Sunday, June 12, 2011

Superwoman Does Laundry

I have a mountain of laundry. Or maybe it is more a volcano, always replenishing itself and growing taller if left unchecked.

I have been frustrated by the amount of detergent I have to use to manage this chore. About a year ago I came across some suggestions that seemed pretty do-able. They have worked out great for me and I thought I would pass them on to you.

1. Cut dryer sheets in half. What a simple idea! When I heard this I was annoyed for not thinking of this myself. I have been doing this for several months now. I can't tell a difference. If I notice a load is a little staticy I throw in another half sheet and turn the dryer back on for a few minutes.

2. Homemade detergent. The article I read about this told how to make liquid detergent. It was a lot of work and you would still need to stir it every time you used it because the ingredients would settle. I decided to look into the idea further. I found a simple recipe for powdered detergent. I tried it. It worked great! I made a large batch and marked the calender.

It cost about $12.00 to make and lasted a week shy of 6 months!

During that time I got liquid detergents from various sources and when my homemade stuff ran out  I decided to use that. I went through 3 bottles of liquid detergent in 6 WEEKS!!! Those three bottles alone cost more than the ingredients for the homemade stuff.

Here is the recipe (which I have altered a little) and pictures of the process.

2 boxes Borax
2 boxes Washing Soda
1 large box Baking Soda
10 bars of soap (I used plain old Ivory)
You will also need a large container with a lid (mine is 15 QT) and a cheese grater or food processor...and a large spoon and possibly another large bowl to help with mixing.

Grate the bar soap. I layered a box of borax, box of washing soda, 5 bars of soap flakes, baking soda, then repeated the layers.

Stir everything together. I scooped some into a large bowl, and stirred each then mixed them together again. You could try mixing as you go. I tried sifting the first batch which was a LOT of work and not really worth the effort.
Use 2 Tablespoons per load. (Notice the plastic baggy. It has the recipe and the date this batch was made so I can keep track of how long it lasts.)

Last time I just scooped it from the large container. This time I used a smaller empty container with a scoop. Half a scoop is just right. (I considered adding this product to the batch but I decided to reserve it for really dirty loads.)

One more note: Walmart didn't have any of these ingredients. The Commissary had all of it. You might have to look around for them but it is definitely worth the effort!

1 comment:

Diann R. said...

That's awesome, Amy! I may have to try this recipe when we get to Korea. I've found all but the washing soda at Wal-mart, but I've never really looked for it, either. I spend more than 12 dollars at Costco for a really big thing of liquid detergent that's supposed to last up to 128 loads. That lasts us about 6-8 weeks. I have to ask, does it work really well? I'm pretty picky about my laundry getting clean and getting the stains out. Borax works great for that along with my regular detergent. Thanks for sharing!