a "been-there" mom of six offers encouragement
to wives, young mothers, and those not so young,
and simple common-sense approaches to
the "ings" of life:
child-rearing (hints and helps), homemaking (all areas),
cooking (simple, cheap, and do-it-yourself)
making (toys and gifts), preparing (for the unexpected),
maintaining (sanity and peace in this increasingly crazy world) and more---
all aspects of making the most of making do on little---
and having fun in the process.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Homemade Laundry Soaps -- Easy, Cheap, and Effective!

Small savings
add up!
Earlier this week I was "on my soapbox" about Traumatic Brain Injuries---begging you to make sure your  loved ones wear helmets when skateboarding, or similar activities.

Keeping with the soapbox-------I know this segue is a huge stretch but humor me here okay?

Last August I gave you a great recipe for Sandy's simple and cheap homemade laundry soap --- which makes enough for washing 72 loads of laundry for $2.00.   Here is the link:                             http://thecreativecheapskate.blogspot.com/2011/08/buyer-be-wiser-latest-scoop.html

The Budget-Conscious Stick Together

From time to time I share parts from Trent Hamm's blog The Simple Dollar.
This month he has a blog on a very similar laundry soap plus another on dish-washing and dish-washer soaps and other cleaners, using basically the same ingredients.

Since Trent and I are on the same page of frugal living I thought it would be a good idea to revisit Sandy's soap and include Trent's suggestions.

Trent's post is part of his year-long blog series  in which he is revisiting the entries from his book "365 Ways to Live Cheap.

The following words are Trent's

"All I do is take a bar of ordinary soap and a box grater, then grate that bar of soap down into a fine powder, about a cup of it. 

To that, I add one cup of washing soda, half a cup of borax, and half a cup of an oxygen cleaner, such as OxiClean, which serves as the surfactant in the detergent. 

I mix this thoroughly in a Ziploc container, then toss in a tablespoon for measuring. Some people like to also add half a cup of baking soda, but I’ve never felt it necessary to get my clothes clean.

When I do a load of laundry, I just scoop two tablespoons of my mix into the washing machine and I’m good to go. This stuff works great – it gets my clothes clean and fresh every time.

So, what does this cost? A single batch of this detergent is enough for 24 loads. To make it, I need one bar of soap, which I can get for $0.30; a cup of washing soda, which I can get for $0.32; a half cup of borax, which I can get for $0.24; and half a cup of OxiClean, which I can get for $0.41. That adds up to a cost of $0.05 per load.

I’ve been extremely happy with this detergent. I’ve used it on all types of clothes – whites, reds, coloreds – and all levels of dirtiness without any problems. I haven’t noticed any significant dinginess over a large number of loads, either.

Making a batch of this powdered detergent doesn’t take a whole lot of time, either. Most of the time is spent grating the soap...After that, you just put the ingredients in a container, shake it thoroughly, and you’re ready to go.

We’ll often make this in quadruple batches. We’ll just grate four bars of soap at once, add four cups of washing soda, two cups of borax, and two cups of OxiClean to the container, and shake it thoroughly. I’ll usually just add a little bit of each ingredient, shake it, and then add a little bit more of each ingredient, repeating the cycle, in order to make sure it’s well-mixed.

How much does this really save? In our house, we do an average of a load of laundry a day – If we’re comparing to generics, then I’m saving approximately $0.10 per load. Over the course of a year, that’s $36.50.If we’re comparing to, say, Tide, we’re saving about $0.27 per load. Over the course of a year, that’s $98.55.

Simply put, we’re saving a hundred dollar bill a year by doing this. To me, that’s well worth the effort of mixing up some powder for about five minutes once every three months or so."

Stop by Monday to learn about simple, cheap and effective dish-washing and other cleaners using basically these same  ingredients.  


1 comment:

TheBirdNest said...

Gail, I tried it and love it. I will have to try incorporating my oxi clean directly in the mix as I haven't tried that yet. I told my mom about it too. Do you know if it's safe for front loaders?