Tuesday, May 1, 2012


I've mentioned it before, but I will say again: I really like my homemade laundry detergent. At this point, I've saved hundreds of dollars!

If you're interested...

Washing Soda (all three of these are next to one another on the laundry aisle at Fred Meyer)
Baking Soda (I get mine in 12# bags at Costco.  It helps with laundry odors.)
First, I shred a bar of Fels in my food processor.

 Then I use the chopping blade to make it a (theoretically) fine powder.

Then, I mix it with 1 cup of Borax, 1 cup of Washing Soda, and 1 cup of Baking Soda.

Then, I put a tablespoon into my HE washer and I wash my clothes.

It is easy and gloriously cheap!

Additional, unsolicited information...
  • My laundry is cleaner if I don't overfill the washer. Also, I am not afraid to use the pre-wash cycle and the "heavy" setting.
  • Vinegar is a great fabric softener. I put about 1/8 cup of vinegar in the softener slot on my washer (or pour it in during the rinse cycle). And no, I never smell like vinegar.
  • I'm a huge fan of readily available stain remover sprays. For tough stains, I spray and scrub with an old toothbrush.
  • I dry almost everything on the delicate cycle and remove immediately and promptly fold or hang up warm clothes.
  • This formula is great for those of us sensitive to scents and dyes.
  • The cost per load is reported to be less than a penny (though I have never been able to track exactly how many loads a batch will wash).  So if I do (a conservative) 10 loads per week at only a penny per load instead of 15 cents/load (an average price) that's 10 cents per week instead of $1.50, or $5.20 per year instead of $78. Boy howdy, I can make $72.80 go a loooooooong way.

And in case you're worried about me and how much I think about laundry. I know I have a problem: I admit that I am on the neurotic end of the spectrum about laundry. It's the one task I'm unlikely to delegate.  But ... that's just the way it's going to be.    


  1. I'm interested. However, the times I have strayed from traditional detergent I have gotten horrible stains. Most recently I switched from Costco brand free and clear detergent to the Costco all natural. My clothes looked awful, especially Eli's - they were stained all around the collar around his trach. Using Kirkland detergent and a little oxyclean I never have ANY stains and believe me, there is some gross stuff going into my washer. How often are you dealing with stains with your recipe?

  2. I think stains are par for the course with tribes as young as ours are. If I use the heavy setting and a little more detergent, I avoid that dingy look. And I pre-treat stuff... I find that anything with grease/fat (like breastmilk spit up) does not come out unless I pre-treat it. But it comes out even if I've washed and dried it then pre-treat and re-wash. But just a few weeks ago, I got blood (pre-treated with hydrogen peroxide) and grass (pre-treated with Shout or Spray n Wash) out of light colored clothes with no trouble.

    What kind of horrible stains? Have you tried the homemade stuff with some Oxyclean?

    I have been regrettably unsuccessful in removing dandelion milk stains from clothes... and I've tried everything (I think).

  3. The stains I've mainly seen are from muscous, I guess, because they're all around the tops of Eli's shirts. I switched to the Costco enviromentally friendly because it was a bit cheaper and it smelled nice but after two loads I was really sick of having to pretreat everything Eli wears - he changes shirts at least three times a day. I used Oxyclean with that too. I haven't tried the homemade stuff with Oxyclean and maybe I will, but it's been so long since I've had to pretreat anything with my current system I'm scared to do it. I should though b/c that's a good savings!!

    Did you try Oxyclean on them? I've gotten it out before by putting some powder directly on, then spraying "Zout" over the top and letting it sit for at least 24 hours.

    Do you do yogurt in your crockpot? I've just started doing it and it's so awesome! Miss you!

    1. I'll try that on my box of "impossible stains" including something that looks like grease on my favorite sweater vest of Korynne's. Fortunately, most of the dandelion stains are on play clothes.

      I guess I haven't thought of it as that much work to pre-treat things, but I don't have 4 "costume" changes a day for mine. Drew asked me about 2 years ago to tell you about my homemade stuff... I told him "NO" because you had/have enough on your plate. But I'm happy to give you some if you want to try it before you invest in the ingredients.

  4. Drew did? Ha ha ha! It surprises me that came up at all. Although when I told him I was making yogurt in my crockpot he said something like "Well Hello Clara Danielson." LOL!

    I would love to try a few loads. I don't mind pretreating here and there but not 3-5 shirts per day. But hey, the recipe looks super easy and I'm all for saving $100 per year if I can!

    On Korynne's grease stain, have you tried baking soda? I've always gotten grease stains out with that... again, powder on the top with zout to make it into a paste and let it sit.

    I'm going to send you an email because this conversation makes me want to hang out with you.