A while ago I did a post about my favorite cleaning supplies. My friend Laura, from high school, chimed in and told us that she was making her own laundry detergent. At that point I still had lots of detergent left, but knew I wanted to try it when I ran out.
I'll let you in on a little secret. Prior to this year I was a Tide snob. My mom didn't raise me to be picky about much, but our laundry detergent always came in orange. I never asked questions, never argued, just forked over the moo-la and loved me some Tide. But, this year I ventured out. Decided to try a "lesser" brand in the name of saving. And, well, since I was making the slide down the laundry pile, I thought, what is there to lose by making my own? Best case scenario, the stuff actually works! Worse case, I have to go get detergent.
A couple weeks ago I knew I was getting low, and then was the time to figure out this new fangled process.
Borax...easily found at Walmart or grocery store. You need the 20 Mule Team because 10 Mules aren't enough. $2.99 at our Walmart.
Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda. This is the tricky one. Not Arm & Hammer Detergent. Not Arm & Hammer Baking Soda. Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda! I found it at Ace Hardware online and had it delivered to the store for free. It cost me $4, some change, and short field trip with my favorite jabbering baby.
A bar of Fels Naptha, Zote, or Ivory soap. I used Ivory because I had it. Plus, Ivory is including "fortunes" on their soap these days. Who knew?! Mine said, "The ultimate point of life is joy." Uh, okay. I beg to differ, but I'll use ya anyway.
Gather all your stuff and a 5 gallon bucket. I asked a manager at the grocery store if they sold 5 gallon buckets. I know, long shot, but they have the weirdest, most random things sometimes, so I thought I'd ask. He told me to ask the bakery department if they had one they didn't need. And....they did, so I got it for nothing, nada, free!
Also, you'll need an old liquid detergent container or some other small container. You'll use it for storage close to your washing machine.
I followed the Duggar recipe. Yes, the Duggars....the people with 30 kids. Sandwiched between the recipe for Grandpa Duggar's Favorite Banana Cake and the Tater Tot Casserole (gag!) you'll find a couple recipes for laundry stuff. I used the Liquid Laundry Soap one.
This is what it looked like after I let it sit overnight. I've seen some describe it as "egg drop soup" consistency. Must be why Ivory feels the necessity to give us soap fortunes.
I've been using it for about 2 weeks now and am satisfied with the results. It doesn't smell. It doesn't make my clothes crunchy. It is pretty runny, so if you try this, you'll realize how "attached" you were to the consistency of your previous laundry love.
Those of you who know me well probably think I'd do anything to save, but I'm telling ya, for SOME reason, I'm different with laundry. I'm not selling you a load (get it, laundry) of cruddy buddy. I'm enjoying my clean clothes at a fraction of the price.
Anyone else gonna try it?????