About three years ago, around the first summer of married life, Jack and I decided to get serious about budgeting and began Dave Ramsey's envelope system. Being newly married on a tight budget, and wanting to save up for a down payment on a house, I really wanted to make a contribution by not over spending my husband's money. I cannot recall the book's name, but I read a book from the library about living thrifty. It had basic little tips in it, like using cloth napkins instead of paper, using coupons, buying gifts throughout the year when on sale, etc. One of the things, that stuck out to me was making your own laundry detergent. Since my husband, had an allergic reaction as a child to an off brand detergent, I was not saving money buying off brands. And even with, trying to watch for sales, I was spending alot on detergent and I only was doing 4 loads at the most a week.
I decided to make my own detergent and found a recipe that I now use and love:
3 bars of Fels Naptha Laundry Soap
Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (3lb. 7oz box)
Oxi Clean (3lb. containter)
Borax (4lb. 12oz box)
Pure Baking Soda (4lb box)
2 containers of Purex Crystals or Downy Unstoppables to add some scent. This is purely optional.
It is so simple to make, even a two year old can do it! ;) Combine all the ingredients and then grate your Fels Naptha soap bars. This can be done using a cheese grater, or a food processor. Put the lid on your tote and shake to combine and you are done!
I made my last batch on December 10th and it lasted almost 5 months and that is doing 6 loads of laundry a week and sometimes more.
I use about 2 tablespoons per load, and occasionally 3 if extra - large - simply dump right into the wash drum with your clothes.