Friday, February 6, 2015

Flashback Friday: Making Laundry Detergent

Here's this week's Flashback Friday where I dig up an old post. If you haven't seen it before, then it's new to you! If you're looking for a way to cut your household costs, check out how I make my own laundry detergent. It only takes me about 20 minutes every 6 weeks. Of course this will vary depending on how quickly you go through laundry detergent.

Skill Level: Beginner
Skills Attained: DIY Detergent

  • Bar of Soap
  • Borax 
  • Washing Soda
  • Cheese Grater
  • Large Pot (large enough to hold two gallons of water)
  • Wooden Spoon
  • (2) Gallon Milk Jugs (empty)
  • Funnel
  • Ladle

I started making my own laundry detergent last year. (If any of my friends or family are reading this post, they my fall over in their seats. I'm not usually this "earthy".) What was my main motive in doing this? Money. Every once in a while I challenge myself to cut costs in our family's budget. I was first inspired -- as many people are these days -- when I saw a few websites walking me through the process on Pinterest, and I thought, "I can totally do that!" 

As I mentioned, there are many blogs that walk you through how to do this, and my method does not deviate from many of those. In case you're interested, here's how I do it:

Grate one bar of soap into a large pot. You can use any type of soap you would like. I just use what I have on hand. Today, it happened to be Dove. If you'd like a scent to your detergent, you could use a lavender soap or something similar. 

Add one gallon of water and heat on the stove until the soap has dissolved. 

Add one cup of Borax (No, not "Borat". Borax is a "detergent booster" -- not quite sure what that means.)  and one cup of washing soda. I found both of these items at my local grocery store. Bring the mixture to a boil. (Keep an eye on the pot so the mixture does not boil over. That happened to me, and it got everywhere! I guess there are worse things to spill all over your stove than soap:) 

Remove from heat and add one gallon of cool water. As you can see, I need a bigger pot, but it's all I have, so I work with it:) 

Once the detergent has cooled, funnel it into your milk jugs. As the mixture cools, it will congeal. To use, add 1/2 c. of the detergent to your washing machine per load of laundry. 

I haven't done an actual breakdown on the cost savings, but I would estimate the cost of this homemade laundry detergent to store bought detergent is pennies on the dollar.

If any of you are wondering, do you notice a difference in your clothes? The answer is a resounding, "No!" I haven't noticed a change in color, smell, or cleanliness. I'm happy to have found a way to save my family a little money and not require a lot of extra work on my end. 

Have you ever tried making your own laundry detergent? If you've used homemade laundry detergent, have you noticed any differences in your wash? 

Check out more posts on my 2014 A to Z Challenge!

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