Stir well (You can stir it best with a paint stirrer drill attachment. It does an excellent job of mixing everything up.) and fill a used, clean, laundry soap dispenser half full with soap and then fill rest of way with water. Shake before each use. (It will gel.)
Optional: You can add 10-15 drops of essential oil per two gallons. Add once soap has cooled. Ideas: lavender, rosemary, tea tree oil. (I have not tried this yet because I love the smell of the detergent itself.)
Total: $2.49/10 GALLONS of detergent (I’ve only used about 1/3 of my 5 gallon bucket in 6 months!!) .
That’s approx. 640 loads for front load (1/4 cup/load) or approx. 180 loads for top load (5/8 cup/load.
That equals out for $0.004/load for front load or $0.0138/load for top load. I used to use Gain detergent and was paying about $15 for the largest container (cheapest I could find it). This would last me about 6 weeks. I do roughly 10 loads of laundry per week for my family of 5.
Gain Detergent/year: Approx. $135/year or $0.25/load
Homemade detergent/year: $2.49/year or $0.004/load
Savings: $132.51/year or $0.246/load
I have a front load, so this is a HUGE savings for me! Now, instead of adding Clorox 2 or Clorox to really our dirty clothes (anyone with kids knows that there can be quite a few of those) I’ll add about 1/4 extra Borax or Washing Soda directly to the load. This really helps get the really ground in dirt out of the clothes.
I pretreat clothes by pouring a tiny amount of the detergent on the stain itself, rubbing it in with my finger, and letting it set overnight. You can also treat stains by dampening them and rubbing them with Fels-Naptha soap.
If you have hard water, you can also vary the amounts of the Borax and Washing Soda by adding more to the batch of detergent. You can play with these amounts to suite your needs.
I hope you’ll give homemade detergent a try. It’s well worth it! Don’t forget to check out The Grocery Cart Challenge for more great recipes this week! And please remember to check out Life As Mom for more great frugal tips!