Thursday, February 5, 2009

Homemade Laundry Soap Savings!

Hi, my name is Michelle.
I’m a recovering "Tide, Clorox2, and Downy" user.
I’ve been "green and frugal" for about four months.

Okay, seriously, you need to know I have always used Tide, Clorox2 and Downy. I really like clean, stain free laundry. I have been found many a time with my nose fully enveloped in the laundry, getting my Downy fix. I’ve been known to hug longer just because the "hugee" has a clean Downy scented shirt on!

Do you get the picture of why it might be difficult to sell me on homemade laundry soap?
Well, it passed the test on cleanness, and I’m slowly getting over the smell factor. The benefits far out weigh any perceived disadvantages. (The smell factor!)
When the Lord started to move me to more frugal and healthful ways, this was one of the first areas. The amount of chemicals we ingest from our environment is alarming! I am seeking to reduce this as much as possible. Also, the cost savings of homemade over store bought is mind blowing.

You can do a search and find hundreds, if not thousands of websites with recipes and testimonials. Just type in " homemade laundry soap" into google and away you go!
Here is the recipe we settled on and are very happy with.

4 Cups hot tap water
1 Kirks Castile soap bar (I have used Fels Naptha also)
1 Cup Washing Soda
½ Cup Borax

- Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with water.
Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.

-Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of hot tap water. Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax. Stir well until all powder is dissolved. Fill bucket to top with more hot water.
Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken.

-Stir soap in the five gallon bucket and fill a used, clean, laundry soap dispenser half full with soap and then fill rest of way with water. Shake before each use. (will gel)
(I do not dilute it as of yet, I’m too chicken. There is really no reason not to~I said I am recovering!)

-Optional: You can add 10-15 drops of essential oil per 2 gallons. Add once soap has cooled. Ideas: lavender, rosemary, tea tree oil.

I haven’t solved the yummy smell issue as of yet. I have tried essential oils in rinse and on scrap of fabric in dryer ~ not worth it. I am thinking of putting one of my homemade candles that smell like Downy in my bathroom ~ temporary fix any way.
One disclaimer ~
Dear Hubby uses Downy on our sheets when they are washed on Saturday.
What a treat crawling into bed on Saturday!
Here is the cost break down:

Kirks Castille Soap- $1.15
Washing Soda .50
Borax .30
Total 1.85 for 80 cups or 5 gallons or .023 cents per load

(remember it is actually supposed to make the equivalent of 10 gallons,
which would make it .012 cents per load)

My best guess for using Tide, Clorox 2 and Downy is approximately .30-.50 cents per load!
I use about a cup ~ the recipe recommends about a ½ cup.
Imagine my savings if I wasn’t so stubborn!

I’m slowly phasing out of our Costco supply of cleaning products. I’ll keep you updated as I switch to more natural ways of cleaning. I do have Costco size white vinegar, baking soda and peroxide waiting on the wings.
Stay tuned!

Do any of you use homemade soap? What recipe do you like?
See this related post for my "frugal and green" moisturizer.

I just did the math on how much we save a year and it goes like this:

Tidy, Clorox 2, Downy
.35 cents (best guess) a load times a minimum of 20 loads a week equals  $7.00 a week which is $364 a year!

Homemade Laundry Soap
 .02 cents per load  equals $20.80 a year!!!

I think I deserve a triple latte with an extra shot please!
BTW, if I can do this anyone can, give it a try!


Colored With Memories said...

i think i'm going to try this! thanks for posting about it!

Civilla said...

I have never tried any "green" stuff. The homemade laundry detergent sounds great!

hip chick said...

I have made a recipe similar to that one. However, I used a bar of Ivory soap with aloe vera in it. The aloe made all my clothes soft on the line. Even the towells and jeans were soft. And, it smells very good. I sometimes add a bit of lavender scented soap to the detergent also and that made it smell even better.

Civilla said...

Try one part rubbing alcohol with one part water for homemade window and glass cleaner. No streaks. Promise. Very cheap.