Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Homemade Laundry Detergent

So, we all know I'm cheap. Since I haven't had time to cut and sort coupons like I used to, my goal has been to try and make inexpensive meals, or to learn to use the ingredient on sale this week (ie. produce) in one of my recipes, or find a new recipe that I love so I will always have a go-to receipe when that item is on sale again. Sales are key. Now, I'm not one to sit down and plan out a month of meals. The thought of it actually gives me a slight panic attack. But I do find some satisfaction knowing I am still saving money by doing what I can to cut corners. The challenge, for me now, is seeing how cheap I can make a meal without coupons. Maybe I can stretch my buck. Maybe I can't. Maybe I can stretch the meal. Leftovers anyone? Think... reduce, reuse, recycle... when it comes to your fridge and pantry. And leftovers.

Anyhow, I've seen the homemade detergent recipes being pinned left & right on Pinterest. And I have to be honest, I pinned them too thinking someday I would try it. A whole years worth of laundry detergent for only $28?!? How could it be?? That's my kind of money talking! Talk about stretching a buck. Considering it costs $5-$10 for your average detergent, and say you buy one container of detergent a month, that's up to $120 a year you spend just to wash your clothes. And I can do it for $28??! Sign me up.

But what if it's a total flop?

Let's all admit it. I love the whimsey, but Pinterest is full of flops. I have learned to read the comments (on the actual blog/site) that posted the original recipe/idea/etc. People will tell you if it sucks. But not the person who first posted it. ; )

So I was skeptical. Then my friend Becky was talking about the batch she made at work one night. We were all intrigued, and she was nice enough to bring a few samples to share the next time she worked. I took it home and tried it out. Let me just say, my purse alone smelled marvelous for at least a week. I washed a load and couldn't tell the difference. I mean that in a good way. It washed just as good as the stuff I had been using, if not better, and I could definately tell it smelled better than the "old" stuff. Not to mention there are hundreds of positive reviews about it. So I was hooked.

I made my list and zipped over to Walmart one night after the kids were in bed. I used the "recipe" here. Very similar to the one my friend Becky used. I opted to only use 1 bottle of Purex Crystals because I felt like it gave it enough smell. And I was warned, grating the Zote soap by hand was a major pain! Hopefully you have a food processor. Thankfully, I had my husband to help me with bar #2. :)

Here's what you need (with prices from my Walmart)...

2 Gallon Jar $9.97
1 box Borax (4lb 12oz) $3.38
1 box Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (3lb 7oz) $3.24
1 box Arm & Hammer Baking Soda (4lb) $2.18
1-2 bottles Purex Crystals (55oz) $4.76
(2) Zote Soap .97
1 container Oxyclean (3lb) $7.52
You could even use these coupons...
$1 off one Purex Crystals (it was on page 3)
After tax & coupons my total was = $33.91
(Remember, $9.97 was for the jar. So if you already have a large container to store it in, you are saving even more!)

And the directions...
Grate the Zote soap into fine shreds with cheese grater or food processor. Layer all the ingredients in a large container, alternating, and mix thoroughly. (I used two large bowls, and mixed each individually, and then back and forth.) Pour into pretty jar container and stare at your year of savings. And thank your husband for helping you grate the soap. Use 1-2 tablespoons per load of laundry. Yep, only 1 to 2!


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