Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Homemade Laundry Detergent Take 1

As some of you may (or may not) know I am on a mission to become more green, more frugal and live as naturally as we can
A.) afford
B.)handle and
C.) as far as I can push Jet Pilot (he fights me tooth and nail on changing our lifestyle habits for the better).

About a year ago I was reading on The Thrifty Mama Forums about making your own laundry detergent, and me being the huge skeptic that I am started researching it more and asking around to the greensters in TTM's coupon chat and sure enough-its legit. It works, smells good and is like 1/10 of the price of the store bought detergent. Well me being the extreme cheapskate that I am decided to "buy" the ingredients with overage and make it at home for myself.

I have to insert here that Jet Pilot was an extreme skeptic and not on board at all with making this detergent, he is an april-y fresh, lavender bouquet-y, smell good soap kinda guy; and I was too...but the desire to be cheap overrode my smell good needs.

So one weekend when everyone else in the house was busy I made a 2 gallon batch on the sly.
And I was totally frightened, it looked like yellowish Crisco gel goop.
In my fluster, I swagged all over the world wide web and found out I just needed to mix it all up with a giant spoon.
So I did.
And then it began to look more normal.
And it smelled wonderfully clean, I don't know how else to describe it, it just smells like soap-clean soap.

Here is the recipe I follow: FYI-- I make 4 Gallons at a time, its just easier.
1 Cup Borax
1 Cup Washing Soda
2/3 bar of Fels Naptha or whole bar of Ivory soap grated

I literally do everything my link-er does above. I bought a bucket from Wal Mart, measured and marked it at the 2 and 4 gallon levels, etc.. The only Dill flavor I added on is that I put the soap in first, boil the biggest stockpot of water I have and dump it in immediately after. From then on I just add the hottest tap water my house produces until I hit the 4 gallon mark.

It does need 8-24 hours to set up to the Crisco goop level and mine usually needs a good stir afterwards but from then on its just 1/2 cup in every load. Less for smaller loads (duh =P). A four gallon batch usually lasts us 4.5-6 months.
And I do laundry-everyday.
Multiple loads of laundry-everyday.

Now I know this frugal method is not for everyone, but it has saved this house soo much $$$ that it is just not justifiable for us to purchase store bought laundry detergent anymore. I will buy detergent on the off chance it's free and I can get away with only paying tax on it, but the odds of that are usually pretty slim around these parts. Is it more natural-sure I think so, more green-totally (there are soo many less chemicals in my detergent than anything you would buy on the shelf at your local supercenter), is it cheaper-you bet, will I continue to make my own detergent-UUHH YES until we can't get the ingredients anymore (because we are overseas or something).

I have turned several people onto this method and they all love it, so its pretty much mom approved.

In closing, I love making my own detergent I feel more independent, self sustaining, and just well, plain clean. With the allergies that Bonnie, Jet Pilot and I have its very comforting knowing that we are putting on clothes washed in a more "natural" detergent. If you have any questions please feel free to leave them in the comments section of this post along with your email and I will get back to you ASAP.

P.S. How classy am I that I used Jet Pilot's BBQ spatula for stirring up my detergent? Haha!! I know I need a better stirrer object but hey you work with whatchu got....


Cindi S World said...

Love this post!

Erica said...

Hey friend! Been following your blog, and I think I just might try this :) Thanks!