Saturday, April 30, 2011

DIY laundry detergent

I, like most people these days, am always looking for ways to save money.  It's one thing to cut costs down to the basic and most bare essentials but can you cut more? Actually, yes you can. For example something as essential as laundry detergent. I already purchase the cheapest brand for our area, Arm & Hammer Laundry Detergent.  I have seen the cost rise dramatically over the past year though. Even though I use less than the recommended amount--with no ill effects, I knew there had to be a cheaper way.
I have heard of making your own laundry detergent but didn't make time to do it. I finally found the ingredients and went online last night for the exact recipe. Most online sites for DIY detergent instruct you how to make the liquid kind. It gets rave reviews but I prefer the powdered and with a toddler in the house, I can store the powdered kind much safer than a huge bucket of gelatinous liquid detergent.

Whoa! I should have done this YEARS ago! It was RIDICULOUSLY easy to do. Who knew!?!

I looked online for the price of powdered Arm & Hammer detergent--I couldn't remember what I paid last I bought it, myself.

120 loads: $28.93 = $.25 per load  (this looks high to me--I think it's cheaper in the store-my local Target)
The liquid (from Walmart) is 35 loads: $4.97 = $.14 per load.
TIDE powdered detergent (from Walmart) is 120 loads: $17.97 = $.14 per load

14 cents doesn't sound too bad, right?

I purchased a BOX of washing soda & calculated the price per oz.  I was then able to figure out the cost of how much I actually used in this first batch.  Same thing with the Borax and the bar of soap.

Ivory brand bar soap is the cheapest where we are and what I usually purchase. At Walmart you can get a 10 pack for $3.76. Each batch uses 1 bar = $.37

I used a bar of Dr. Bonner's Castile soap it was much pricier but I've heard great things about it & it smelled wonderful. It also created about 1.5 cups of grated soap. So I made 1.5 'batches' detergent.

 Recipe I used:
1 bar of Dr. Bonner's Castile soap: $4.49
1.5 cups washing soda: $.87
1.5 cups borax: $.48

TOTAL: $5.84 = 96 loads = $.06 PER LOAD!
& that was w/ the EXPENSIVE castile soap!

If you used IVORY it would be $1.72 = 96 loads = $.01 PER LOAD!

Isn't that RIDICULOUS!?!

Convinced yet?
You can play with the measurements to find what works best for your laundry needs.  There may be variances according to your washer type (like HE for example) or water (hard or soft).

Here is the BASIC powdered detergent recipe:
1 bar of soap OR 1 cup of grated bar soap
1 cup washing soda (usually it's Arm & Hammer brand NOT baking soda)
1 cup Borax

Grate bar of soap
Mix ingredients together until it is as fine as you can get it or are comfortable with.

YES, it's THAT easy!!!

Use 1 tbsp per load. 
Yes just ONE tablespoon is all you need. Possibly 2 if it's heavily soiled laundry.
This recipe should be enough for 32-64 loads of laundry. (I based my calculations on 64 loads & remember I made 1.5 batches worth = 96 loads)

 And I found another detergent/soap free option for those who are more naturally minded. I have no experience w/ these. I calculated their cost per load to be the same: $.01 PER LOAD.
Laundry Ball

You can google if you prefer the liquid, there are lots of instructional sites & blogs.
Also research if you have septic systems. I found contradictory info on whether home made detergent is safe or not. It's YOUR call to make.

1 comment:

  1. My sister made this last night! I actually think that I'm going to try the powdered version next time too. Great work!


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