Monday, November 30, 2009

Monetary Monday - Making your own detergent

I do 3 loads of laundry a day on average.  Some days I don't do any because we are gone all day and some days I do 7.  You know, to catch up on the days I don't do any or because we had an accident.  Like the dishwasher leaking into the pantry.  You can imagine how much laundry detergent I go through. And at 45 cents a wash load for some detergents - well you can do the math.

I was going to make the Duggars detergent.  But then 2 things happened.  One, I washed some hair ties which broke my HE washer.  So I no longer needed the HE detergent.  And two, I found a powered version that takes up much less space.  The cost is minimal, about $2 for a large batch (that's 3 bars of Ivory for $1 and 1.5 cups of Borax and Baking soda which I buy in bulk at Costco) and lasts about a month. So instead of 45 cents a wash load I am spending 2 cents a wash load.  That's a huge difference.  And don't worry about me using more water because my HE washer broke either.  I happened to look at my bill yesterday and noticed I am using FAR less water than this time last year.  Go figure.

Here is the directions if you don't want to visit the link:

Grate 1 bar of Soap.  I use Ivory but you can use Fels Naptha.  Some like Zote but I didn't.
Mix in 1/2 c. each Borax and Baking soda.  Store in air tight container.

Here are a few tips.  Don't wash your grater in the dishwasher after you are done.  It will gunk up your dishes.  Ask me how I know.  Use the finest grate you have.  You want a powder.  Don't use a food processor.  It will burn out your motor.   Its a lot of working grating these bars, so I suggest tripling the recipe even if you don't do a ton of laundry just so you don't have to do it so often.  Don't use Washing Soda.  Its very caustic and will break down elastic and fabrics quicker than baking soda.  And if you want to use a fabric softener use Vinegar, 1/2 c in the dispenser works great.  Now you will be saving money hand over fist!

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