Over the last couple of years, my husband and I have been more and more discouraged with the amount of hard-earned money that we spend to just simply exist. $500 PG&E bills, $300 water and sewer bills, rising gas and food costs are all no laughing matters! We decided to slowly restructure our lives and become more cognizant of where our money is being spent. We are committed to making changes that allow us to keep more money in our pockets for our future or for things that we enjoy. I was subsequently laid off in mid-January and so our plan to live more simply was put in high gear.
I am domestic by nature; I can spend days at home piddling around doing projects and keeping myself busy. And I also love a challenge, so I set out to help us save money and be more self- sufficient by doing several things myself. I will share the changes I have made and hopefully you will find a thing or two that you want to try.
One of my first projects was to start making my own laundry detergent. I have been very happy with the results. The best part is that my first batch made 2 gallons for a total cost of $1.09. That’s a penny and ½ per load! I spent about $15 to get started, but once you get the supplies they will last a while. Hopefully you have a 5 gallon bucket lying around; otherwise you need to purchase it, along with a lid. I found everything I needed at my local Ace Hardware.
The recipe I used can be found on www.livingonadime.com/homemade-laundry-detergent-2/
Homemade Laundry Detergent
You will also need:
5 gallon bucket with lid
Laundry Detergent vessel (I saved my old Tide container)
Wooden spoon or Whisk
Heat the 6 cups of water and the grated bar soap in a large pan until the soap is dissolved. Then stir in the washing soda and Borax until dissolved. Boil for 15 minutes. Remove from heat. It is supposed to be the consistency of honey, but mine was not very thick. This is not a problem. Pour 1 quart of hot water into a 5 gallon bucket, and then add the soap mixture. Mix. Add enough cold water to equal 2 gallons. Just eyeball this by pouring in enough water so that less than ½ of the bucket is full. It’s not an exact science!
Put the lid on the bucket and let it set overnight. It should be thick and gel-like the next day. Shake container, stir, then use a funnel to pour soap in your detergent container. Use ½ cup per load. This is septic safe and also works great in HE Washers.
Coming up…making red wine vinegar, fabric softener, dishwasher rinse agent, bar soap, and canning!
It’s Your Turn!
Have any of you tried making your own laundry detergent or bar soap before? What methods did you use? Share your experience, links and insights in the comments box below.