Thursday, July 7, 2011

Laundry Tips & Homemade Detergent

I have recently become annoyed with having a separate detergent for our clothes, PB's clothes, and cloth diapers. I also have learned ALOT about laundry from washing cloth diapers because it is pretty obvious if you are getting them super clean or not, AND I learned a lot about all the additives in detergents and how they can discolor and leave residue on your clothes. To that end, here are some discoveries:


1. HE washers. You know how detergents are marked special for HE ? Well all that boils down to is that HE washers use less water, which can sometimes be an issue for good cleaning. HE detergents are just made low suds since the lower water makes it harder to get all the soap out. (You can run the "soak" cycle on a HE machine to add extra water if you need it.) Using home made detergent avoids this problem since it is "low suds".
2. Although regular detergents smell wonderful, they are expensive and leave behind a lot of residue which can discolor, as well as alter the absorbency. This is why I often have to clean our towels with white vinegar to remove all of that residue build up and bring our towels back to their original state. I recently began washing them in diaper detergent to avoid the build up all together and they are much fluffier, cleaner and more absorbent. 


More and more,  I started using diaper detergent on our regular laundry because it cleans so well, and that lead me to a pinterest discovery of making my own detergent. It was super easy and cheap and works really well! I will miss the wonderful smell of Gain and work to mimic that but yesterday when I was holding piggles I thought his bib smelled so fresh, then I remembered I had washed it with my homemade soap! ha


FYI - The $savings from making your own soap are pretty huge. Basically once you make it all, it costs about 1 penny a load. I think normal detergents are closer to $.25 a load.


Step 1: Grate a Bar of soap. My dad makes soap so I used it because it is much better than mass produced soap, but you can also buy laundry soap in the laundry aisle like Fels-Nappa.(another brand is zote) I have seen it in Kroger and Kmart.
Step 2: Buy Borax and Washing Soda. Each Box was about $2.50 I think... Also in the laundry aisle. I know Kroger carries both. Few retailers carry the Washing Soda....

Step 3: Mix 1 cup of Borax, 1 cup of Washing Soda, & 1 bar of grated soap together.  Then Blend it all in a food processor to get the soap bits to a fine powder.

I doubled the recipe and used 2 different bars of soap for a special smell I wanted. ( hence the white and orange soap flecks)
And store in an air tight container ! I got this one at Target. I plan to use some of my left over chalk-board paint to paint a label on here.

Use 2 tablespoons per load 



 Lowe's carries these awesome canisters with pour spouts if you wanted a large quantity.  These would also be great for dog food because of the handle and the spout. 2/$10 . Y'all know I LURVE me some canisters.

These make great laundry scoops because they are magnetic and will stick to the washing machine!
Next week I plan to try the homemade dishwasher detergent.




** Update** I have been using this for a few months now and I LOVE IT. I really does clean better. You will especially notice your towels being more fluffy and absorbent! I do miss the smell of Gain tho! 

12 comments:

Michelle said...

LOVE THIS!

I saw the laundry detergent & dishwasher detergent recipes on Pinterest...I need to do this!!

Hmmm...will adding some lavender oil jack up the detergent??

Courtney said...

That's pretty cool! I might have to try it!!

Mere said...

Awesome, thanks! I have wondered how cost effective this would be. Can you use any bar soap or just Fels-Nappa?

Charlotte said...

I have made this before and my mother told me to use DOVE since its the gentlest on your skin. If you would like a different scent try adding your favorite essential oil to it. Just add a few drops when you mix it up. I learned from this blog ittybittyimpact.com. Here is her video: http://vimeo.com/11584509

Charlotte said...

I dont know why my name is charlotte on google! ARG! I keep changing it! This is Kristen, Laura. Thanks for emailing me back about Nashville!! I've been swamped but I'll let you know what my plans are!!

Julie Bray said...

Very interesting. I use liquid detergents. But may try this, especially since it's so cost effective! Can I use power form the same way as I do liquid? We have those new energy efficient washers that you put the clothes in then add the detergent to the cup under the lid and the thing spins randomly to weigh the load to know how much water to use.......

awildpreciouslife said...

So do you still use a special detergent for cloth diapers or will this work? Great post, I will definitely try it!

Spanishbeauty08 said...

I was also wondering if this detergent would work on cloth diapers.

The Masters said...

love love love this. I have been wanting to make my own detergent for a while. I HATE spending $$ on detergent. It always sucks the life out of my grocery bill! Great tuturial and photos. I think I might try it this weekend.

Laura @ My Thoughts-Uninterrupted said...

Thanks so much for posting this. I might have to try to do it too. What type of diaper detergent did you use previously?

Anonymous said...

Very easy to follow instructions! If you want to take it one step further try using white vinegar as a fabric softner also. It saves money, is eco-friendly and helps reduce residue build up in the washer machine.
http://www.laundrycare.biz

Rita85613 said...

I have been making my own laundry soap with the same recipe for months, and I would never go back to buying store-brands. I also make my own fabric softener, with 1 part vinegar, 1 part sauve hair conditioner, 3 parts water. I absolutely LOVE IT!!! My husband gets pretty dirty in his work, so I added a cup of generic oxy-clean to my soap, and the clothes come out fabulous!!!

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