Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Save Big Bucks For Shoes With Homemade Detergent

It seems I have been on a roll with saving some green-and being green. It hit me last night that I am slowly becoming one of those "hippie" people I knew back in college that would make their own deodorant with incense.

I promise I don' smell bad-and I don't make my own deodorant-but I do cloth diaper and tested out this homemade detergent on them. I found the homemade detergent didn't leave a strong scent like Tide will; however, it did get everything clean and leave a light Irish Spring scent, because Irish Spring was the soap I used in the recipe.

If you try it out let me know how it goes and what you think, or if you come up with any variations. The next batch I make I'm going to try adding in some oil essence to see if I can mimic the lavender smell I love from Tide.

So, without further ado, here I am making detergent:

First, shred up a bar of soap. I used the food grater. This part was pretty fun to do.
Then, melt the shredded soap in 4 cups of water-get the water about to boil, then dump the soap in. Stir until it is melted-this didn't take long and made the whole house smell yummy clean. After it is melted, add the soap/water mixture to 3 gallons of hot tap water and stir well. I used a 5 gallon mop bucket I had around the house and a cooking spatula.

Then take one cup of Borax and one cup f Washing Soda (NOT Backing Soda). And those boxes are huge. Remember 6 bucks for the soap and boxes of Borax and Washing Soda-and I only used a cup of each-just THINK of how much detergent I can make with this initial investment....
Add the Borax and Washing Soda to your bucket of warm water that you already added the melted soap to.
Stir well until you see it starting to get a little thicker. It only took a few minutes to stir, then I kinda messed with it throughout the day with a stir here and there to check on the thickness (though you don't have to, I just did). The slime you just made has to "bake" for 24 hours before it becomes a gelatinous goo great for washing poopy diapers and other dirty clothes.

You can used whatever soap you want, I used Irish Spring because I liked the smell. You could also use powder soap, just melt it the same in the water. Depending on the powder though, see what the ratio would be for a bar of soap, as that will determine how much you melt.

I used 1 cup of the mix to wash my diapers and that seemed to be perfect. To make sure you don't have too much soap, just check on your suds during the wash cycle-you don't want to see more than a few scattered bubbles in your washer. If you see a ton of bubbles, then you need to cut back on the amount of soap you put in per load.

Here is the link I got my recipe from:

I had a few friends mention just putting this mixture into old laundry bottles or getting a bucket with a lid from Home Depot or Lowes-I think they sell the 5 gallon ones for a few dollars.

Happy Laundry Detergent Making!! And perhaps, with the money use crafty mommy's (or daddy's) save, we can justify a shopping spree for ourselves! I'm pretty sure I need some new shoes or some kind of cute accessory, don't you think?

**Posted at Works For Me Wednesday, for more great tips, check out We Are THAT Family**


sawin said...

I wonder if this recipe is ok to use on HE machines? Any ideas?

Miche said...

From what I have been told, for an HE machine use half the amount of soap to the same amount of water. Also, check during the wash cycle to make sure you don't have tons of bubbles-if you do, then back off the amount of detergent you use-instead of a cup try 1/2 a cup.

I hope that helps!

Nikki said...

My sister has told me about this as well.

I have a bunch of buckets that I got free from the local bakery. They throw them out quite regularly. I think I'll use one of those.

I love the Irish Spring with Aloe. Maybe I'll try that kind.

@sweetbabboo said...

I definitely want to try this. Thanks for the recipe.