So, for today’s Frugal Friday, lets talk laundry soap. Or laundry detergent, whatever you prefer to call it.
When you have a family as large as the Imp/Wolf clan, laundry is a never-ending chore. Seriously, it NEVER ENDS. Short of stripping everyone naked, it’s never done. And nobody wants to see me naked, wandering around the house.
Ok, Wolf probably wouldn’t object, but everyone else would.
So, in the interest in preserving eyesight, we stay clothed, and do the laundry battle.
And laundry detergent can be danged expensive, when you do as much as we do.
Which brings in, making your own laundry detergent. It’s not hard, not by a long shot, and its way, WAY cheaper than buying.
So, here we go:
The Cast…errr, ingredients:
Ok, as you’ll notice, I didn’t get a pic before I used them. Because I’m not that freaking organized. I would DIE if I ran a food blog. Which is just one of the reason I adore Beth from Budget Bytes. Because she does pictures that aren’t obviously taken wrong.
1 Box of Borax (about 4 lbs), found in the laundry aisle.
1 Box of Arm and Hammer Washing Soda (In my pic, that would be the brown paper bag. For some unknown reason, the stores here were all out of Arm and Hammer at one point, so I bought a different brand of washing soda online. But usually the A&H brand is super easy to find, in the laundry aisle)
1 tub of OxyClean powder, again in the laundry aisle.
4 lbs of Arm and Hammer Baking Soda, in whatever amounts you can find to make up 4 lbs. I had 1 2 lb box, and 2 one lbs box.
2 bars of Zote Soap (not pictured). Now, about the Zote Soap: if you’re Canadian, your best shot at getting this is to have a US friend who gets Amazon Prime ordering buy it and send it to you. If you don’t have international connections the way some of us do, then you can find Sunlight Laundry Bars in some grocery stores, or hit your local health food store and ask if they carry Fels Naphta. Some folks also report good results in using good old Ivory Snow bars.
Alrighty, then, moving on.
Grate the Zote (or whatever substitute you may use) using the fine side of your grater, or, if you’re lucky enough like I *finally* am, after years of whining, to have bought a food processor, grate that sucker up. Now, I find for my food processor that I need to cut the bars lengthwise to get them to fit (well, let’s be honest, I get Wolf or Diva to cut it for me) and only one bar fits the bowl, needs to be emptied out for the next bar.
Now, IF you have a food processor, I’ve found that I prefer to then toss the grated soap in with a cutting blade and basically crumble it. It’s a totally unnecessary step, I do it when I have time, but has 0 impact on the cleaning power of the soap. I just prefer the uniform look is all. Yes, I’m weird. Are you just figuring this out now?
Get a 10 gallon pail. You could probably use smaller and not have an issue, but frankly, we happen to have several 10 gallon ones hanging around, so that’s what I use, and know everything fits in, without a problem. Takes up…half? Maybe?
Ok. Now, here’s the thing: take all your ingredients OUTSIDE if at all possible. I’m here to tell you that while you CAN mix this all indoors, it creates dust, and you’ll be sneezing and tasting laundry soap for the day. Blech. Outside is best.
I put half of all the ingredients in the container, then mix thoroughly.
Add in the other half, mix lots more.
Personally, I get a Minion to do the mixing.
I use about two tablespoons for a large load.
Yes, I said TWO (2) TABLESPOONS. Hence why its worth the effort. A pail of this laundry soap lasts me MONTHS. Yes, even with all the kids, and Wolf who works outdoors. MONTHS. For roughly about what it would cost me for laundry detergent for a single month…if not less than that.
Now, you’ll notice I didn’t include fabric softener of any sort. Frankly, I’m so scents-itive that I steer clear of adding any sort of scented stuff to my soap. I know there are certain dryer sheets that I can get away with, so I just stick with that. Some folks like to add a few drops of essential oil to their wash load, but I kinda like the smell of soap. Smells clean, yanno?
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