Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Budget tip for Laundry Detergent

I know this isn't Paleo, but it is budget, so I thought I would share it.  A few months ago a friend shared her recipe for homemade laundry detergent and I started and using that instead of the store bought stuff.  I've had some time to test it out now and wanted to share the results and recipe with you.    One of the things I love about it besides saving money, is that is works wonderfully for removing the "sour" smell from towels.  I had washed my towels in just about everything imaginable but could never get rid of that smell.  But after using this detergent, there is no more "sour" smell!  And I have found our clothes are getting nice and clean.  I use just 2 TBSP for my light loads and wash on warm, 2 TBSP along with some bleach for my whites and wash in hot, but for my darks I only use 1TBSP and wash on cold (which is most of my laundry).  And last but not least I wash all the bedding and towels with 1 TBSP and on hot.  

(Please be sure so see my ***update*** at the bottom of the page) 

The "recipe" is pretty simple, you will need the following:

1 cup Borax
1 cup Washing  Soda (which is different from regular baking soda)
1-Bar of Fels-Naptha finely grated
fine grater
bowl or container for mixing and or storing

I start by finely grating my bar of Fels-Naptha on my box grater, in only takes a matter of minutes and I find it quite easy.  Some however, prefer to use their food processor for this step.  Then combine your shredded soap with 1 cup of the borax and 1 cup of the Washing Soda in a small container (I like to use an airtight container).  Give it some good shakes, or you can stir it and you're ready to go.  I have an extra one tablespoon measurer, that I just keep with my soap for convenience.  It does have a slight scent when it's dry but the clothes don't come out smelling scented.  Apparently you can add scent, but I haven't felt the need to do that and just like it as is.  That's it, pretty simple and easy, and works as well if not better than the more expensive stuff I was using (Gain or Tide).  

What you will need, Washing Soda $3.24 per box , Borax $3.38 per box and Fels-Naptha .97 cents per bar (all prices are from Walmart, Eureka, CA, 06-14-12).

Grating the bar of soap.

The finely shredded Fels-Naptha.

All mixed up and ready to go.

BEFORE mixing in the food processor.
AFTER the food processor.

I had a box of borax that had been sitting around for a long time and had absorbed moisture.  It had lumps the size of tennis balls in it that were hard to break up.  A friend had mentioned mixing her detergent in her Ninja, so after I grated the soap and mixed it all up, I dumped it all in my food processor and let it process until the mixture was a nice fine texture.  No more lumps, but what I found out was that I prefer the texture, too, the soap mixes in better and is easier to scoop etc.  So this is now the method I am using to combine it, I would suggest not standing over the food processor while it's processing.  You don't want to breathe it in, if you can help it, but that's my only caution.  
Kaitlynn grating the soap, the girls love this job!! 
In the food processor. 
My final product, nice and fine.
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  1. Shiella, I appreciate this receipe and found that my clothes finish with a fresh smell. Thank you for all you prayers and support of my grandson Donovan during his many operations and healing. Uncle Jim and I just returned home to Florida as he seemed to be stabled in his condition and will return to Philadelphia, PA to his side when needed. Aunt Regina

  2. So glad to hear that Aunt Regina! I think about him and April a lot, I can only imagine what your family has been through. I'm glad you guys were able to be there with them, I'm sure they really appreciated your support. We will continue to keep him and your family in our prayers, God Bless!

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