Laundry, laundry and more laundry

Does it ever seem like it's all you do? We are a family of 6 and it's amazing how much laundry is generated through a week. We are starting to look at the merits of a front loading washing machine to lower the cost of electricity, be more efficient and, of course, to be more environmentally conscience.

To lower my costs of laundry (I do about 15 loads a week), we wash in cold water and hang my clothes on the clothesline as much as possible. I buy laundry detergent on sale and try not to wash clothes just because (you know, those lovely clothes that the children put in the wash because they looked at them). I guess I am also blessed enough to have a washing machine that folds clothes during the wash cycle and even pairs socks together! I know, it's the children being lazy, but I wish that the machines had that option; then again, they probably wouldn't be folded the way that I would want and I would have to redo them all.

Where is this leading to? Well, lately there has been a lot of talk from the people around me about making your own laundry detergent. It equates to about 3 cents a load with this recipe. Since we love to pinch pennies, I am giving it to you:

Homemade Laundry Soap

1/3 bar Fels Naptha or other type of soap (sunlight)
1/2 cup washing soda (arm and hammer makes this and it's in the laundry detergent aisle)
1/2 cup borax
6 cups water
4 cups hot water
1 gallon and 6 cups more water

You will also need a small bucket, about 2 gallons in size

Grate the soap and put it in a sauce pan. Add 6 cups water and heat it until the soap melts. Add the washing soda and the borax and stir until dissolved. Remove from heat and pour 4 cups hot water into the bucket. Now add mixture and stir. Add 1 gallon plus 6 cups of water and stir. Let the soap sit for 24 hours and it will gel. Use 1/2 cup per load.

** Some people like a little extra cleaning boost to the recipe so they double the amount of borax and washing soda, this only very mildly effects the cost and may help if you feel you need it.

Here is my disclaimer- I have NEVER tried it. I have two buckets of it in the laundry room that have been given to me, but I have enough other detergent to go through before I get to that rotation. I stock up when it's on sale. I have no idea how well it works on Island dirt, but heard from a friend that she got grass stains out with it. I will update on this when I get to that part of my laundry storage.

Should you not want to or have the desire to make your own soap, and you aren't a diehard one type of soap user, there are some brands that are on sale this week. Sobeys has Xtra 2x Concentrated Liquid Laundry Detergent on for buy one get one free; 2/$9.99. It equates out to about 5 cents a load and you don't have to make it! Coop has ABC 2x liquid on for $3.00 (if you have a membership) for 42 loads. It equates out to 7 cents a load.

What do you use? Any laundry tips to share with the rest of us to lower our prices? I look forward to hearing from you. Happy laundering.

Enjoy your day!

PS for an update on this post, please see this post for how this detergent works.


Chrissy_V said...

I've been thinking alot lately about the "disposable" products we use...things we basically buy to "throw out". Laundry soap is a good example.

I've been thinking of trying "soap nuts"...with them it would work out to about 6 cents a load and it's natural. See below:

Liz said...

Thanks for the link. It looks like a great place. I will have to look into it even more. Wonder if they would go for a giveaway on here?