Thursday, August 23, 2012

So, you know I must be feeling better for a few reasons.

1.  I am working on my nursery.

2.  I am posting on my blog.

3.  I am getting around to trying all of the awesome Pinterest ideas I've been pinning over the past 5.5 months.

Well, last night I wanted to get going on some laundry.  It seems never ending.  (Isn't that such a silly statement.  Obviously it is never ending. Even if you are doing laundry, you are [probably] wearing clothes that will need to be washed too!!)  I have a couple of blankets that have been sitting on the floor of my laundry room waiting to be washed and put away since....oh....the beginning of the summer.  Lets face it, who needs blankets in this crazy Arkansas summer heat!  So last night was the night.  Until I went to get started and had barely enough detergent for one wash.


We have one of those awesome new HE front load washers, and I absolutely love it and wouldn't change it. But man, is that detergent expensive.  A while ago, a trend started of making your own detergent, both powdered and liquid.  Everyone was claiming that just a little bit of extra work and mixing, and you would have detergent for a year for a fraction of the price of buying pre-made detergent.

All of the recipes I have seen use pretty much the same ingredients:
1.  Borax
2.  Baking Soda
3.  Washing Soda
4.  Fels Naptha soap

Some people add a fabric softener, others add oxyclean or other products.

I had pinned a recipe that I thought would work best for me, and have just been waiting for the time to make it.  You can find the recipe I used  here. 

So, off I headed to Walmart to pick up everything I needed.  Here is the price breakdown for what I bought:
1.  5 gallon pail 2.58
2.  4 lb box of Borax 3.38
3.  4 lb box Baking Soda 2.12
4.  3 lb box Super Washing Soda 3.24
5.  [4] 5.5 oz bars Fels Naptha soap $0.97/each
6.  Oxyclean $7.52
7.  [2] 55 oz Purex Crystals Fabric Softener $8.96/each

That adds up to $31.68 (including the five gallon pail which will not need to be purchased next time I need to make a batch, and this number is pre-tax of course.  That will obviously vary depending on where you live).

Okay, the cool part? You only need 1-2 TABLESPOONS per load, depending on load size and amount of soil.  So, if you did approximately 6 loads of laundry every week, this recipe will last you for an entire year!  I mean, come on, does it get better than paying only $31.68 for a WHOLE YEAR of laundry?  If you have an HE washer like me, you were probably used to paying between $10-15 every few months depending on the type of detergent and size of the bottle you were buying.

So, does it work? Does it dissolve? Does it leave spots?

YES, YES, and NO!!

My front load washer has a tray that you pull out where you put the detergent in.  There is a cup in there that says it is for liquid detergent, and in that cup it says "remove for powdered detergent."  So if you are curious if you can put powder in your HE front loader, just look!  I've done two loads, and haven't had any issues with the soap not dissolving, and I don't use hot water.  No spots are leftover either!!  I added two bottles of the Purex crystals, and it seems to be enough scent for me.  I'm a sucker for lavender scent!  However you can add less or none if you prefer or have allergies to scents.

The awesome person who posted the recipe that I followed used the empty Purex Crystals bottle to store smaller amounts of the soap in her laundry room so she wouldn't have to work out of the big 5 gal pail.  I thought that was absolutely brilliant, so I tried it out!

Photo Credit

Pretty cute way to store it, huh?

Okay well I had a few issues with that.  When I grated my Fels Naptha soap, I used my food processor.  My soap was more the thickness of shredded cheddar cheese instead of the consistency of say..... parmigiana regiana (is that how you even spell it??).   The point is my soap cheese was thicker. It doesn't seem to affect the dissolving ability, but it doesn't want to come out of the top of that cute little bottle!!  Luckily I had saved the carton that the Oxyclean came in and am using that instead.

Next time I make the detergent I will do one of two things:
1.  Find already powdered Fels Naptha soap (or zote soap if I can find it)
2.  Microwave the bar of soap so that it will crumble and become much finer when put in the food processor

But, I won't have to make it until next year hopefully!!  Granted, with the baby coming soon I think laundry loads might go up for a bit.  Apparently they drool and puke and poop a lot.  Who would have thunk it.

Anyways, I highly suggest that you go and try this out!! I mean, who doesn't like saving money where you can!!  If you do, let me know how it goes for you!


Audra said...

I've been waiting to do this...maybe I'll try now!

Holly said...

I've wondered if that stuff really worked as well so it's great to hear it from you first hand. I'll give it a try next time I'm in need of detergent!

Cathy said...

I've made this - minus the Purex Crystals. I also used my food processor to grate the Fels Naptha, with similar results. I've never found it or Zoate in grated form, only bars. If you warm the bars they get soft and grate in even bigger pieces. I found that if I chop it in chunks with a knife and then process it with a blade in the bowl with some borax added then I get granules that mix better.

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