This thing called budget consciousness was somewhat of a foreign concept to me until I had our first daughter, Olivia. In my attempt to either A.) be like my mom or B.) impress my husband...I always bought name brand everything. I mean if I am honest, I could not believe my eyes at times when I would go to my grandmother's house and she wasn't using TIDE and DOWNY...You know...the only clothing cleaners on the market? Or so I thought. Among many things that went out the door with my strategically colored hair and manicured nails, when Olivia arrived, was my ability to only see the name brands on the shelf. I was used to doing three loads of laundry each week...you know...the whites, darks, and sheets with towels. Yes, I know it is hard to remember that far back now that we are all swimming in laundry daily but there was a time when our clothes bathed in money!
At first I just started shopping around for the best deal on these items that, of course, smelled good. That is the first qualification don't you know? For years that is how I rolled. Yes, I was the one in the laundry aisle opening all of the containers and smelling them...and getting some on my nose. Go ahead and laugh...you do it too. Then I met my friend, Texas Amy...I call her that because she oozes Texas...like the big jewelry, blingy everything...you know...she is Texas and I love it! Our kids go to preschool together and I was new in town. In small talk, after we first moved here, I asked her what she had done in her "Mommy Time" that day and she said she had gone to a coupon meeting. I was hooked. I had already read two books on this and those books did not tell you how to buy $200 of groceries for $25...but her girl knew the way. I signed up. So, we went and it was awesome. I am still "couponing" today with fantastic savings. We thought she was so great that we had her come to the local Enlisted Spouses Club meeting and teach her tricks to all the gals. Well, the giveaway that night was homemade laundry detergent and it smelled gooooood. :)
With the recipe in hand I was off and I have never, ever turned back...no matter how great that coupon may seem cause guess what? I make laundry detergent two times a year for less than $15 total! And folks...I wash a
butt load LOT of clothes! I am talking 4 people and up to 8 or more loads a week...easy. Oh yes....I can see you scrolling quicker now....your eyes are getting wider...pay close attention because you don't want to mess this up! Just kidding...it is easy as pie...well that might depend on what kind of pie, but for the sake of this we will assume it is an easy pie or you know how to bake really well.
Ingredients:76 oz. of Borax
55 oz. of All Natural Super Washing Soda
(The soda can be hard to find. Do not be fooled by the orange box that looks very similar.)
1 bar of your favorite smelling soap
(I happened upon this Zote soap in the laundry aisle and tried it. You can use any bar but it is suggested not to use a white bar. Also, I can tell you that my sister-in-law had to always buy the All Free Laundry Soap of whatever brand so she just used the soap for sensitive skin that they bath with and it worked.)
Now, for the dipping part. The instructions I was originally given were to use one tablespoon per load. Two tablespoons if the clothes are really dirty. Um, I have two kids and a husband...it is two scoops every time and it still lasts 5-6 months. I can also say that I pour some Oxyclean or equivalent (on sale and with coupon) into my white loads cause I am anal like that. I still use some smelly fabric softner, a good smelling one of course.
As I was preparing in my mind about writing this I knew I was going to have the crowd of liquid users who can't remember the last time they poured powder in their washer so I was so lucky when my friend Robynne posted her recipe for liquid. Click here to see her recipe: Liquid Soap Recipe
Reading through her complete recipe I see she has an idea for fabric softener replacement...maybe I can convince myself soon.
Then I knew there would be the crowd who says, "What about my fancy energy efficient, front loader that says I can only buy the box that cost $15?" All I can tell you is that I have talked with people who have used these recipes and had no problems, but maybe you spend a few more minutes, instead of the repair bucks, to google this or call the maker.
So all I have to say to you is Happy Saving or, if you choose, Happy Washing Your Clothes in Money...whichever one floats your boat!