Monday, January 10, 2011

What's next, a wash board?

I've been making my own laundry soap for quite some time now... seems like forever, really... and I find it's been working just as well as commercial grade soap. Of course, I still use bleach once a month in my whites just to fight the dinginess that somehow overtakes anything that is white; and I can't seem to give up my fabric softener addiction.... admittedly though, I have cut back to half of what is suggested per softener usage and started buying bulk Costco brand instead of my favourite Downy scent.... Aaaanyway, here's the recipe for the soap if anyone is interested in trying it out:

Laundry Soap
1 bar pure soap grated fine (I use sunlight laundry bar)
1 cup washing soda
1 cup borax
3/4 cup baking soda

Mix everything together in a large freezer bag or an air tight container. Use 1-3 tablespoons depending on your machine and water hardness.

After much experimenting, this is the recipe that works best for my extremely hard water (that by the way, is also softened with a water softener...uggg, I hate hard water and so does my hair) and my 13 year old trusty Maytag top-loader. You can certainly use this recipe as a guide to find your own formulation... much is dependent upon your own water and machine...

This recipe makes roughly 32-48 loads (1-1/2 to 2 tbsp soap)... here's the cost breakdown of the ingredients:

Soap Bar $2.49 for a package of 2 (wal-mart or grocery store)
Washing Soda $5.99 3kg(Zehrs grocery store)
Borax $5.99 2kg(Sobeys grocery store)
Baking Soda $4.99 2kg(any grocery store)

I haven't yet calculated how many cups are in each ingredient box... and will keep track from now on, so I can give a more accurate price per batch... Roughly speaking though, each 32-48 load batch is under $4.00 .... but; this is also a variable cost, as the ingredient prices will vary from store-to-store and town-to-town and be dependent upon the bar soap you buy.... so many variables, is it really worth it???? I say yes... for me anyway... I like knowing what is going next to my children's skin, I like knowing that I am making a more environmentally friendly choice, and that I'm saving a little money too. Hey! Works for me!

There are soooo many recipes on the net if you're looking for something a little different, all you need to do is search Homemade Laundry Detergent... the possibilities and recipes are endless. You'll find recipes for liquid or powder... I like the idea of liquid; but, as I found it a little difficult to find a 5 gallon pail and the space in my crampy laundry room, I opted for the powder and have been very, very happy with my choice.

This time around, I chose Dr. Bonners Peppermint Castile Soap (available at most health food stores) which was definitely not cost effective; but every now and then I like to change the scent up a bit... and a light minty scent is very energizing... I guess my point in this is that I know the ingredients, they're pure and natural and not toxic to my family.

Have a fantastic Monday everyone ;)

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