Saving money and getting clean! Homemade Laundry Detergent

Happy baby with clothesSo what seems like forever ago, my MIL taught me all these little things around the house that you could recycle or use in your household. I am a bleach lover. I love the “clean” smell. I’m a weirdo. I also love Tide and Bounty and the smell of fresh laundry. So when I became unemployed after C2 and shortly there after becoming pregnant with C3, I also gained a new title, SAHM (stay at home mom for those blogger newbies). With that, you learn to become a little more frugal on one income. Or at least we did. We are a one car family, eat mostly at home, huge fans of homemade and I can find an activity that is FREE for three kids to do in about 5 seconds. So with that being said, any grocery shopper will know that the price of Tide and the amount of laundry you do in a family of five are just not entirely affordable on one income…. And so it begins.

I’m an avid blog reader of all things natural, homesteading and what I can make from scratch. One week, money started to become a little tight and Mama had to be creative. The option of the $10.99 bottle of detergent for like 30 loads was becoming too much. With that $10 I was able to purchase enough ingredients to last me 2 months or more. So I decided to give the ‘ol Tide the boot and make myself some homemade laundry detergent. The process is incredibly easy, inexpensive, safe for the environment and sensitive on the skin for your loved ones. The ingredients are simple and surprisingly, I made enough detergent to supply this laundry lovin’ family of 5 about two months and change. And for most families… that’s a BARGAIN.

Shopping List:

3 Bars of Fels Naptha/Zote washing soap….. $00.97

1 Box of Arm and Hammer washing soap…. $3.98

1 Box of Borax…..$3.98

WalMart is the only store locally I have found that has the fels naptha bars in stock. Zote will do, too. It smells very clean and nice. I like to do half and half.

The best part about this recipe is that it works for front loading washers as well as top loaders.

Grate the fels naptha/zote bar. You can also add the ingredients into a food processor on pulse for even incorporation of the bars of soap with the powder- but definitely grate the ingredients before doing so. I even gave the magic bullet a go in tiny batches and it worked like a charm. Mix all the ingredients together and store in air tight container. It will look like sand in consistency. I like the Home Depot orange buckets or anything of that sort (icing buckets from Publix work… and they are free). Not only was I surprised by the clean smell, my clothes worked out tough stains easier than the store bought brands. Although I do miss the smell of my Tide, this recipe works just as well and for a FRACTION of the price. That can’t be beat. You only need a tablespoon or two for a load. And it lasts a long, long time. I also have found a way to curb my love for bleach, which is great for my lungs and the environment (because the grey water has to go somewhere). Bleach is especially a no, no if you are on septic, and the washing soap and borax just happen to be natural whiteners!

You can explore the internet for variations of this recipe. Some add essential oil for scent, others add alternative ingredients. All in all, do what works best for you. This just happened to hit our needs on the head the first go round! Enjoy!


The Naturalist Mom

Originally posted June 5th, 2014

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