Tuesday, February 3, 2009
A big expense at our house is laundry detergent. For 3 years we used the Tide HE detergent. Last spring I read in the "Urban Homemaker" catalog about their very concentrated powder detergent and I ordered it. It has actually worked great. I spent $22 for a box of detergent and it lasted for 6 months. That was a huge savings from the Tide. I only had to use a teaspoon per load. And yes, it cleaned the clothes well. Then, I read on different blogs and saw on different tv shows about people making their own detergent. So, last week we gave this a try.
Here is our recipe...
1 bar Ivory soap
1/2 cup Arm & Hammer Washing soda
1/2 cup Borax
Grate soap and put in saucepan. Add 6 cups water and heat till the soap melts. Add the washing soda and borax and stir until dissolved. Remove from heat. Pour 4 cups hot water into a 3-4 gallon bucket. Add soap mixture and stir. Then add 2 additional gallons of water and stir. Let the soap sit for 24 hours to gel. You use 1/2 cup per load.
We have modified this in that we use 1/4 cup per load and it works great.
I got this recipe from www.thefamilyhomestead.com.
My cost for this batch of laundry detergent is...
.22 washing soda
.33 ivory soap
?? 2 gallons + 10 cups of water
Thats .76 for a big bucket of laundry detergent. We are keeping track of how many loads of laundry we get out of this bucket to figure our cost per load.
I had read on several blogs about getting buckets from bakeries or grocery stores. I asked at Kroger in the bakery and they gave me a bucket that icing came in, for free. It did take 2 trips to Kroger for the bucket, but I am at Kroger once or twice per week so I didn't make a special trip.
The kids enjoyed helping. I took pictures and helped stir. We will do this again! I will be able to get 18 more 1/2 cups of borax and 13 more batches of washing soda from the boxes I bought last week.