Monday, March 5, 2012

Homemade Liquid Laundry Detergent

In an effort to be more frugal, I decided to try making my own laundry detergent.  I prefer using liquid, so when I saw this recipe on Frugally Sustainable, I had to try it.  I had a hard time finding the Castile soap, but finally found it at a local grocery store that carries a lot of natural and organic items.  I bought the baby version to avoid the scents that my husband is allergic to.  According to my calculations, the All Free and Clear costs $0.114 per load, while this homemade version is $0.075 per load, which is a savings of only about $4.00 per 100 loads of laundry.  Not as much as I was hoping for!  However, if you use the Fels Naptha soap instead of the Castile soap (at Walmart for $0.97), then it come to only $0.035 per load, which is a savings of $8.00 per 100 loads.  That doesn't seem like a lot until you realize that the bottle of All Free and Clear says it's for 96 loads and costs $10.97!

So, I bet you're wondering how it worked.  When I added the water to the warm soap mixture, it started to gel right away, which ended up looking like cottage cheese on top, with liquid beneath.  I was concerned about this, so I read all the comments on Frugally Sustainable's site, and learned that this happens sometimes but the soap can still be used if you just shake it up first.  After washing a few loads of laundry, it seems to work just as good as the All Free and Clear.  Next time I make it, I will use hot tap water instead of cold, I think that might solve the gelling issue.  I also want to find a cheaper source of Castile soap!

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