Monday, March 30, 2009

Frugal Laundry

You all know how expensive laundry detergent is. Well, it's not THAT bad. You can usually find a sale on detergent for $1.99 for 35 loads. But did you realize that you will RARELY get 35 loads out of that? I fill my washer full and I fill the detergent in the cap up to the top line or almost the top line, and I will get way less out of it. SO if you are figuring the cost to be like $.05 a load or something, figure again. I started by marking my bottle with a marker every load of laundry I did.
My mom told me about making laundry soap and this recipe that she found. She has been using it a while and says it works! I am also going to be doing this very soon. So, here is the recipe:
  • 1/3 bar of Fels Naptha soap
  • 1/2 cup Borax powder
  • 1/2 cup Arm and Hammer Washing Soda
  • a bucket
  • water

I have found all of these ingredients at my Kroger.

First, grate 1/3 of the soap and put it into a saucepan.

Add 6 cups of water and heat until the soap melts. Add the washing soda and borax, stirring until it is dissolved. Pour 4 cups hot tap water into your bucket. Add your soap mixture and stir it together. Add another 22 cups of water and stir to combine. Let the soap cool and set up for about 12-24 hours. The finished product jells up. It won't have a normal consistency. Part of it will be like jello and part will remain liquid. It's all the same thing and dissolves in the laundry tub. No need to try and break it up.
Each load takes about 1/2 cup of laundry soap.

I have also found the same recipe on The Grocery Cart Challenge, and she explains what each ingredient does:

  • Borax cleans, deodorizes, disinfects and softens the water.
  • Washing soda cuts grease and neutralizes odors.
  • Fels Naptha is a stain remover.

On The Grocery Cart Challenge, she also has a recipe for Homemade dryer sheets, that I found. Here is her recipe:

Homemade Dryer Sheets

  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 cup of vinegar
  • 2/3 cups of any hair conditioner

I stirred mine together in an empty baby wipe container. Don’t shake, this will cause foaming. Soak a cloth rag (I used an old clean wash cloth) and ring it out until slightly damp. Then throw it into the dryer with your load of clothes.

This can also be used as a liquid fabric softener in the rinse cycle.

I have been using this for about a week now and it has worked great! I bought Suave conditioner from the Dollar Store, and used about 1/3 for this recipe. I had a ginormous bottle of vinegar, so that cost me pennies. So all in all, the recipe cost less then $.50 for about 20 loads (maybe more loads! I don't know exactly yet). It would be even less if I used some of the conditioner that I got for free from CVS.

SO, there you go. Frugal laundry! I can't wait to try the laundry soap. Supposedly it is about a penny a load! I love the idea of these also because I know EXACTLY what is in them.

Would YOU try these recipes?


Megan said...

I bought most ingred. for the laundry det. about a year ago and still haven't made it...

but I am interested in the dryer sheet recipe. it looks very easy. I may try that.


jennyleigh said...

Do you know if the soap is safe for septic?

Sarah said...

The Fels Naptha says "100 years of stain fighting power is found in this heavy duty laundry soap. Used everyday for poison ivy treatment, laundry, to rid plants of pests and remedy black spot fungus in roses. Safe for Septic systems. "

The washing soda says "Super Washing Soda is all natural. It will work well with and is safe for any septic system.
ARM & HAMMER Super Washing Soda is 100% sodium carbonate. It does not contain fragrance, surfactants or other additives."

And the Borax says "Ingredients: 100% Borax, a naturally occurring mineral composed of sodium, boron, oxygen and water. That's it!

What Is Borax? Borax, or sodium borate, is a naturally occurring alkaline mineral first discovered over 4000 years ago. It is found in large quantities in the Western United States as well as in the Tibet area of China.

How safe is Borax? Borax has no toxic fumes and is safe for the environment. Borax can irritate skin and should not be ingested. Safe for septic systems. "

So, everything sounds pretty natural to me! Just obviously handle like you would any other laundry detergents, washing your hands well after using.

carrie said...

I can't wait to try both of these ideas!!!

Mom of three little Princesses said...

So do you dip the wash cloth into the mix every load? I always hate buying dryer sheets they are always so expensive. Also I have tons of conditioner, you want some I will bring you one friday!! I think I am going to try the dryer sheet recipe

Sarah said...

Well, I have like 2 clean older wash cloths that I keep in there. Soaking. I squeeze the one out, and throw it in the wash and leave the other soaking in the mix. Then when I dry the next load I take the cloth from the mix out and throw that in the dryer. The other wash cloth then, I throw back in the mix, and let it soak.

Hope that helps! Yes, I will take free conditioner! =)

Steph said...

I have been using homemade laundry soap for a while now and love it! I grate up hotel soaps though - they are FREE! I will definitely be trying the dryer sheet idea - awesome! I have been using just 1 cup of vinegar in the rinse cycle but it is just not getting the job done for my liking. I get my vinegar at Sam's Club for just a few bucks. I can't wait to try this!