Aug 30, 2010

Stop paying too much to do your laundry

白色的洗衣粉和量匙Image via Wikipedia
One thing I hate buying at the store is laundry detergent. It's one of the few things I don't skimp on by buying the cheapest one out there. I've found that the bottom shelf detergents don't clean my clothes nearly as well as the name brands do. Unfortunately, name-brand detergent can be pretty expensive. For example, Tide's High Efficiency costs about $8.32 for 32 loads. For a thrifter, this poses a spending dilemma.

Luckily, I have a mom - and who really knows more about doing laundry than a mom? I didn't even notice that our Tide containers were really soapy and messy recently, all I knew is my laundry was clean when I picked it up (yes, I do my laundry at my parents' house). Then, my mom told me that she doesn't buy the expensive name brand Tide anymore, she makes her own! She just puts it in the old containers.

"I thought paying $12 for laundry detergent was way too expensive, "says my mom. "So I decided I'd make my own." Apparently, my parents happen to own a high efficiency (HE) front-loading washing machine that requires special HE detergent.

But even if you don't need special detergent, the recipe below can make quite a few loads of laundry for a very low price. And that's what this blog is about, finding ways to save money. So save some cash and get washing!

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Here's the make-it-yourself detergent cost & recipe breakdown
3 pints of water
1/3 bar Fels Naptha Soup, grated ~ cost: .99 for 1 bar
1/2 cup Washing Soda (NOT baking soda) ~ cost: $2.50 for a very large box
1/2 cup 20 Mule Team Borax ~ cost $4.99 for a very large box
2-gallon bucket for mixing
additional hot water

Directions (inserted from this Woman's Day article):
Mix Fels Naptha soap in a saucepan with 3 pints hot water and heat on low until dissolved. Stir in washing soda and borax. Stir until thickened, and remove from heat. Add 1 quart hot water to a two-gallon bucket. Add soap mixture, and mix well. Fill bucket to about 3 inches from the top with additional hot water, and mix well. Set aside for 24 hours, or until mixture thickens. Use 1/2 cup of mixture per load.
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