Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Homemade Laundry Detergent

There are lots of good things that have come from penny pinching.  

We make most foods from scratch -- which most often taste BETTER! We make our own chicken stock, french fries, potato chips, pancakes, waffles, cookies, cakes, biscuits, salad dressings, and lots of other things.    

I've learned how to improvise when I'm lacking an ingredient (or two) -- I have the Food Network show "Chopped" to thank for this!    

I have learned how to change the brake pads on my car.  I can repair an iPhone without killing it (most of the time).  

I've learned how to do so many things because, if I need anything done, I pretty much have to do it myself.  

Today, let me expound on the joys and virtues of homemade laundry detergent!  I started making it because it was cheaper than most detergents but also because it is pure and basic and simple and old fashioned.  Some member of my household always seems to get a rash when I change detergents so I quit with all the detergent roulette. 

I found a recipe on Pinterest.  Then I modified it a bit.  The recipe called for Fels-Naptha soap which I think just plain STINKS!  It smells like anti-septic and pine sol which is not how I wanted my clothes to smell.  So I substituted good ole Ivory soap.  Now I LOVE the smell!

Here's my modification of the recipe:

Homemade Laundry Detergent

1 box washing soda (whatever size they have)
1 box borax (whatever size they have)
1 box baking soda (I usually get a large box, put half in the detergent, and use the other half for household cleaning)
1 bar of Ivory soap

Grate the Ivory soap with a cheese grater.  Mix all the ingredients together (be careful not to breathe the dust or you'll be trying to get it out of your nose and throat for the rest of the day).  Store in some fun container -- a cookie jar, a metal bin, a big mixing bowl -- whatever you like.  

Use 1-2 Tablespoons in the washer.

All the ingredients are available on the laundry aisle at most grocery stores, the combined cost is under $10, and it lasts a LONG time because you use so little.

I was skeptical that it would work as well as "regular" laundry detergent but I've come to believe that it works BETTER!  

And it smells like Ivory soap.  Who doesn't like the smell of Ivory soap?

And no one gets a rash!