Making laundry detergent

Yep, I’m still around. Unfortunately I’ve been having major issues with my laptop, and hubby has been wrestling with it for a while now. Most of my files I had backed up, and after 3 days hubby was able to get the rest of them off and safely copied over. Ended up wiping the drive and doing a reinstall, but the laptop itself is a borderline dinosaur we bought used to begin with, so to say it’s acting persnickety would be accurate. I’ve been researching new laptops, but I really hate spending the money if I can squeeze any life out of the old one I’ve got…time will soon tell which way it’ll go.

I’m a penny pincher by nature, but if you had told me I would be making my own laundry detergent, I would have suggested a mental health evaluation. However, it seemed like every time I went to the store they had hiked the price of detergent up each and every time, so much so it was seriously pissing me off. The “bargain” brands didn’t seem to do a good job getting stuff fresh and clean, and I thought I was stuck…until I ran across a post from Growing Phases Farm. She’s been making her own laundry detergent for almost 2 years, works great in front loader machines, and only takes 2 tablespoons of the stuff for large loads, 1 tablespoon for regular. Three simple ingredients make one batch:

3/4 cup Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
3/4 cup 20 Mule Team Borax
1 bar Castille soap, grated

I figured it would be simple enough to mix up and try, so the next time I went shopping I looked for the ingredients. A 55-ounce box of the super washing soda was $2.50, a 76-ounce box of the borax was $2.98. I couldn’t find Castille soap, so I picked up a 10-pack of Ivory bar soap instead for $4.29. Can’t get more pure than Ivory, right?

I grabbed one of my Glad tupperware containers, measured out the washing soda, borax, and grated one bar of Ivory soap, then mixed it up, put the lid on and gave it a good shake just to make sure everything was evenly distributed. Since all I do are large loads of laundry, I knew I was looking at 2 tablespoons each time. Turns out a measuring cap off of a bottle of Children’s liquid Tylenol filled to the top with the detergent is *exactly* 2 tablespoons, and it fits inside the container perfectly.

How well does it clean?

In my humble opinion, it leaves Tide and Cheer in the dust. This simple mixture is AWESOME at getting out dirt, stains, and leaving the clothes smelling clean. Whereas before I used a full cap of Downy in the rinse, now I use about a third of that and the clothes smell better than before.

How does it stack up in price?

One recipe batch washes 15 large loads of laundry, and making one batch didn’t even put a dent in the amount of product in the boxes of washing soda and Borax. I spent $9.77 on the ingredients, and with the 10-pack of Ivory bars I know I’ll definitely get 150 loads out of that. If there’s still borax and soda left, I’ll just pick up more Ivory and see how far the boxes go.

Who would have ever thought I’d make my own laundry detergent? Definitely not me, but after seeing how well it cleans and how little I have to use, there’s no question this is what I’ll be doing from now on.

Give it a try–you won’t be disappointed!


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