Woah there, hang on a second. Homemade laundry detergent? Seriously? You’re not going to tell me that something I can make at home is going to be just as effective against dirt and grime as something that a big conglomerate company sold me, are you?
Without being too enthusiastic, yea, I am.
Here’s the details. Americans wash and dry 1,100 loads of laundry, every minute of every day. Think about that. That’s 1,584,000 loads of laundry done in this country every single day, or 578,160,000 loads of laundry a year, in America alone.
Try to contemplate how much money in laundry detergent that adds up to. I’m not even going to try. But I can tell you that it’s a lot of money. And I can also tell you that it’s a lot of money we don’t need to be spending.
Here’s how detergent companies are suggesting we save money. Buy concentrated, and get more loads done with less soap. Well that’s fine, but not when you consider the fact that the majority of people are using too much laundry detergent. We’re used to using the amount that we always used, even amounts we used in the past when detergents were heavily watered down. And detergent companies don’t make it easy on us when they give us a measuring cup graded in to four different measurements without really giving us clear instructions as to whether we should be filling the cup to ’1′ or ’4′. Of course why would they. They would love nothing more than for us to fill that measuing cup to the max level, or even more, every time. After all, the more we use, the more they make. Don’t let them fool you, they care little about how efficient we are when measuring out our detergent, and a lot about how much we buy from them.
So what can we do to save? Well, two things.
The first is simple and easy, and I’m going to assume that the majority of people reading this will choose this option. Use less detergent. If you fill the measuing cup up to ’4′ every time, try filling it to ’1′ on your next load. I guarantee that if your washing machine is not over packed with muddy, grease stained clothing, you will notice no difference in the ‘cleanliness’ of your clothes using less detergent.
Even if you do only fill the cup halfway normally, try filling it even less. Today’s detergents are concentrated and a little goes a long way. Want to try something even more out there? Try this. Wash a load with no detergent at all. You’ll be shocked at how clean your clothes come out and how efficient simple agitation and water can be.
I know for most of us, washing without any soap at all probably wont happen more then once if you give it a try, so what else can we do?
We can make our own detergent. Here’s a simple recipe that anyone can make. This is just one out of many recipes you can find online so keep an open mind.
• 4 cups of water.
• 1/3 bar of cheap soap, grated.
• 1/2 cup washing soda (not baking soda).
• 1/2 cup of Borax (20 Mule Team).
• 5-gallon bucket for mixing.
• 3 gallons of water.
Step 1: Mix the grated soap in a saucepan with 4 cups of water. Heat on low until the soap dissolves.
Step 2: Add hot water and soap mixture to 3 gallons of water in the 5 gallon bucket, stir in the washing soda and borax and continue stirring until thickened.
Let this sit for 24 hours amd you’ve got homemade laundry detergent!
You won’t be able to tell the difference between your homemade and store bought detergent, other than the fact that your pocket will be much more full of cash.
So, bottom cash line? Homemade detergent: 2 cents per load. Store bought detergent: 20 cents per load. An increase of 10 times, or a 90 percent savings.
Do yourself a favor, give this a try and take Tide’s hand out of your pocket.