So as you now know, I got a new washer and dryer. This prompted me to beautify my ugly laundry room, and by beautify I mean de-clutter the shelves.
See that green tub up there? That’s one of my new favorite things. It’s from the Dollar Tree (because I’m cheap frugal like that) and it makes me happy every time I see it.
Let me start by saying that I am not a ‘green’ person by any means, and I am not a crazy couponer. I’m pretty middle of the road, but trying to do much better these days to stretch our pennies. And in that vein, this idea was born. I’m trying very hard to makeover everyday money-suckers that I don’t usually even stop to consider, and laundry detergent definitely fits that bill.
I’ve been using my homemade detergent for about 3 months now and I love it! It smells great and it works just as well as the store-bought kind.
If you’d like to try to make your own laundry detergent, here’s my recipe.
Washing Soda and Borax can both be found in the laundry detergent aisle, usually with the stain treatments, and they are very inexpensive. I also use a bar of Ivory soap, some oxygen cleaner, baking soda, a grater, a container, and a tablespoon.
Grate the bar of soap into your container:
Because I’m me, I bought a grater (also at Dollar Tree) that I use only for this purpose. I know in my head that a dishwasher could clean it, but honestly I could never again grate cheese on a grater that was used for soap. I’m weird like that.
For every one bar of soap, add 1 cup of Borax, 1 cup of Washing Soda, 1/2 cup Baking Soda, and 1/4 cup Oxygen cleaner (if desired). Then I just stir until well combined. I’ve read that others mix in their blender, but again, I’m me. I just can’t do that. Besides, the girls love to make this themselves, so who am I to deny them that pleasure?
The end result:
So easy peasy, it’s cheap, and it works. In fact, it works really, really well. And it only takes 2 Tablespoons per load, so it’s very economical. And yes, I can now attest to it being just fine for front-loaders. I actually researched this and I found several people online saying they’d been using it for a long time (1+ years) in their front-loaders and all was well, so I felt comfortable in proceeding.
Previously I was buying Arm & Hammer powdered detergent because it was the cheapest brand that I felt still did a good cleaning job. Comparing the cost, the Arm & Hammer is about 26 cents per load, whereas my homemade batch costs just a penny per load. I know those pennies don’t sound like much, but to live out my own little version of a Wal-Mart commercial, if your family switched to my detergent that would save you $250 (or more) per year. I saw someone on my Facebook feed stating that it was great to make a 5-month supply of laundry detergent for $2, and I’d have to agree.
So you’re doing something green, saving some money, and giving your kids a fun project all at the same time. Now kick back with a cup of coffee and put those little ones to work!
Oh, and the vinegar in that top picture? My new fabric softener. It works, no it does not make you smell like vinegar, and it also repels lice - a serious plus for any mom of school-age children who lives in fear of that dreaded note from the school nurse.