Who Am I?

Well, inquisitive reader, let me answer. I am a wife, a mom and I have chronic bad hair. I like made uppy words and Unnecessary Capitalization. If you know who the guy in the bottom right picture is, you're probably my best friend. Also, I own several Edward dolls which I write about HERE. No, I don't use drugs. By the way, if your love canned tomatoes, visit my stash HERE.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Lessons in frugality: The homemade laundry soap edition

So, now that this sister is hanging out at home full time, I figured I'd do what I could to reduce our overhead.  Because I'm nice that way.  Also, I'd rather buy cake then pay for spendierish things.  Like laundry soap.

If you throw a cyber rock here on the innernets, you'll find a blogpost that talks about how to make homemade laundry soap.  My personal favorite is this awesome ladyfriend and her post on the abovereferencedthingIjustsaid.

I trolled the Walmarts and found these items:

*Three bars of Ivory soap.  It was like, idk, somewhere around $1.09 for all three.
*Borax.  Our Walmart carries it, but some don't.  But they were out so I had to troll the Safeway aisles and I suspect they're highish, so I spent around $5.49 for this big ole box.
*Arm & Hammer Washing Soda.  Also at my Walmart.  But surely at some randomish store near you should your Walmart not be as cool as mine.  It will be in the Detergent aisle.  I spent around $2.49 for this.

So I spent in total somewhere around $8.00ish dollars.

You'll also need:

*A bowl.  Color need not matter.  You can relax on that.
*Cheese grater.  Or a fancypants food processor.  I am not fancypants.
*Air tight container.  I used one I just had around the house, because I'm resourceful like that.
*Measuring Cups.  Which is not pictured.  Because I forgot.  Alas.

So first thing you'll need to do is grate a bar of soap.  It's way easy.  It took like, 47 seconds.  I'm just guessing because I didn't actually time myself or anything but dude, the point is, it's way easy.  I just said that.

See?  Easy peasy grated soapy.  Now add in the Borax and Washing Soda and mix well.  I just chucked mine into the container, closed it up and pretended I was playing the maracas.  Look, it's kind of boring around here.  I gotta make my own fun.


1 bar of grated Ivory soap (or some crazy kind called Fels-Naptha that I didn't feel like hunting down)
1/2 cup Borax
1/2 cup Arm & Hammer washing soda

Use 1 Tablespoon for each load.

Aaaaand voila.  You've got your homemade powder laundry soap.  

Now because I had 3 bars of Ivory Soap, I tripled my recipe which gave me this bounty:

So as time goes on, I'll probably add to my bounty with more batches, because I'm psycho and like to see a full container.  And the soap bars are all I'll need for eons because there's still tons left in the Borax and Washing Soda.

**This recipe does not suds up.  So don't be alarmed if you don't see giant soapy bubbles in your washing machine.
**This recipe also doesn't give the clean-laundry-smelly-good-perfumy-fragrance that most commercial laundry soaps have.  So don't be alarmed if the first few days you find yourself shoving socks into your spouse's face going "Does this smell clean?  I can't tell if it's clean. What do you think?" You can always add a few drops of essential oils to your batch.
**You can add bleach if you feel like you need to, just be careful to not mix it with something that will make a ka-boom, like vinegar.  Also, I'm assuming it makes a ka-boom.  I've not yet tried it.  Homeschool project, anyone?  Just kidding.  Maybe.

You can also make liquid homemade laundry soap if you're into the liquid thing.  I found a great site here that has 10 recipes.

Supposedly this stuff lasts for months at a time.  And if you do complicated Pythagorean Theorem mathematics I'm probably averaging somewhere around 4 cents a load.  Or something.

Happy Laundering.


Aunt Vam said...

I was actually thinking last week of making my own laundry soap, but went to Costco and bought the big tub. Next time, I'll try my own. Also, Fels-Naptha is strong schtuff, it's better to use Ivory.

Your Cousin said...

Vinegar works well as a fabric softener. The acid counteracts the base in the soap.

I haven't used that soap recipe yet, but one thing I did read is that the soap eventually can build up and dull up your clothes. Whites look grey, etc. So actually vinegar is kind of a must I guess.

It's also good (diluted) as a hair conditioner. Seriously. My hair has never felt so soft before. Essential oils are nice to use there too.

Your Cousin said...

Oh yeah - I found fels-naptha at Fred Meyers. Mom's right, it's pretty strong. Really great for difficult stains tho, and totally cheep.

Tracie said...

I've seen these types of recipes before and always wondered how easy it really is and if it really works. I still don't know if I can give up my good smelly stuff though...

MiMi said...

Seriously. ONE TB per load?? ONE?! Wow!

Ladyinwaiting35 said...

Landed on your blog through google reader. I've been making homemade for a yr and my exp is that "Super Washing Soda" http://www.acehardware.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3549579

Gives way better results than baking soda. Chem makeup is different. Here's explanation: http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-washing-soda.htm

Shelley said...

I'm far too lazy to go to all that trouble to save a few dollars! But go you!!

Miss Mandy said...

Only one problem - That's baking soda. Not the same as washing soda girl!

I use the homemade stuff & we love it. I do it in the liquid form though.

Carrie M. said...

so, are you liking it? you think it does a good job? I'm going to try it :)

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