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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Saving Money with Homemade Laundry Soap

Saving money is most times easier than making it and I have found a way to save LOTS of money. In our home we seem to have mountains of laundry to be done but my honest first thought when I heard about making my own soap was - all I need is one-more-thing-to-do...was the extra work going to be worth it?

I decided to give it a try for several reasons. The first was my ongoing struggle with allergies. I seem to be allergic to the strangest things and at times have a wallop of an attack. Life with allergies is no fun so over the years I have looked at nearly everything I come into contact with to see if there was some way I could mitigate the allergic response. The second reason is financial - we seemed to be constantly buying or running out of laundry soap. Even though the cheapest brands weren't always satisfactory they seemed to give me less of an allergic response than the big name brands perhaps because there was less scent. Homemade laundry soap has very little scent to it except clean. The third reason is storage which I will explain in a moment.

Making your own laundry soap might seem like something super-homesteading-large-family-enviromental-frugal people do. Well - perhaps - but it's so simple it doesn't matter what your reasons are - this stuff is fantastic and inexpensive and doesn't make me itch or sneeze (except when grating the soap!) and it super-simple-easy to make and it can be used in a HD washing machine because of the minimual amount of suds AND does a great job of cleaning your clothes!

Here's what to do:
In a large pot on the stove combine:
about 8 cups of water
1 bar of Linda laundry soap grated
1 cup Borax
1 cup washing soda
All these items are easily found in most grocery store laundry aisles - you've probably just not been looking for them.

I use a pot that is exclusively used for making laundry soap - use an old one or buy on at a thrift store. some people say this is not necessary if you clean the pot out really well after you make it - you decide. I also use a dollar store grater for grating the Linda soap - it's hard to clean afterwards so don't use it for food!

Over low heat and stirring often mix the contents until they are completely dissolved for about 20 minutes.Leaving it on the stove longer won't hurt it - but any shorter and you may not have it completely dissolved.

Add this mixture to a 5 gallon pail and fill the pail till about 2/3 full with hot water. That doesn't sound very exact and that is because it doesn't seem to need to be. Stir using a whisk, immersion blender or a hand mixer - whatever you have. It should turn into a gel by the next day when it cools completely or it may look a bit watery like cottage cheese but either way it cleans your clothes very well. You can re-blend it if it bothers you. That's all there is to it!

Use about 1/16 cup - a heaping tablespoon for the more visual among us - I have a small plastic scoop beside the bucket. If the clothes are particularly greasy or dirty use a little more.

The cost is approx. .05c a load by my last calculations.A pail like that lasts us at least three months (that of course depends on how many loads your family does each month)

How does it save money???

Linda soap bar: $1.49 a bar
2kg. Borax: less than $5.00 (8.5 recipes)
3 kg. Washing soda: less than $5.00 for 13 recipes

But think about this... if you bought:
13 bars of soap $20.00
2 boxes Borax $10.00
1 box Washing soda $5.00
For a total of less than $35.00 you could make the recipe 13 times which would be enough for more than 3 years (39 months to be exact!)
That's less than $1.00 a month..

Can you see why I love this stuff! We've been using homemade laundry soap for 5 or 6 years and I wouldn't switch back for any reason. Frugal. Practical. Simple.

5 comments:

Annette said...

Thanks for the great job this year.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

anitapreciouspearl said...

Thanks Annette! Merry Christmas to you as well.

Briden Solutions said...

Awesome! I've heard stories of my parents and grandparents doing this, but none remember how to teach me. Thanks for posting - now I just need to try it!

Juice said...

This is a great idea. Thanks for the post. I am going to try it soon.

Elvira said...

Great recipe I have just made it and turned out well except that it is separating...is this supposed to happen? I'm not too bothered by it as I can just give it a good shake before using it ...but am wondering if something went wrong and it will not be as effective?
Thanks