Adventures in Homemaking: Laundry Soap

Over the last few years, I've read about others making their own laundry detergent.

I'll be honest. I thought they were crazy.

Photo Credit: One more Moore Blog
I first read about it here, here and more recently here.

And yet, I'm trying it too. Why not? It's definitely cheaper to make it yourself, it appears to be easy to make and if it cleans as well (and is better for our machines and our environment), it seems that I'd be stupid not to at least give it a shot. I researched about the pro's and con's. I checked into the reliability with front loading washers, and read more reviews.

And, so I did.

I checked around and read more stories of others making their own detergent. (It did not surprise me in the slightest to find out that the Duggars make theirs. If I had that many bodies to do laundry for, I'd likely just buy the factory where detergent is made. Keeping up with the laundry of 3 bodies is more than I can normally handle anyway!)

I went a little wild and changed up the "recipe's" I read and added OxyClean. (I've got a REALLY hard working man in my house, who tends to get a wee bit greasy and grimy at work. So, I wanted the extra stain removing power.)

Here's my recipe

2 Fels-Naptha soap bars, grated
2 cups Borax
2 cups Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (not baking soda!)
1 cup OxyClean

I mixed it all up, ran it through my food processor to get a finer grain (the soap bars are easy to grate, but I wanted a smaller granule), and then popped it into a plastic pitcher from Wal-mart. (I would have used a glass jar, but I didn't have one large enough available).

Easy peasy! 2 tablespoons per load is all it takes and it saves my budget about 20 cents with each load I do (our store bought name brand detergent runs me about $0.29 per load). It took about 30 minutes to make (with grating the soap and all). I'm thinking it's a win/win for us.

So far, everything that I've washed has come out just dandy! Toddler hand prints and jazz, towels, and work clothes all look and smell great!

Up next... maybe... probably... but not definitely... dishwasher detergent!

A funny tidbit... so my sister-in-law Kimberlee, was over while I was mixing everything up and she asked me what I was doing. I explained it... and her first comment was... something to the effect that I've gone "too far" with all of "this" and that I needed to make changes in other places. 

Once I explained it to her, she didn't think it was THAT strange, but still felt it was odd. 

I agree that it's not the "norm" and that perhaps compared to others it was definitely odd. I've been odd my whole life, and I've become (mostly) okay with it.  I see this as learning a skill that may someday help my family when we are in a tight spot financially, or a skill that I can maybe share with someone else who might need the help. Heaven knows that we're seeing more and more of our friends, family, and neighbors going through hard times financially. And... having extra knowledge is something I can always keep and not worry about having to organize. :)


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