I have been using homemade laundry detergent (actually it is a soap product) this month. I first used the powdered version of Fels Naptha soap, borax and washing soda. The cost per load was .075 cents. I was able to purchase these supplies at a local grocery store. I felt it was a little pricey but I never did double check the price on Borax or Washing Soda at another store. So the price could be reduced further. Also I used Fels Naptha as I felt it was a good choice as it is a laundry bar soap but I have read on other blogs that many have had really good results using Ivory bar soap. I must say that I like the powdered version.
I decided to try the liquid version of the laundry detergent this week. Same ingredients in different amounts with added water. The result is that I made 2 gallons of goop that I have been using this week to wash clothes. These 2 gallons made 64 - 1/2 cup loads of soap. The cost per load was .01 cents.
The jury is still out on whether I like this version or not. I do not have small children living in the household so our clothes do not good real dirty, especially in the winter time. When I do have a greasy stain I have been using Dawn Dish Detergent - the original blue version - with great results. Now, I need to find a homemade version of pre-treatment. I think the best would be to take the clothing item and run cold water on the stain and immediately wash it.
I'm trying to decide which is best. The liquid version does not dissolve well in cold water. I compensate for this by dumping a 1/2 cup of the goop into a clean jar and filling it half full with hot water. Then I put on the lid and shake it to dissolve and dump it in the washing machine.
The powdered version takes more Fels Naptha which leads me to believe that it may clean better, but I'm not sure. Some people add too much soap to the washer and this makes the clothes dingy.
Recently a 32 load size of All detergent was on sale for $2.99. I had a $2.00 off coupon so for .99 cents or .03 cents per load I was able to purchase a good detergent. However this was a rare occasion to have a coupon for $2.00 off one bottle so I do not expect to have this kind of savings every day. I may use this detergent in a recipe for a homemade pre-treatment, but I'm not sure.
Now what to do. I am going to wait and see. I need to price the borax and washing soda at another grocery store as I believe I can get them at a significantly reduced price. Also I would like to try using Ivory bar soap to see if there is a difference between this and Fels Naptha. This would lower the price of the powdered version which I prefer. My goal is not to go over 3 cents a load.
Both of the homemade versions do not leave a fragrance on your clothes which is nice but I am used to having some sort of fragrance. I compensated for this by using a liquid fabric softener. I was able to purchase Downey on sale with a coupon a few months back for about $2.00 for a 52 load bottle. I only use half the amount recommended. Also I was able to purchase Snuggle Fabric softener sheets - 80 sheet box for only 89 cents as I had a $3.00 off coupon. I always cut these in half.
There is something about a good fabric softener that adds a beautiful fragrance and softness to towels. However I don't expect to continue to be able to get deals like these on a consistant basis. So I am going to try the following recipe and use it intermittedly to see how I like it. The recipe is as follows: 2 cups water, 1 cup vinegar and 2/3 cup hair conditioner and you use 1/4 cup per load. I can always get Suave Hair Conditioner pretty cheap and they have wonderful fragrances. We will see.
I am on my last few loads of Cascade dishwasher detergent. I am not brand loyal and I buy what is on sale and use a coupon. I am going to try a homemade version. I have been given the following recipe:
1 cup borax, 1 cup washing soda, 1/2 cup table salt and 4 envelopes of unsweetened lemon kool-aid. I will use vinegar as the rinse aid. I think this will work for me as I do rinse off my dishes a little before I load in the dish washer. However I have seen several blogs where people have commented that the glasses come out cloudy and dingy. Again, I am going to give it a whirl as if it doesn't work I will just go out and purchase a name brand or store brand on sale and use half with the homemade version.
I think the reason that I am attracted to the above recipes is the ease of not having to leave home to go to the store and being more self sufficient. Also, I feel that most of the ingredients are better for the environment than the commercial cleaners.
Our household is in a major savings mode right now and any dime, nickel or penny I save is one my husband doesn't have to earn. I am really committed to finding a way to double the amount we put into savings each month.
Has anyone else had any success with home made versions of the above? I would be interested in knowing what your experience has been.