So, at my husband's suggesting, I began researching homemade laundry detergent. Together, we settled on a recipe we felt we could easily manage and afford.
Together we went to WalMart and bought the standard supplies. Then, for a little extra smell good, some essential oils. After smelling many not so smell good oils, we settled on the Linen scent... ya know, because we're cleaning linens and such.
The detergent itself does not have much of a fragrance. We wanted the fresh clean scent. Lesha suggested we buy essential oils because she's been using it in her homemade fabric softener for quite some time, now.
My husband and I measured and mixed ingriedents. Meaning I measured and poured the powedered parts while he grated the soap! :) He did the "hard" part, which turned out not to be so hard at all!
After shaking our bucket, we decided to test it out on a load of towels. We decided on the towels for our test load in case anything bleached or got eaten alive it wasn't our clothes.
Well, not only did the towels come out smelling great, they were extremely clean! It was better than Tide, Gain, Purex, All, or any other detergent my husband and I wasted money on before. And, they smell so much fresher!
When I told some people about our experiment, they thought we were crazy. Especially after I told them it cost us about $25.00 to get it started, $30.00 if you count the essential oils.
But, let's consider this, shall we? If you're paying $20.oo for Tide, $15.00 for All, $20.00 for Gain, or $8-10.00 for Purex for only 60-96 loads, you're paying about 3 times the amount for laundry detergent as I am!
I paid $30.00 for about 3 1/2 gallons of powdered detergent that only takes 1/8 cup per full load of laundry. Which means? I can do more laundry for my $30.00 than you can for your $30.00. And, with those savings? I buy more diapers for my 11 month old. (Diapers are one thing you won't watch me try to get around economically too often. I refuse to use cloth diapers... its just not my thing.)
So, if you'd like to try the tried and true detergent here's your recipe:
- 12 cups Borax
- 8 cups washing soda
- 8 cups baking soda
- 8 cups shaved Fels-Naptha Bar or Ivory Bar soap
Mix together in a large bucket. Use 1/8 cup per each load
(My husband and I added approximately 2.5 oz of essential oils to our to give it a fresh scent as the detergent itselt does not have a frangrance.)
The basic ingredients.
The essential oil was found in at Walmart in the craft department.
After researching (you'll find that I do quite a bit of that), we discovered we already had everything for the basic recipe at home! Lesha suggested, as she did with the detergent, to add essential oils for fragrance. So, we bought Linen scent to give our laundry the fresh, clean smell.
We tested the fabric softener, just as we did the detergent, on the towels. Again, this is to prevent any damage to our clothes while we experiment. We were hoping for the ourstanding results we recieved with the detergent. The fabric softener did what the name claims... it softened the fabric. It just didn't seem, to me, that it did as great a job as my favorite national brands: Downy and Gain.
However, with an overal price tag of about $2.00 a bottle, I decided to try again. (My husband put the softener in the load of towels, I decided to try with the white load.) This time, the laundry came out perfect! The third load I tried it on, the colors, also came out perfect! I don't know if my husband just didn't use enough with the towels or if it wasn't mixed as well. After the colored clothes came out perfectly softened and smelling nice, I was completely sold on the homemade softener!
I highly reccommend this to anyone trying to save some money! It works just as well as the pricey national labels!
Just a fair warning: if not mixed properly it will explode! Just ask my husband! ;)
The recipe is as follows: