I've been making my own laundry detergent. Yep! Super Susie Homemaker! That's me! Lots of people do this. Mostly sanctimonious bloggers who want everything to be "natural" (they annoy me), but that wasn't my motivation. I wanted to try it because last year, Nathan and I decided to really buckle down and try to save some money. We make very little. (So depressingly little, you would feel sort of sorry for me if you knew exactly how little.) Nonetheless, we're comfortable, in part because we're cheap. And what's cheaper than making your own detergent?
(Okay, lots of things. But I don't care. This is the thing I'm writing about today, so just roll with it, readers. Roll with it.)
And note: If you're interested in making your own detergent because you want something that's easier on your skin, or more natural, or more environmentally friendly, those criteria may require different ingredients, but the basic principles remain the same. So read on! And don't judge!
Not only was my detergent cheap, it also smelled nice and cleaned our clothes very effectively. In other words, it was perfect. In fact, this detergent scheme could not have been a bigger success. I made my first batch last year, and guess how long it lasted? A FULL YEAR. I am just coming to the end of it now. AND, I still have most of my original ingredients, so another year's worth is going to be even cheaper this time around.
I found a basic recipe online. It called for a cup of Borax, a cup of Washing Soda (NOT BAKING SODA), and 1 bar of soap (I used Sunlight). I tweaked it a bit and used:
2 bars of sunlight (grated by hand, or you can use a food processor)
2 cups of Borax
2 cups of Washing Soda
1 small container (about 2 cups) of Dollarama Oxy Booster
You mix it all up, put it in a container, and use 1-2 tablespoons per wash. AND IT LASTED A WHOLE DAMN YEAR, YO. Nathan has a lot of sports laundry, so this seems impressive. Of course, we don't have kids, so if you do, you might go through it faster. Either way, it's damn affordable. I think it works out to less than five cents a wash! I still have tonnes of Borax and Washing Soda, so I just have to drop $2 on a couple new bars of Sunlight (which I chose because I enjoy the lemon scent), and $3 on some additional Oxy from Dollarama. And I'll have another huge batch to last until 2016!
Here's what it looks like BEFORE it was mixed. (You gotta mix it! Each tablespoon should have a little of everything in it.)