I like being frugal and I try hard to come up with ways to be more economical as well as saving money. I recently was introduced to the process of making your own laundry detergent. I received a sample and was hooked. I had to try to out for myself, and boy is it easy and cleans just as good as the commercial stuff.
There are loads (no pun intended) of "recipes" out on the net for making your own laundry detergent, just Google it and you'll see what I mean.
The three basic ingredients for making home use laundry detergent are Borax, Arm & Hammer Super WASHING soda and a bar of soap. Now the Borax is super easy to find, it's usually in a box by the rest of the household cleaners at any major supermarket or big discount store. The Washing Soda is a little harder to find, your best bet is to call around before trying to find it or order some from the Internet, and no baking soda is not the same.
The bar soap varies on personal preference, really you can use anything, though most recipes call for a laundry bar soap. There is Fels Naptha, Octagon, and Zote (dollar stores) which are all high contenders in the homemade laundry detergent set.
I used Kirks Castile, which is a natural soap made with coconut oil and has a nice clean scent. I have read that the other bar soaps that will work for your soapy endeavors include Pure & Natural (3 bars for a buck at Walmart), and Ivory. You can even try even nice scented soaps like Toms of Maine or Mrs. Meyers, the possibilities are endless. I've even read that you can also use a little essential oil to boost your linens in to high scented gear, if you so desire.
If you can't find any of the basic soap making ingredients at your local grocery, try buying from this site, Soaps Gone Buy
Below is the soap I made in dry form. You always want be careful when making your own soap, do not inhale or ingest any of this and be careful around kids and pets.
1 Cup of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
1 Cup Borax (Any brand will do)
1 Bar Kirks Castile Soap, grated
The hardest part, and really it's not hard at all, is grating up the bar soap. I had a hand grater that worked perfectly. You can also use a regular cheese grater or even your food processor if you wish, just make sure to thoroughly clean all your components before using them again on food. Once the bar soap is fully grated, combine together with the borax and soda. I poured my soap into a ball jar and am now ready to start washing. That's it, your done, that took maybe 15 minutes! I still have enough borax and soda to make about three more batches, and all it would cost me is the price of another bar of soap. Easy peasy.
Now, I know what your thinking, how well does it work? It works great my friend, great! You only need one tablespoon for a normal load, maybe two if you have some really dirty duds. This soap dosen't suds up like regular commercial brands (which is great if you have an HE machine) so I was a bit skeptical at first. But everything came out nice and crisp with a slight clean scent. You can even add 1/4 cup of white vinegar to your rinse cycle to make you clothes super soft!
You can make your own laundry soap in liquid form too. Here is a link from the Simple Dollar on how to do so and here is a great video that shows the process amazingly well!
If you don't think you are brave enough to make your own laundry detergent, I recommend buying from this site Simply Clean Ok. I've tried this soap and it's quite lovely if I do say so myself!
Enjoy and go make some soap! Next up, felted wool dryer balls :)