April 07, 2012

Pin of the Week: Homemade Laundry Soap and Fabric Softener

I think I'm going to try out a new thing on The Fishermans Widow called the Pin of the Week.  I spend so much time on Pinterest and I really do end up making all different kinds of stuff that I find on there.  So I figure I can test stuff out and report back my findings.  My most recent experiment was with the homemade laundry soap and fabric softener recipes that have been floating around out there.  For the laundry soap I used a recipe provided by the blog Being Creative To Keep My Sanity.  Boy do I know the feeling!  Any-whoo, I stopped by my local Walmart hoping to find all the ingredients I needed and realized this recipe must be catching on because every ingredient I needed was sitting next to each other on the shelf in the laundry isle.  I picked up all the ingredients for about $18.50.  According to her blog this is supposed to last me for about 9 months so we'll see if this ends up being a bargain or not.  What's in this magical concoction you ask?   The ingredients are simple.

1 - 4 lb 12 oz box Borax
1 - 4 lb box Arm & Hammer Baking Soda
1 - 3 lb 7 oz box Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
3 bars of Fels-Naptha soap - grated
2 small containers of Oxy Clean
I lined a 5 gallon container with a garbage bag and combined everything together.

Since I don't feel like digging into a big bucket every time I do a load, I've been using one of the Oxy containers and re-filling as needed.  Using the scooper provided with the Oxy, on average I've been using about 1 1/2 - 2 scoops per load.  I must say, this stuff seems to actually work really well.  I've been using it for the past 2 weeks for about 5 loads/week and already I can tell a difference.  The true test happened over the weekend when I gave a friend a facial (in another life I was an esthetician).  Normally when I'm done, the towels need to be washed through a couple of loads to get all the oils and masques off.  After one load with this stuff there was absolutely no trace of anything.  After that I was sold.  But I am curious how long this batch will last me to see if it truly is a better deal.  Stay tuned.
The next experiment was the fabric softener, recipe courtesy of The Frugal Girls.  I just love those ladies, so many good ideas.  All you need is 3 simple ingredients. 
6 cups HOT water
3 cups white vinegar
1 - 15 oz (about 2 cups) of Suave Conditioner
Mix the conditioner and water until the conditioner is completely dissolved.  Add the vinegar and mix well.  I poured all of this in an old Downy bottle and use the same amount that I would normally use for each load.  Total spent was about $1.50.  Can't beat that!  At the moment, we use a top loading machine, but I've been reading some of the comments for both recipes and have discovered that these can be used in the new fancy HE machines too.  The only downside to both of these recipes is that you're clothes don't come out as fresh smelling like when you use the name brands.  It's not that they smell bad, it's just that they don't really have a scent at all.  And considering that one of my favorite smells is clean laundry, this is one that will take some getting used to.