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homemade laundry soap

i have been trying to figure out how many hours i spent in the last year on pinterest. . .  and it is not a pretty picture. 

i justify it by the many things i have learned.  somehow, before pinterest, i thought the only thing you could find online were crafty/sewing things (can we say 'tunnel-vision'?).  pinterest opened up many new areas-- food, cleaning, organizing, photo tips, etc.

wow!  you can find ANYTHING on the internet.  so many ideas, so little time. . .

and one of the things i have actually tried is my very own laundry soap-- super cheap and less chemicals than store-bought kind.

i have seen many, many come across my pinterest board.  the one that i tried and really liked was originally found here

here are the ingredients:

borax (available at wal-mart, stain-remover aisle)
arm & hammer super washing soda (available at wal-mart, stain-remover aisle)
fels-naptha  (available at wal-mart, stain-remover aisle)
long spoon

i tried a small amount first. and it works great!  my clothes are just as clean as my tide washed clothes.

my next goal was to make a LARGE batch-- like a year's worth of the stuff.  (food storage and money savings all wrapped up together!)

i got myself a 5 gallon bucket and filled it-- 9 cups washing soda, 9 cups borax and 18 bars of Fels-Naptha, grated.

from what i have read, the liquid kind is actually cheaper, but seemed like a lot more work.  and somehow, my math came out quite a bit cheaper than the original post suggests.  here is my math:

4 gallons of laundry detergent= 1024 tablespoons

10 loads per week x 2 tablespoons per load = 20 tablespoons per week
20 tablespoons x 52 weeks per year = 1040 tablespoons per year

18 bars of soap-  $17.46
1 box borax-  $3.76
1.5 box washing soda-  $5.25

total-  $26.47 per year

grocery store brand-  $17.99 for 110 loads

5 bottles per year- 

total-  $89.95 per year

by my calculations, $.05 per load for my new, improved, self-made laundry soap.



I also tried the dishwashing soap-- didn't work so well.  it clumped up and left a film on our glasses.  we do have pretty hard water though, so perhaps that is why. 

i recently saw an updated version that looks promising here.  i might try it again someday. . .


one last tip i found that works really well:  use a dryer sheet to cleam soap scum-- say what? 

but it truly works!  like a charm.

so, what is your favorite pinterest tip?


Lisa said...

Seriously? Dryer sheet to clean soap scum? I NEED to try this!!

Michelle said...

Honestly, I've stayed away from pintrest because I don't need another internet pastime keeping me from my sewing room. On the same hand, I love it when people share great things that they've found there because I don't have to use it.

I've made the dry homemade laundry soap. I loved it and used it but I've recently changed over to this laundry cream/mousse:

It's not as labor intensive as the liquid soap and doesn't have the dust factor of the dry. The dust factor was really bothering me. I read the comments on that post and did it all on the stove with a whisk and used it immediately. I love that there's no dust and it doesn't take as much space to store as the 5 gallons of liquid.

I'm going to try the dryer sheet thing right away! I've never heard of that! Thanks for the tip!

Natalie said...

This is the recipe I use too and I LOVE it!! (Actually, I use half ivory soap and half fels-naptha because the fels-naptha is so strong smelling, and it works great!) I pinned your post on pinterest too. I cannot believe you grated all of those bars of soap at once! I would love to do it all at once like you have but I'm not sure I could do that much grating at once! How awesome that you only have to do it once a year. Thanks for the math to prove that it is SO worth it. I think the powder is better for HE washers, and yes, way easy!

The Mid Life Guru said...

I am excited to try it. Where do you buy the ingredients?

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