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Monday, May 17, 2010

How I Spend Less than $10 a Year on Laundry Soap

The cheapskate in me likes to save on cleaning supplies and these homemade laundry soap recipes are how I spend less than $10 a year on laundry soap, give or take a few bucks given inflation.

We have recipes for making liquid laundry soap and for a powdered laundry soap version.

homemade laundry soap, making your own laundry detergent

 One of my kids has very sensitive skin so I had to start buying the more expensive fragrance free
detergents for our laundry. And why if they are leaving something out do you have to pay more for it? Anyway. I decided to try and make my own detergent to save money over the expensive store bought bottles. We have now been using my homemade laundry soap for sensitive skin recipe for five years and my daughter has had no problems with it and it is so inexpensive and does a great job.

I figure I have spent less than $10 - $12 a year to make our detergent. I have had the box of Borax for the entire time and I believe it was only about $5-$6 dollars to buy it. Below is the recipe.

Recipe for Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap
Hot Water
1/2 grated bar of Fels Naptha or Zote laundry bar soap (Zote is only .59 at the 99cents store)
1 cup Arm and Hammer Washing soda (If you are having problems finding the washing soda you can use a couple heaping scoops of Oxiclean)
1/2 cup of Borax

For liquid soap:
1. Take a very large cooking pot and fill about a third full with water and put on the stove to heat. Grate the bar soap and dissolve in water. You don't have to boil it just get it hot enough to dissolve the soap. After that is done turn off the flame and pour in the other ingredients and stir to dissolve. Then add enough hot water to again double the amount.

2. Let sit a few hours or over night. It will thicken a great deal. If it is too thick to pour just keep diluting and you can even just heat it up a little. That is what I do.

3.Then I take my funnel and pour into some empty laundry containers I saved and fill about half way and fill the rest with hot water and shake.
I keep a really big container to just pour in the concentrate and refill my bottle as needed diluting with half water and shaking well.

4. Use a full cap or around a 3/4 cup amount per load. Some people like to add essential oils for fragrance but that is what I am trying to avoid.  The detergent does not suds up but that is not what cleans your clothes. Our clothes are as clean as before, my daughter is better off and I save a lot of money making my own. Less plastic bottles used too. I have to make it about every 6 weeks or so but it takes only a few minutes.

Recipe for Homemade Powdered Laundry Soap
For a powdered soap just mix the dry ingredients without adding the water and pour in with the washing machine water. Just know that you will need to dilute in some warm water first if you have very cold water. You can do this in a cup or in the bottom of the washing machine with a little hot water then fill the rest of the way with cold if needed.

Detergent making is a frugal homemaking exercise that will save you lots of money. I have a homemade grease stain remover tip and regular stain remover recipe too.

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