Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Homemade Detergents

Wanna save some money and make less of an impact on our environment? Try making your own laundry and dishwasher detergent. It's super easy, cheap and works unbelievably well.

Several friends that I work with turned me on to this and they constantly RAVE about how clean their clothes and how their dishes sparkle and shine. Plus, they remind me about how much money they are saving. After weeks of hearing their homemade detergent praises, I decided to give it a try.

You can find recipes for homemade detergents all over the internet. My friends led me to the recipes found on the Duggar family's website (yes, that's the family with a gazillion kids). However, the dishwasher recipe was given to me by a friend and I have no idea where she originally found it.

Powdered Laundry Detergent

1 Fels-Naptha soap bar
1 Cup Washing Soda
½ Cup Borax

Grate soap or break into pieces and process in a food processor until powdered. Mix all ingredients. For light load, use 1 Tablespoon. For heavy or heavily soiled load, use 2 Tablespoons. Yields: 3 Cups detergent. (Approx. 40 loads)

Fabric Softener
1 Cup White Vinegar

Add vinegar to rinse cycle. Works great. Removes residue and odors. Also helps to keep washing machine and hoses fresh and clean too.

Dishwasher Detergent
1 Cup Borax
1 Cup Washing Soda

Mix well. Use 3 TB per load. Borax can leave residue, so to prevent this from happening, add vinegar to your rinse valve (where you would normally put Jet Dry). The vinegar makes your dishes "sparkle" and cleans out your dishwashing machine.

So, what's my conclusion after trying these myself? I love my homemade detergents! I, too, now sing their praises and so does my pocketbook.

But am I really saving money? Let's take a look...

Here's a breakdown of the prices for all ingredients:

*Box of 20 Mule Borax (76 oz.) from Wal-Mart: $2.96
*Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (55 oz.) from Kroger: $2.69
*1 bar of
Fels-Naptha soap from Kroger: $1.19
*1 gallon of generic distilled white vinegar from Wal-Mart: $1.84

Total: $8.68

You'd probably spend the same amount of money for 1 container of your favorite name brand detergent! I still have plenty of Borax and Soda Wash left over after mixing my detergents (and that's after doubling the dishwasher recipe).

The homemade stuff is definitely a money-saver if you're looking for ways to cut back like most of us are in this downward economy. I'm giving homemade detergents a Campbell's Make Soup Thumbs Up!


cimmis said...

You are so funny Leslie. Your blogs make me smile and laugh all the time. Too cute. You are on your way to becoming the new mix between Rachel Ray and Martha Stewart.

Leslie said...

Ha! I'm more of a Martha/Rachel wanna-be :o)