Thursday, July 23, 2009

thrifty mama

I made my own laundry detergent today. My mom called to tell me about her experience making detergent this weekend.It sounded pretty easy and on a whim, I decided to try it out.

Unfortunately, I was going by KMart when I decided to do this. I have the worst luck there. I could only find 2 of the ingredients. I couldn't find washing soda there. I did a google search when I came home to see if I could substitute something for the soda.

I read a blog that said that washing soda was basically just doubly strong baking soda. So I doubled the baking soda.

4.5 oz of zote soap (it's pink) and comes in 14 oz so I cut it with a big knife to about 1/3 of the bar (grated)
1 C Borax
1 C Baking Soda

I grated the zote soap and then mixed in the soda and Borax. It's not a lot of soap so I put it in a coffee container. I washed it out first and I hope my laundry doesn't smell like coffee. Oh wait, that might be a good smell.

You should use 1TBS per load.

My first load of towels is in the washing machine right now. I will keep you updated on the results.

I put the directions on the top of the coffee container and the recipe with the remainder of my detergent ingredients.

According to most sites, it's about 42 cents per load if you use tide.
It's about 14 cents with this recipe and you feel so thrifty!


Walking to China said...

That's interesting! I might try that in China since we need fragrance free detergent. Elisabeth is super sensitive to detergent. Let me know how it works!

beth said...

It is really nice. My stuff is clean and it's good for my girl's sensitive skin too.

Bug said...

The Baking Soda/Washing Soda question pondered . . .

A definition from Dr. Dan Berger (Faculty- Chemistry/Science dept. at Bluffton College) gives a bit of understanding regarding the primary difference between Washing Soda (Sodium Carbonate) and Baking Soda (Sodium Bicarbonate).

". . . washing soda will consume two equivalents of acid, while baking soda will only consume one equivalent."
So, what does this mean for those of us concerned about laundering our cloth diapers and family laundry? Well, basically that Washing Soda is a stronger base than baking soda, and is in fact, CAUSTIC. This is one reason why it isn't used for baking!

Washing Soda is caustic/alkaline with a pH of 11 (with 7 being neutral). Though it does not give off harmful fumes, you do still need to use/wear gloves when handling it directly as a cleansing agent. In reading about safe household cleaners, it always is recommended to save the Washing Soda for the stubborn stains that you are going to tackle by making a paste. For instance, if speaks about petroleum spills on garage floors . . . grease build-up in your oven . . . y'know, truly STUBBORN STAINS!

Baking Soda is only slightly alkaline with a pH around 8.1 (again, 7 being neutral).

What exactly is PH?

I personally prefer Baking Soda to Washing Soda for my laundry because it is a much milder alkali and yet, still can lift dirt/grease/urine/poopies off my diapers/laundry effectively to dissolve easily in the wash water. Because it is so very water soluable, it dissolves before its soft crystalline molecules can scratch or damage a surface. The same is NOT TRUE of Washing Soda - because of its extra alkaline, it can eat away at elastic and cloth over time and is also used to rough-up fabric for dying. In fact, Washing Soda has just enough alkaline content to fall short of being labeled non-toxic.

Ononbili yours,

brandy said...

Wow, Memaw is full of useful info!! Moms know (or can find out) everything. I've tried the homemade detergent a few times. Perhaps my kids are extra dirty or maybe it's the red clay, but it just didn't get the stains out. But HOORAY for you if it works!! Defitely saves some precious moolah!

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