Being determined to do every possible thing that I can to save money, I recently decided to give a go at making my own homemade laundry detergent. I figured I would purchase the items and make a small batch up and see how we liked it.
With list in hand, I headed to town, hoping that I would be able to find everything locally. Between both dollar stores, I only netted a 3 pack of Ivory soap. My last hope was Homeland, and they did not fail me. Home I headed, excited to make my first batch. I was greatly disappointed to open the soap, and to find it damp, and the paper sticking to it as I unwrapped it. I went ahead and tried to shred it up. This was a colossal fail. Disappointment shrouded me, as I decided that I had no choice but to let the soap dry out for a few days. In the end, it never really reduced to the powder I was hoping for. Ever inventive, I skeezed a bar of Dial soap that I found in the cabinet under G-Man’s sink, and tried that. Viola! It ground down to a very fine powder, now I was in business!
I used the detergent the first day with apprehension, not sure what the results would be, and sincerely hoping there would not be any itchy butts in the house. I was very impressed. The clothes came out clean and completely odorless. I decided I really needed to give this detergent the hardest tests that I could throw at it. Even the dog rugs, and the blankets we are using for the baby goat in the bathtub came out clean and odorless. Let me tell you goat pee and poo definitely has a stench to it, so I was impressed. I also stopped using liquid fabric softener, and went to using just straight vinegar in it’s place. The final test for me would be the whites. I knew they would be the next biggest challenge, beings that I cannot use bleach in conjunction with the vinegar.
Here are my disgusting socks prior to the wash… Yes, I know they are gross. Hey, we live on a farm with carpet in the house, and no matter what amount of cleaning I do if I don’t wear slippers my socks end up looking this way. UGH!
I used two tablespoons of detergent, added my vinegar to the fabric softener dispenser, then added the same amount of vinegar as I would have bleach to the bleach dispenser and let the washer fill up. Once it started agitating, and had released the additional vinegar into the machine, I turned it off and let it soak for an hour, as I always do with whites. Once the wash cycle was done, I was anxious to see the dried results.
Ok I know they are not perfectly white, but I think they came out pretty darn good for what they looked like to begin with, not to mention they have seen almost two years of wear. I think I will get some bluing and see if that doesn’t help.
In the end, I am extremely pleased with my homemade laundry detergent, and very proud of the fact that I am making every effort to save the G-Man money.
There are a lot of recipes out there for homemade laundry detergent, I mixed mine as follows.
1 Bar Dial Daily Care soap – Ground to a powder in my handy dandy food chopper
2 C Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
2 C 20 Mule Team Borax
1 C Arm & Hammer Baking Soda (I did this for deodorizing)
I use 1 Tablespoon of detergent for normal loads, and use 2 if the load is very dirty.