Saving the Budget – One Load of Laundry at a Time

I wrote last week about the big expense that we call “Food” around here.  With a big family, there are just a few things that you are going to use a lot.  Groceries is one of them.  Clothes are another.

We do a lot of laundry.  We usually do at least two loads a day, if not more.  Although laundry detergent isn’t a huge expense, I have learned that every little thing adds up.

I ask myself this question, “Would I rather use that money on something else?”  Then I think like this: Laundry detergent/ Vacation?  Laundry detergent/New shoes?

It seems that no matter what I compare it with, laundry detergent just simply doesn’t sound too awesome.

So, I have started making my own.  I have been pleasantly surprised.


Here is the recipe I used and my review of it.

1 cup washing soda – purchased at WalMart $3.97/box  ( Get $0.75 back with Ibotta)

1 cup borax – purchased at WalMart $4.17/box

1/2 cup oxiclean – purchased at Costco (~$15)   Coupon available for $1.00 off here

1 bar grated fels naptha soap – purchased at WalMart.

I grated my soap with the finest side of my kitchen grater.  I got lazy about  half way through and decided that it would probably be easier to use Henry’s Ninja food processor to grate it.  It was!  However, I smelled smoke and thought for a second that this was going to be a very expensive detergent if I burned that up.  So…. my future self will put small pieces of soap into the processor rather than the whole bar. 🙂  I may go with Zote soap which already comes in flakes.

*After making this several times, I have found that the soap grates much easier if you open the bar and let it dry out for a while.  You can get a good powder, rather than slivers of soap.  *

I also read that you should use caution when handling the borax and washing soda.  You should.  I guess I did.

Then I just mixed it all together in a bowl with the measurements above and poured it into a mason jar.  Voila!  I use 2-3 Tbsp per large load.

It has done well.

Now, if you are one of those people who measures whether your laundry is getting clean by the amount of foamy suds in your washer, you might be discouraged.  It is not foamy but you can certainly tell that the soap is in the water.

Also, if you’re one of those people who likes perfumed clothes, you will not be wowed.  The clothes just smell…well, clean.    You could add a few drops of essential oil if you want a smell.  I intended to add this but after the scare about the Ninja burning up, I forgot.

All in all, I am happy with it and will continue to use this.

I will use pre-treatment if needed. But for now, this seems to be working great for us.

If you decided to try it, let me know what you think!

Don’t forget if you’re buying online, use Ebates to earn a portion of your purchase back!





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