I am a little crazy about saving money (no really, I ramble about it here and here), and one of THE EASIEST WAYS is detergent. Just honestly, even if I could afford the most expensive green and clean detergent, I doubt I’d buy it.
It’s probably me and my fanatic brain on saving money, but there is SUCH a satisfaction I get when I make another batch of this. I haven’t calculated the cost, but seeing as buying all the ingredients costs me less than $15 and seems to last me forever, I gotta imagine it’s cents to do a load of laundry. I’m also saving a ridiculous amount of money by using vinegar as softener (no really, it works! AND, it helps deodorizes naturally and cheaply!) and hydrogen peroxide as color-safe bleach. Yes… as in the 99-cent bottle from the first-aid section of your store. I line-dry, too (I love it, soooo much) as much as weather, time, and health will allow… and when not doing that, please for the love of all things that are good CONVERT TO DRYER BALLS. Please, oh please, oh please do NOT use commercial dryer sheets. They’re nasty for you and the environment. I have also been experimenting with a spray stain remover from Mommypotamus – the recipe is here. So far, I’m loving it!
So, for the sake of posterity, here’s a summary of my laundry routine:
- this homemade detergent
- vinegar for softener (which deodorizes and helps break down the washing soda)
- hydrogen peroxide for color-safe bleach, as needed
- line-dry as much as I can
- use dryer balls when I can’t line-dry
Here are the ingredients:
2 c washing soda
2 c borax
1 bar of soap, grated (this is where you can be picky)
1.5 c dye-free, fragrance-free oxiclean
30 drops Essential Oils (optional… current favorite combo is lavender, geranium, and sweet orange)
Mix together well.
For each load, I recommend two tablespoons. If it’s really gnarly stuff, or stinky, or muddy… throw in more.
Some people will make this into a liquid. I don’t bother because frankly, I don’t have the time. I’d rather spend that time canning on prepping some other food. So I keep it in the dry format and it works BEAUTIFULLY.
Also… it does suds up. Not a ton, but it will. This is important to know if you have a front loader and/or high-efficiency machine. I have both, and the suds/low-water has never been an issue.
BAR OF SOAP NOTES:
I love Trader Joe’s oatmeal and honey soap. It’s a four-pack and it’s cheap. I grate it up and pull from as needed.
Now go suds up!
DISCLOSURE: There may be affiliate links within this post. I never recommend anything arbitrarily and receive small financial benefit. If I choose to recommend something, it’s of my own free will and volition and MORE because I think you’ll benefit from hearing about it more than me gaining the $$.