Monday, June 27, 2011

I Tried It – Homemade Laundry Detergent

I’ve heard a lot of frugal-living blogs mention homemade laundry detergent. I’ve heard them say they make it and I’ve heard them say that it’s an unnecessary hassle. I knew I wanted to eventually get around to trying it out for myself but it was pretty far in the back of my mind. Then one day I stumbled across a how-to for a powdered laundry detergent at Debt Free Adventure that was too good not to try immediately.
The recipe Matt gives is only 3 ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
  • 1/2 cup 10 Mule Team Borax
  • 1 bar Ivory soap
To see how to make it for yourself go check out his original post.
I purchased all of the ingredients, made the detergent and then did the cost-breakdown. I was insanely curious. I doubled the batch, which ended up yielding enough for 56 loads of laundry. In bullet points, here is my outcome.
  • It was very easy to make, like 5 minutes.
  • It was very cheap to make – $1.45 for 56 loads (WOW)
  • It is very easy to use – 1 tablespoon per load.
  • And … IT WORKS!
My daughter must have known I wanted to give it the real test because she BADLY stained a pair of her jeans playing outside. Both knees and the butt of the jeans were smeared with a very dark grass stain. I wish I took ‘before’ pictures so you could see how terrible they were. The last pair of jeans she did this to are now play jeans. I got most of the stain out but there is still a very faint amount of green on the knees – that was with my old detergent. I did the same as usual, pre-treated the stained areas and then washed them with the regular clothes but used my new detergent. They are completely clean in one try (I will try to treat and wash a stain out up to three time to save a piece of clothing). I couldn’t believe it.
If you are at all interested in this you really should give it a try. You won’t be sorry :)
  • Instead of regular Ivory soap I started using Ivory with Aloe. It cleans exactly the same but smells really nice.
  • I find it VERY helpful to grate the soap with my food processor. Then, leaving the grated soap in there, I remove the grating blade and put the chopping blade in, then add the other ingredients and turn it on. It mixes it and makes it very fine, so that I have no problem at all with the soap dissolving in cold water.
This post is linked in with Tightwad Tuesday at Being Frugal. Head over there to check out some great frugal ideas!

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