Saturday, October 08, 2011

31 Days: Day 8 - Frugality

I don't know if I like that word 'frugality'. I imagine some lady from Minnesota saying it the way Minnesotans say stuff and it sounds kind of lame. Like something SNL would do a really funny bit about. Aside from my thoughts about the word, though, I am a real sucker for the concept. Sometimes, I get a little over-anxious and actually waste money trying something that I think will be frugal. Like the time I made up a huge batch of homemade dish soap only to realize that I hated the smell of it and there were almost no suds. I'm the kind of girl who needs suds. No suds, no clean. Oh well, live and learn.

The recipe I'm going to give you today is for homemade laundry detergent. Now don't let my previous story deter you from wanting to make this stuff. I've made it and even tweaked it and I'm sold.

A while back I found this recipe on Pinterest for homemade laundry detergent. I'm not loyal to one specific brand of detergent and the ingredients were such that it wouldn't be a waste of money if I didn't like the way it turned out, so I tried it. It was a liquid version and I was pleased with the results, but it was always seperating so I had to shake it before I poured it every time. And it was way more liquidy than commercials detergents so it dripped and was messy. I just see myself sticking with it forever.

this is what the front of my washer was starting to look like from all the detergent drips

So I went back to the drawing board, er Pinterest. There, I found a really simple recipe for powdered laundry detergent. I already had the ingredients on hand because they are the same ingredients used in the liquid version. Here they are...

Most of these recipes, and there are a lot out there, call for a bar of soap, grated, and melted in a pot. I do enough cooking around here, I didn't want to also have to cook my laundry detergent. So I found another recipe that called for grating the soap in a food processor and then adding the rest of the ingredients and processing it further until it was a fine powder. That I can do.

 I would have taken a picture of the soap bar being added to my food processor, but the second I dropped it in the chute, it was gone. In literally 3 seconds. That was easy.

Then I took my soap shavings and poured them into another bowl so I could change attachments to the blade. And yes, I know my food processor is dirty. I forget to wipe it down. Maybe I'll do a post on Improving your home through appliance cleanliness. Nah.

Now that my soap shavings were back in the food processor, I added started to add the other two ingredients. One cup of Arm & Hammer super washing soda...

and one cup Borax.

Then I pulsed the processor until it looked like powdered detergent. 

This recipe doesn't call for any essential oils for fragrance because you choose what kind of bar soap you want to use. I can't remember the name of the flavor Ivory I used, but I like the smell of it. Next I poured it into an empty tin I had in my pantry, added a tablespoon measure and put it on the shelf above my washer. I've already done a few loads and I think this relationship is going to last a long time. 

And, of course, the tin will not stay looking like this. I have to stretch this stuff out for more blog posts, so check back tomorrow for a post on that.

This detergent only calls for 1 tbsp a load. 2 if it's heavily soiled. The recipe I made only filled the can about a third the way up and now that I know I like it, I plan on making it again and doubling it so my can will be full and I won't have to make it for awhile.

P.S.  These kinds of topics usually generate a lot of questions, so feel free to ask in the comments if you have one.

Click here for the rest of the 31 Days posts.


High in Demand said...

I recently made my own laundry soap too (mostly using the same ingredients.)

I really like it! I've bought TIDE for years which is so expensive for the amount of laundry that we do. I'm so pumped about this soap! It makes the clothes smell great!

Pamelotta said...

Yeah! I'm so glad you're doing it, too!

Sometimes I think I'm going a little crazy with the homemade stuff, but now I know I'm not ;)