Friday, January 30, 2009

Frugal Friday

Today, for lack of having something better to post, I thought I'd post a tutorial and recipe for something that I've found to be very helpful around here lately:

Laundry Detergent :)

While I realize that this seems like it might be more trouble than it is worth, consider the fact that you can do 110 full size loads of laundry for $1.11 with the homemade stuff. We've bounced between store-bought and homemade since summer, and quite honestly, I really can't see the difference as far how clean the clothes get. So here goes:
First, use a grate about 1/2 of a bar of soap into a medium size saucepan (I'd recommend Ivory, I'm using some of the soap my parents and I made in the fall)

Add 3 pints of hot water to the soap shavings and simmer on low - medium heat until the soap is dissolved. Don't let the water boil, or you will have suds everywhere. I'm not going to elaborate on how I know that. Ha Ha!

Then, add 1/2 cup of washing soda to the liquid. Washing soda is available in the aisle with laundry detergent at most grocery stores and cost around $2.00 per box. This size box is good for many batches of detergent. (Please excuse the peeling paint on the back of my stove, it works well, but isn't going to win any beauty contests.)
Pour in 1/2 cup of borax powder too. This is also found in the laundry aisle and costs around $2.00 as well.

Stir the washing soda and borax into the soapy water until everything is dissolved and the mixture is slightly thickened.

Pour one quart hot water into a 2 gallon plastic bucket and pour the soap mixture in as well. Fill the bucket with more water and mix well. Allow the detergent to sit for around 24 hours until it has gelled. Use 1/2 cup per laundry load (I sometimes use a bit more if the load is extra large or really dirty).

Laundry Detergent Recipe:
Here is the recipe that I use:
3 Pints Water
1/3 Bar Fels Naptha Soap Grated (I substitute 1/2 bar of Ivory or something similar)
1/2 Cup Washing Soda
1/2 Cup Borax
2 Gallon Bucket
1 Quart Hot Water Water
Mix Fels Naptha soap in a saucepan with 3 pints of water, and heat on low until dissolved. Stir in Washing Soda and Borax. Stir until thickened, and remove from heat. Add 1 Quart Hot Water to 2 Gallon Bucket. Add soap mixture, and mix well. Fill bucket with hot water, and mix well. Set aside for 24 hours, or until mixture thickens. Use 1/2 cup of mixture per load.


Farmgirl Cyn said...

I have been making my own homemade laundry soap for about 3 years now, and really can't see any difference between my own and store bought...except for the price, of course! I usually use one full bar of Fels Naptha, grated, then add about 1 gal very hot water to the pot. Let it sit for an hour or so, and it will dissolve on it's own. I then heat it up a bit, just enough to dissolve the 1 cup washing soda, and 1 cup 20 Mule Team Borax. Stir that up, pour it in my bucket, and add about 3 more gal. HOT water. This usually lasts my family of 5 for about 6 weeks or so, and I use about 1/2 cup per large load.

PS found you thru Rhonda, over at down-to-earth, I think!

j and s said...

Is this mild enough to use for babies and cloth diapers?