Saturday, April 12, 2008

Photobucket Laundry Experiments

Quit LAUGHING! It was only a matter of time. When I began grinding wheat and baking bread I got a lot of teasing. "How long does it take before a homeschooler begins grinding her own wheat?" har, har, har......but NOW I'm going to MAKE LAUNDRY DETERGENT! ::snort::

While Mike was deployed, and I had much time to think, I decided that we'd mastered the food thing and would move on to chemicals in our home. I bought some all natural laundry detergent from co-op. The boys complained. They thought they smelled - they were right. The little's clothes were also coming up with lots of stains. We went back to Tide with Bleach.

I began to hear on a local email group of ladies that got together to make laundry soap. I think because it's FUN - not that it's so tough you need help - they INSIST that their clothes don't stink. THEN one Friday at produce co-op Deja and I were discussing budgets and she mentioned she'd spent $12 for laundry detergent since JANUARY.....I spend $17 a pay check. Maybe a bit of stink is warranted. SHE also INSISTS their clothes come clean and don't stink.

I bought supplies. I thought the ladies were using the same recipe. They're not. Some make liquid and some make dry. Many use this recipe from Crystal Miller at The Family Homestead. I did a search and found this recipe for dry detergent at The Frugal Shopper. I opted for powdered soap as it seems easier to make, easier to store, and makes a more manageable amount.

Powdered Laundry Detergent
1 C Fels Naptha Soap (I used Ivory - and it smells nice)
1/2 C Washing Soda
1/2 C Borax

For light load, use 1 tablespoon. For heavy or heavily soiled load, use 2 tablespoons.

Deja uses 1/2 a C of Ivory and 1 C of soda and I adjusted the above recipe. I NEED this to work so I used the biggest amounts of both recipes.
Adjusted Laundry Detergent
1 C Ivory (bar)
1 C Washing Soda (not baking soda)
1 C Borax

Grate the Ivory soap. The toughest part of this was remembering that this was NOT mozzerella cheese...don't taste the Ivory.
Mix with soda and borax.
Whirl in a food processor (or blender).
Deja uses 1 T for normal loads and 2 T for tough dirt.
As I said earlier, Deja figured out she's spent $12 for detergent since Jan. I spent about $8 to buy supplies and have enough soda and borax left for MANY more batches of soap. I still have enough Ivory for 2 - 4.


Unknown said...

Oh I like this idea. When we move and get settled I am going to give this a try!!

Debbie said...

I've seen the liquid soap recipe, but not the dry one. I wonder how it would work in a front loading machine?

Deja said...

Just to clarify...the $12 was for BOTH laundry AND homemade dishwasher detergent for 3 months. Since I'm no longer making my own dish det, just cutting the storebought stuff, I'll have to recalculate. All I know is that I'm saving a LOT of $. Good luck!

DeEtta @ Courageous Joy said...

LOL Deja - so even more savings...except I'm using 2 T for each load...and I've done lots of it today. Long story.

Deja said...

I think when I actually calculated it, it came to 1.5 CENTS per LOAD..and with 7 of us, we do a LOT of loads LOLOL

April Williams said...

We make our own laundry soap because of skin rashes. We have been doing it for almost a year. Kasie almost never has to use the medicated creame anymore. I spent about $25 for the powders. (We had to order them online as the local stores do not carry them in our area. The shipping was more than the washing soda and borax.) I do not remember what I have spent on ivory soap but I made my last batch about a month ago. There is only 4 of us though.
April from SHS

Cynthia said...

A friend of ours from co-op makes her own soap, and bread, etc. She makes her own spray cleaner for wiping down cabinets, countertops, etc., and it smells REALLY GOOD! This reminds me that I still need to get that recipe from her.

Stephanie said...

We use the cup/cup/cup dry also and have for at least two years. Actually, right now I have store bought because we picked some up when we had a bug and kept using it. My husband is a smoker *unfortunately* so I add a box of baking soda to it, and it works great on smells of any sort. We follow it with a downey ball full of white vinegar in the rinse cycle in place of fabric softener and we're good to go!

DeEtta @ Courageous Joy said...

Deja - 1.5 per load - I'll remember that when I'm tempted not to drag out the grater et al.

Our batch lasted a week.

April and Stephanie - glad to hear your stories too and I'll have to remember the soda thing Steph. Do you just put baking soda in with the rest of the mixture? A whole box? The french fry smell is why we always needed the bleach. LOL

Stephanie said...

Well, a box is pretty vague isn't it when you're looking at the different sizes on the shelf. lol I use about a cup of it too, everything in equal amounts. I think it's when I'm doubling it I add in a box. Then, I use an 1/8 cup scoop in each load. It gets out the smoke smells so I'm sure it would get out the fry smell. (I remember that smell from when I was 19 and waiting tables... lol) I have a tendency though to at times triple or quadruple it in a large container because I don't like having to stop and make it that often. I'd like to spend longer and do it less. I guess I'm lazy. lol