Saturday, March 8, 2014

Ten cents to wash a load of laundry...WHAT?

I know it sounds crazy and if you are like I was you have your favorite leading brand laundry soap and you are pretty hesitant to switch to some home made version that might not get your clothes as clean as you would like.  Well throw those thoughts out of your head.  It works.  I didn't believe it until I tried it and well it is kind of a risk to see if you like it or not after all it does cost about $30 to make it up.  But I can tell you I was spending about that same amount twice a month with the amount of laundry we go through at our house (2 teenage daughters...ugh!)  Anyway the photo above is what you will need.

4lb 2oz box of Borax
3lb 7 oz box of Arm & Hammer washing soda
3lb tub of Oxyclean
2 bars of Fels-naptha stain remover
4lb box of Arm & Hammer baking soda
55oz bottle of Purex Crystals fabric softener

I have included a picture of my receipt from this trip to buy supplies.  Yes it was $30.31  Seems like a lot but keep reading.  This isn't as bad as it seems.


This photo (on the left) although the date is pretty light is the date of when I last made my laundry soap.  If you can't see it well it says 7-12-13.  That's right July 12th of last year.  I am posting this post 2 days after actually making it so the date was 3-6-14  If my counting is correct (and I know it is) that is 7 and a half months of laundry soap for a teeny bit over $30.  Yes.  And yes in our house we do laundry every single day and if we don't it is defiantly every other day.  It amazes me every time I make this stuff.  The photo on the right is what was left in the bottom of our bucket when I went to the store to buy more soap making supplies.  I poured it into the jar below.  (note that there is about enough to do a few more loads of laundry. I just hate getting this low.)  Yes a few more loads.  That is because it only takes 2 tablespoons per normal size load of laundry.  I have kids & a hubs and they never measure the right amount and yet we still managed to make this soap last 7 and a half months...AMAZING!!!

 Here is how you mix it up.  
Everything is pretty easy to mix together.  The bar soap is what seems to be the most time consuming.  The first time I made it I use a hand cheese grater (I was begging for help before I was no volunteers)  It worked but the grated pieces were a bit big.  The second time I made it I thought there had to be a better way.  So I got my trusty blender out and chopped up the bars like the picture below.  Placed a chunk at a time in the blender.  It started to gunk up in the bottom so I tossed in a half a scoop of oxyclean and that helped to keep it from sticking to the blades.  I like the size resulting from this method.  Bad thing is after making this soap in my old (got it for a wedding gift 19 years ago) blender after 4 batches the blender died.  I have not replaced it yet.  Didn't remember that until I was ready to make soap this last time.  Well poop!  Now what?
 I remembered reading that a lady online( had placed her soap in the microwave for a minute and it puffs up and when it cools it dries and it crumbles in your hand with just a little pressure.  Please note she uses Zote bar soap and the Fels Naptha takes a little longer than 1 minute but not much I kept adding 30 seconds.  I think it was ready about 2-2.5 minutes.  Place soap in a glass dish and be careful as it can burn and you don't want that smell in your kitchen (trust me)  I had a few pieces I had to take out because they did start to burn and the smell was awful.  Just trust me on this one.  Before next time I will purchase a new blender (cheap one) just for making soap.  I can use it until it dies.  It helps to save me money so I think it'll be OK.   :)

Mixing it all up after you have your bar soap prepared.  I have tried this a couple different ways too...trial and error.  That's how I do. 
Anyway. This method works best in my opinion.  I have a large bowl and I add a scoop of everything and a few chunks of the puffed up bar soap I mix it with my hands while crumbling the bar soap.  It works well.  If I had used a blender I would just add a small scoop of the blended soap.  Anyway.  I then dump the mixed soap into the bucket I use for storing my laundry soap.  I have a spoon because after each time of adding a small amount I give it all a good stir that way everything is really good and mixed. 

This seems a little time consuming, but in the end it is worth it to me to save the crazy amounts of money by using home made laundry soap rather than buying the leading brand.  I liked to buy tide pods and just an example of how much you save.  A bag of 72 pods (72 loads) is about $18 that is 25 cents per load.  I can not believe I was spending that much on laundry.  And don't forget the fabric softener.  A box of 120 Bounce dryer sheets is about $5.50 Yeah only around 5 cents per load but now your total cost per load is up to 30 cents.  I did the math and this awesome homemade soap is 299 ounces total and you use 2 Tablespoons per load.  Google how many ounces in 2Tablespoons...I'll wait here for you......Yep that's right 2 Tablespoons is 1 ounce.  ONE OUNCE!  OK so look again.  299 loads of laundry soap with fabric softener and stain remover included and it only costs $30.31 to make.  That makes this soap 10 cents per load of laundry.  
That is why I love this soap.

I re-purposed this bucket this last summer from the pool tablets.  It is the perfect size for one full batch of soap and it has a flip top lid that latches closed.  I have a 2 tablespoon scoop that I used a magnet to keep it attached to the dryer right next to the shelf were the bucket of soap is kept in my laundry room. 

I have heard it said that the clothes don't smell fresh as if you're using store bought stuff, I myself haven't had this problem.  I use it daily and can smell it in my closet.  I made some quilts and washed them before giving them as gifts and a comment was made about how fresh and clean the quilts smelled.  So maybe it isn't as strong as if you had a dryer sheet or store bought tide but everything in it is safe for sensitive skin and we have no issues with any kind of skin reaction from this soap.

Another question you might have is "Is it safe for high efficiency appliances?"  Yes.  It makes less suds and there for works well for these types of washers. I've been using this for about 2 years now and I have an HE washer and dryer, with no problems.  The less suds part took a bit of getting use to but the clothes come out clean so I'm happy.

I have handed out lots of jars to family and friends for them to try it before they make it them selves.  So if you would like to try it give me a shout.

Thanks for taking time to read today.

Have a great day


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