Monday, January 30, 2012

Of Laundry Detergent and Blood (Don't worry, only just a little bit)

Today I made laundry detergent!  I've been wanting to do this for a really long time, yea even longer than I've been on Pinterest :-)  The only problem was that a year or so ago I got some great deals on detergent at Meijer and I bought, ahem, 10 bottles.  Since it was just Will and I we didn't really go through it that fast.  Now that we have Liam who can spit up on his outfits faster than I can change them I know we're going to start going through it faster, especially as he gets older!  So the day finally came where my detergent ran out, and that day was today, well technically two days ago, but I wasn't going to make laundry detergent yesterday afternoon...

As we are now down to one income I've also been looking at ways to save money and this keeps coming back as a way you can really save some money, especially if you have kids!  Here's my cost breakdown:

Soap: I paid $1.39 for 3 bars and as I didn't use Fels Naptha I needed to use a whole bar so the cost for the soap was  $0.46!

Washing Soda: I paid $2.99 for a 55 oz. box.  This came to $0.22 per batch.  I calculated how much per oz (2.99 divided by 55) and then weighed a half cup of washing soda (4.2oz.) and multiplied my per oz. price by 4.2.

Borax: I paid $4.29 for a 76 oz. box.  This came to $0.19 per batch.  Did the same calculations as above, however a 1/2 cup of borax weighs 3.5 oz. 

Using these numbers to make a batch of laundry detergent it cost me $0.87!  One batch is supposed to work for 64 loads so that means I have a final per load price of, drum roll please, just over $0.01 per load!  Plus it only took about 35 minutes total to make!

How can you not love that?  Of course there were some up front costs like a bucket with a lid that wasn't being used by my husband, a grater because after 3 1/2 years of marriage I still didn't have one, and a giant funnel to put the detergent into old detergent bottles.  I do have to be completely honest, I bought two of everything.  And that's a lot of Washing Soda and Borax.  But I used Alice, an online store that often has great deals, online coupons, and ships free if you buy at least 6 items.  It was worth it for me because none of my local stores carry Washing Soda or Borax (that I've been able to find).  Plus Alice was running a super special on Dial Hypo-Allergenic soap so I got some great soap at a fabulous price!

Now I just need to find some other uses for Borax and Washing Soda :-)  

Here are some pictures from the fun:

My adorable partner in crime!
My Ingredients
As I was grating the soap I noticed it had some really neat designs on it.  I just wish my lens could capture the detail a little better
Probably why I didn't have a grater in my kitchen prior to this day...those things are dangerous!
Cause sometimes this is just how it goes in my kitchen...
Adding the soap shavings to the water!
Adding the Borax and Washing Soda
Adding more water to the contents of the pot, now in my 5 gallon bucket!
I think I need a longer spoon!
The end results of my double batch!

 We'll see how it works tomorrow since it has to set for 24 hours! And for those of you who are interested I borrowed the recipe from my friend Tammy who has her own wonderful blog and I believe she borrowed it from here!


  1. Can't wait to see/hear the results! Maybe you could model your clean clothing on Liam. :-)

  2. This is great! Well, not the thumb part, but everything else! Enjoy the savings! :)

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