Feb 14, 2013

It All Comes Out in the Wash (Detergent Update!)

The blog post I get the most questions about in real life, hands down, is the question about my homemade laundry detergent.  Do you remember that?  Let me refresh your memory (a.k.a. click here. It'll take you to the original post).  I thought I would talk a little bit about it in case you were curious!

I made my laundry detergent back in JUNE.  I just ran out last month.  That's SIX MONTHS of not buying laundry detergent.  Absolutely reedonkulous.  It was time to make some more, so I thought I would do a little tweaking to the original recipe. 

I'll start by saying that Marty didn't love the homemade detergent.  Almost from the moment I made it, he turned his nose up.  I guess because it's not a trusted brand or well-renowned for it's cleaning ability...I don't know.  Whatever the reason, he wasn't really wanting to give the 1950s detergent a chance at all ( but that didn't stop me from using it *cheesy grin*).  I figured out later that Marty likes really fresh clothes that have a distinct "just washed" smell.  That's probably one of the few negatives about this detergent.  It doesn't have much of a smell--which doesn't bother me.  I don't have to walk around every day smelling like a fabric softener sheet, but apparently my husband does, so I wanted to fix that with this round of detergent.

Recap:  here's the "recipe" to make your own homemade laundry detergent:

1 box (76 oz) 20 Mule Team Borax
1 box (55 oz) Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda
3 bars of soap**

**In my original round of making detergent, I used plain, ole Ivory soap.  This time, I went for the actual laundry soap...Fels Naptha (you can also pick up Zote--another laundry soap brand).  Heads up, if you go this route?  This stuff is strooooong scented.  Like make your house smell like this soap for THREE DAYS STRAIGHT strong.  

So, let's make the detergent.  Dump the Borax and Washing Soda into your chosen container.  I've been using a cute red beverage tub I found on clearance at Target.  
Then, grate all three bars of soap into the mix with a cheese grater.  Looks just like grated cheese.  A little weird.

Now, one more change from the original batch I made.  To make the detergent and the laundry smell cleaner, I added a bottle of Purex Crystals.  

I picked the Fresh Spring Waters scent, just because I didn't think the hubs would appreciate the Lavender smelling clothing.   

So far, I like this version detergent better.  It smells clean and I think the Purex Crystals add to the cleaning power.  And....hubs hasn't complained.  Score. 

Last time, I compared my savings in making my own detergent vs buying a bottle of Tide or other brand name.  Since I added the Purex Crystals and spent a little more on the Fels Naptha, I would say I spent around $13 on this batch.  Since there are more ingredients, there's more detergent to go around (175. oz worth)  Here's the math: 
Cost of detergent/amount of detergent (tbsp)=Cost per load of laundry

There are 175.5 oz in this batch.  1 oz=2 tbsp.  So, 351 tbsp. of laundry.

$13/351 tbsp= 4 cents a load
I use 2 tbsp in each load of laundry, so it costs me 8 cents a load.

Yep.  Totally still worth it. 

What kind of products do you make yourself and save money?  Share!! 


Chrissy said...

Do you store it open in the container? Where do you buy the ingredients? Can you use it the front load high efficiency washer and dryers? So many questions. I have been wanting to try this but didn't know anyone who had tried it.

Devan Gaddie said...

I do store it in an open container--but I know people that keep theirs in a closed container like a dog food container or something of the like. I bought all my ingredients at Walmart in the laundry aisle. Check into the HE washer and dryer. I don't know that for sure and I don't want to give you wrong advice concerning that! If it works, try it! It's so cost-efficient!!

Joy Means said...

I have used the homemade liquid kind that you make in my HE front loading washer without any trouble. I would like to try the powder but wonder if it would be better to put the powder kind inside with the clothes versus in the dispenser?

Devan Gaddie said...

I put my powder detergent right on top the clothes. But I'm not sure if its HE washer safe. I would check into that first.

Ashley said...

I have been using this similar recipe (minus the Purex crystals) and with 4 lbs of baking soda! I love it!! My husband works with gas all day and I only wash is uniforms at the end of the week and it keeps them just as clean or even a little cleaner than the stuff you buy!

Amanda Turner said...

As soon as I use up my stockpile of detergent I'm going to try my hand at homemade. Thanks for sharing.

♥ Marcy ♥ said...

Hey girl! I found you through the southern blogger link up! Where at in Kentucky are you from?! Fellow Kentuckian here =)

Devan Gaddie said...

Hi Marcy! Thanks for finding me and checking out my blog! I'm from Etown (close to Louisville). Kentucky Love!

Hurri Clean said...

I agree with you. If workplace or office will be clean, then clients and coming visitors will also impress with its clean environment.Roof Cleaning Louisville KY

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