These days it seems like most people are looking for ways to trim the excess fat out of their spending or trying to make their money last longer. I am no exception. I wanted to share a way of saving money on something most of us use daily - laundry detergent. I used to be a loyal fan of Tide until our family started growing and it got be so expensive. Then I tried finding something else and after several years, landed on ALL detergent since it was free of dyes and perfumes. One of my daughters has eczema and other detergents seemed to aggravate it. I started looking for ways to make it myself and came across a very simply and inexpensive way to make my own. The only ingredients are water, Ivory soap, Borax and A&H Super Washing Soda (not baking soda). I find all of the ingredients at my local WalMart. Some recipes call for other bar soaps but I like this one enough that if it's not broke, I'm not fixing it.
The recipe is as follows:
1/3 bar of Ivory soap, grated
1/2 cup Borax
1/2 cup A&H Washing Soda
1 gallon water
1 empty plastic laundry detergent container
1 stock pot (large enough to hold a gallon of water easily)
1 wooden spoon
1 funnel ( I didn't have one handy so I cut a water bottle in half and inverted it - works fine)
Please note: only use a stock pot or equivalent that you won't be using for anything else - I ruined a quality pot thinking it's only soap - it will wash off. I now have a very expensive soap making pot.
Just pour your water in and add the other ingredients and turn heat to medium. Stir about every 10 minutes or so to help the Ivory soap on top to break up. This takes roughly 30-45 minutes. The goal is to slowly melt the Ivory soap until it blends with the liquid. Depending on your stove, don't go too far away since it may boil over. On my stove, medium is consistent but medium-high can boil over. It will start getting goopy and this usually means it's done. Remove from heat and allow to cool. This can take a while so I make it in the morning and by midday, it's ready to pour. When it is cool - it will be like gelatin. Simply stir and if it's too thick, add a little water. Scoop or pour into empty plastic laundry detergent container. I use about 1/2 cup per load, remember this is not a concentrate.
Note: if you are in love with detergents because of the way they smell, you may not enjoy this. Some people may add essential oils to make it smell fluffy, but I haven't tried this yet.
I purchase my ingredients at WalMart and have included pictures below.
The cost per gallon for the Borax is $.16 (76 oz div by 4 oz or 1/2 cup = 19, then cost div by 19)
The cost per gallon for the A&H Super Washing Soda is $.25 (55 oz div by 4 oz or 1/2 cup)
The cost per gallon for the Ivory soap is $.14 (3 bar pack at $1.33 div 9 - using 1/3 bar per gallon)
Grand total is $.55 per gallon. Sounds pretty good right? It gets better when you divide that by 32 which is the approximate number of loads per gallon using 1/2 cup per load. Drum roll please....$.01 (0.017) PER LOAD! I don't know about you but I love it! Compare that to Tide using their Tide 2x Ultra For High Efficiency Machinest Liquid Laundry Detergent, Original Scent, 150 oz priced at $17.97 online at WalMart. It will wash 96 loads (medium size) and 48 (large size) costing $.18 per load and $.37 per load respectively. I can easily wash 2-3 loads per day and over weeks and months that can really add up to a big savings. I honestly can't remember the last time I bought laundry detergent - it's been at least 6 months and I have only had to repurchase Ivory soap. I still use the traditional stain lifting spray and have found a way to stretch my fabric softener, but that is another story.
This works well for me and my family and it saves us quite a bit of money. If you find a good thing - share it! If you have another recipe or something you do to save money, post a comment and share your wisdom with others!
Have a clean laundry day!