My Crazy Little Life

ramblings of a crazy woman living her sometimes crazy life with her little family, in their little home, in a little town, in the BIG state of Texas

Inexpensive ways to conquer Mt. Neverending

Posted by mycrazylittlelife on 07/21/2008

As promised in my previous post, I’m going to talk about laundry and give you a recipe/instructions for making your own detergent. I know, you’ve been waiting on pins and needles. Yes, you have. Don’t lie.

So….laundry. It kind of sneaks up on me. It’s not my favorite chore, nor is it my most hated either. It’s fairly simple, besides the putting away. But that is one of the reasons I had kids. Just kidding. Get it, KIDding? I kill me.

Anyway, I already mentioned that I don’t dry all of my clothing. Thus reducing my electric bill. There are still a few more tips I have up my sleeve. Again with the pun-i-ness. Ha!

Trent Hamm at The Simple Dollar has an excellent post on how to make your own detergent. Not only does he list the cost comparison, but also a side-by-side performance comparison. Our recipes and methods are similar. However, just for kicks I’ll list mine, tip #1:

<If you prefer dry detergent, grate the bar soap and mix with the washing soda and borax in a container. Use a few spoonfuls for each load of laundry. You will most likely need to allow the washer to fill and agitate a bit to dissolve the detergent before adding your laundry.>

For liquid detergent:

Heat several large pots of water. I use all of my burners equaling 4 pots. Grate the bar of soap. (I use my Salad Shooter for this. It works wonderfully!)

To the 5 gallon bucket, add the Borax and Washing Soda.

Add the grated soap, a little at a time, to a large pot of very hot, but not boiling, water. Stir to dissolve and continue adding soap, a little at a time, until it is all dissolved.

Pour the melted soap/water into the bucket. Stir well to dissolve the powdered substances. Add remaining hot water until the bucket is nearly full. Stir often while allowing mixture to cool. Once cooled, you have laundry detergent! Go you! You can add essential oils to cooled detergent if you would like your detergent to have a scent. Once detergent is completely cooled, it will probably congeal. Just stir it around before using.

Now this is a bit more labor intensive than you may like, but my husband attached a nozzle to my bucket. It allows me to fill empty vinegar bottles, more on that later, with detergent before it cools. This makes the detergent easier to store and manage. I can just pour the desired amount into the washer. Voila!

Why wouldn’t I just use the nozzle to dispense the needed amount? Well, we tried that. However, because the detergent congeals or clots, if you will, it doesn’t easily flow from the nozzle.

Why do I have an excess of vinegar containers? Aha! That leads me to tip #2, Vinegar! I use a lot of vinegar. It makes an excellent laundry softener. Just add a little (1/2 – 1 cup) to your rinse cycle. No, your clothes will not reek, nor will you smell like a pickle. I promise.

Tip #3, I also use vinegar for cleaning. For a quick cleanup in the bathroom, I just dampen a washcloth with vinegar and swipe the counter/sink/faucet. It easily dissolves hard water stains and mineral deposits.  There are tons of recipes online, feel free to google. 

So, there you have it, an inexpensive way to climb the laundry mountain.

Happy Washing!


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