I do at least four loads of wash per week. This week laundry detergent was on the list and I was dreading buying it. I don’t budget separately for this but lump it in with our “food” budget in Mint since it comes from the grocery store.
I found a recipe in Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar’s new book “The Duggars, 20 and Counting” about how they manage their very large family. The recipe will last my family two years, assuming 4 loads per week, and cost about $3.18 to make. I made it this morning and it took me about 20 minutes. Not too bad.
The book is great, with many cost-effective meal recipes and some great stories about living in a large family, being efficient and living without debt. They even built their 7,000 sq ft custom home cash. I’m impressed and inspired.
Here’s the laundry detergent recipe:
1 bar fels-namptha soap (grated) $2.12 at Winco
1 cup washing soda (not baking soda, which is different)$5.34 at Winco
1/2 cup borax $2.12 at Winco.
Mix the soap with about two cups of water in a saucepan and melt it completely (it will look like clarified butter and will make a sticky mess of your pan, so don’t use an hairloom pan. I’m going to pick one up at goodwill expressly for this purpose).
Pour the melted soap over the borax and washing soada in a five-gallon container (I got mine surplus via the Industrial Materials Exchange which is a service of King County here in Washington State, but maybe your county has something similar?)
Then mix the three ingredients completely and fill the container to the top with hot water and mix again. This will make a liquid concentrate which you have to cut in half one more time to use. Use a smaller container (I’m using a canning jar) and put one cup of concentrate to one cup of water and stir or shake.
For top-loading machines, use one cup. For front-loaders, use 1/3 cup.
I’ll make a note after we’ve done some loads of wash with this method. I’ll also give some to friends and get their opinions on the stuff and ask them to post back about it. Finally, if I like it in my washer, I’m going to try the concentrate in my dishwasher.
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