Over the next couple of months I am going to share some of our cost saving methods because I love learning new things from the blogs I read. The first thing I want to talk about is laundry soap. Do you have any clue how simple it is to make your own soap at home? I had no idea and only wish someone would have shared this with me oh say 15 years ago when I moved out of my parents house and had to buy my own detergent.
I use to spend about $50 every six months on detergent. We have bought soap from Amway for the last couple of years because I love that is does not have any extra fillers in it. It also has been great on Isabella's sensitive skin but I hated shelling out $50 every six months. Some of my fellow quad moms had mentioned they made their own soap for $.05 a load. With all of the laundry we do I knew I needed to try this. When I ran low last time I didn't have the time to spend a day making laundry detergent so I ordered another box of Amway. If I would have only known it would take me less than 30 minutes to make six months worth of soap I would have saved enough money for a pedicure!
This time when I was down to enough soap for 4 loads I sent Paul out to pick up the three ingredients need to make detergent at home. Yes THREE things is all it takes (& a cheese grater or better yet a food processor)!! You need a bar of Fels Naptha, a box of Borax, and a box of washing soda (at Wal-mart all of these items were sitting side by side on the shelf).
|A cute kid or 2 is always essential to any project at our house.|
The first step is to grate your bar of soap. I used the food processor with the grating blade and in 30 seconds had the Fels Naptha grated to look like shredded cheese. A cheese grater would work if you do not have a food processor. Paul has decided this is what they use in commercials when they want shredded cheese to look perfect on the top of pizza or a bowl of chili!
Next mix 1 cup of Borax and 1 cup of washing soda together with your grated bar of soap. If you do not have a food processor your detergent is done.
I did not care for the grated pieces of soap so after I mixed all three ingredients together I put it all back in the food processor with the mixing blade and gave it a couple whirls to create a granular powder.
I then took my powder and poured it into my container I keep just for laundry detergent. No need to keep it air tight. When it comes time to wash clothes I simply pour 1 TBSP into my washer and push start. I just did a load of whites yesterday and was amazed at how white everything came out. It even took the yellow underarm stains out of Paul's white t-shirts.
I was amazed how easy and inexpensive it was to make my own laundry detergent. I will never buy another box of soap again. I also have stopped using fabric softener a couple months ago after researching how to get the funky smell out of towels. While searching the internet for a solution I read about people using vinegar in their washing machine to rid their towels of this musty smell and also using it as a replacement for fabric softener. A fourth of a cup in your softener dispenser is all you need. It doesn't leave your towels as soft but I will trade soft towels for non smelly towels any day. As long as they dry me off after a shower I will forgo some softness. And don't worry it does not leave your clothes or towels smelling like vinegar. You can also use vinegar to set color by adding 1/4 cup to your laundry detergent for that cycle.
Let me know if you decide to try making your own detergent and I would love to hear what you think. I would also love if you have any money saving products you make at home. Over the next couple of weeks we will be trying homemade Nutrigrain bars, Cheez-its, and yogurt. I will be sharing the success or failures of these and a couple other things we already make from scratch without all the extra preservatives you find in their counterparts at your local grocery.