband and children. On another note, I just made my first batch of laundry detergent. I decided to do powdered, because I wanted to skip the stovetop experience. Also, I did not have any large buckets. I love the powder I made with washing soda, fels naptha, and borax. Thanks for showing everyone how easy and moneysaving it is!