Come take a trip with me on my wild ride as the mother of 3 sweet "babies".

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Homemade Laundry Detergent

I've had a few questions about the homemade laundry detergent I pictured in my laundry room re-do.  It's really simple, super cheap, and now that I've tested it out for more than a month, I can tell you it does a bang-up job of cleaning our mountains of clothes and towels.  We've put it through some tests, too!

Here's the recipe:
 1c. Arm and Hammer washing soda
 1c. 20 Mule Team Borax
 1 bar (shaved) Fels-Naptha

Use 1 tablespoon per load (2 if very large or heavily soiled) - I use 2 on socks and underwear.

I have read that you can use Ivory soap in place of the Fels-Naptha, but Ivory is murder on my son's eczema.  I have had no issues with his skin from using these products.

I also read a few recipes online that made liquid detergent.  I think it's mostly personal preference, but I didn't feel comfortable keeping a 5 gallon bucket full of liquid around in my house of 3 small children.  Didn't seem safe to me.  I much prefer my little glass jar of dry detergent.

Here's the breakdown (everything was purchased at Walmart):
Super cheap ingredients. Borax $2.98, Washing Soda $2.77, Fels-Naptha $0.97

Just a few things you will need on hand: a grater (for the bar soap), a 1c. measuring cup or scoop, mixing bowl, spoon, and container to keep detergent in.

It can take a while to grate the soap, but it passes quickly if
you're watching your kids play or catching up on your "soaps".

This is what the Fels-Naptha looks like shaved - and it smells FANTASTIC!

All mixed up!

This is 2 batches worth.  Not bad!

I made two batches of this back on June 15th, and I have yet to run out.  I still have enough to last me through at least a couple of weeks, and remember - I'm doing laundry for FIVE people!  This is an AMAZING savings for us.  I haven't quite figured out the cost per load, but considering I've hardly made a dent in my boxes of Borax and washing soda (which together cost me less than $6), and I've used less than $2 worth of Fels-Naptha, I am positive it's much cheaper than the brand name I was buying (and I bought a cheap brand). So... I going to go out on an estimating limb and figure it costs me about a buck and a quarter a month. That's CRAZY cheap!

** For those of you wondering, NO you cannot use this on cloth diapers.  Borax and washing soda are both laundry boosters, which means they have brighteners in them that cannot be used on cloth diapers.  But for everything else - it's super!

Room 4: The deck plus "Blossom"

This makeover was Jerry's baby.  The deck was sad and under-appreciated.  We hadn't really done anything to it in the 8 1/2 years since it was built.  It's way of fighting back was giving our children splinters.  Point taken.  Time for some TLC.

It was really this much fun... REALLY!

Rolled on THICK.  Looked like BBQ sauce.

Almost done.  Jerry's taking a break to talk to our neighbor David while he works hard staining his fence.
Look, Ma! No splinters!
 Meanwhile (and I do mean "meanwhile" because my hubby was going back and forth between projects), Jerry got a great deal on a cherry blossom tree from Home Depot. Only $15!  It's not the right season for planting, but if we take really good care of her, she'll do just fine. We've been wanting to plant a tree in this spot for a few years since the tree that used to be there met an untimely death.
Laney was a great helper.

She helped Daddy dig the hole.
Laney concentrated so hard on her job.  She felt very big and helpful.

So strong!

I love this picture, because it looks like Jerry's holding up a much bigger tree because of
our neighbor's tree in the background.
 Bella appropriately named our new addition "Blossom".

It feels good to get these two projects out of the way!