08 July 2011

Frugal Friday: Laundry detergent

I'm always on the lookout for bargains on staples for my stockpile, but I usually come up empty-handed in the laundry department. I can never seem to find high efficiency detergent for less than about 15 cents per load, even on sale and with coupons. So naturally I wondered if it was something I could make myself. With Google's help, I discovered it's quite do-able! When I mentioned to my mother-in-law that I had started making my own laundry detergent, she told me she was going to buy me some Tide. My own mother just said, "Now that's interesting." Neither were convinced that a homemade detergent would work very well, yet both asked what I used to make it. It really couldn't be simpler. Just combine equal parts of:

Soap shavings (you could buy laundry soap, but I just used leftover scraps of Tom's bath soap. Hotel soaps would be good for this, too.)
Washing soda
Borax

And that's it! So far, the detergent is working really well, and I can't tell the difference between it and a commercial product. I also added OxiClean to the mix for extra whitening power, but that's optional. It's a low-suds solution so it's safe for front-loading washers, and it only costs a penny or two per load! You don't need very much - only need a couple of tablespoons per load. I use the scoop that came in my OxiClean container.

If you prefer liquid detergent, you use the same ingredients plus water. Basically you boil some water in a big pot on the stove, then melt your soap shavings in the water and add the washing soda and borax. Pour the mix into a 5-gallon container and fill with water, or until it's the consistency of your favorite commercial liquid. Use up to 1/4 cup per load.

1 comment:

Christina Banker said...

I might use this after I go through my 20 bottles of free detergent i scored a little while ago.