Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Homemade Laundry Detergent

Over the past couple years I have been trying to find ways to save money.  Being a family of 6, we have a lot of laundry.  I thought I might try to make my own laundry detergent and fabric softener sheets.  I knew that it would be less expensive, but I wanted to make sure it worked well and our clothes still smelled fresh and clean.

Here is what I use to make the laundry detergent ...
I store my Borax and Washing Soda in containers.  It is easier for me to store it that way.  I use a cheese grater to grate the soap.  And I use Ivory soap because it is less expensive and seems to work quite well.

Here is the recipe I use -

4 cups hot water
1 bar of soap (your choice)
1 cup Arm & Hammer Super WASHING Soda
1/2 cup Borax

Grate the bar soap and add to saucepan with water.  Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.

Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of hot tap water.  Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax.  Stir well until all powder is dissolved.  Fill bucket to top with more hot water.  Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken.

Stir and fill a used, clean, laundry soap dispenser half full with water and then fill the rest of the way with soap.  Shake before each use.  (will gel)  If you fill with water, then soap, you are less likely to have soap suds go all over. 

Recipe makes 10 gallons.

Here is a breakdown of the cost for the 10 gallons of laundry detergent.

Ivory soap - .33 cents (you can get it cheaper)
Washing Soda - .40 cents
Borax - .20 cents

So it costs around .83 cents for me to make 10 gallons of laundry detergent.  I think that is pretty good!

I also make my own dryer sheets.  Here is what I use ...

I use an empty wipes container, generic fabric softener and cut up some extra fabric I had.  You can also use an old baby blanket.  Anything that is that type of material.  I simple cut the fabric into strips and lay them in the wipes container.  After I put them in the container, I mix 1/4 cup of softener with 3/4 cups of water.  After it is mixed, I poor it over the fabric strips, close the lid and shake it up.  My husband was a little bit skeptical about this one, but they have worked great.  The price is around .12 cents per batch and I get about 40 sheets per batch.  What a savings!

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