Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Laundry on the Homestead

We have been using plain white vinegar as fabric softener for about a year now, and it has been great! Before we just didn't use anything and I was always frustrated with how our laundry came out. I'm sure having to use the laundry mat didn't help that any. 

When we moved into where we live now, we were blessed with a washer and dryer! Once we were finally able to do laundry at home I started researching more natural ways of completing this chore, and using vinegar for softener was the first thing I did.

I found countless detergent recipes and I wanted to try them all. But my husband wasn't as convinced. That was until I used his 5 favorite words.....

It will save us money!

After that he was all for it. So I went out to the store to hunt down the ingredients needed. 

When I got to the store I searched high and low for washing soda. But it was no where to be found! My husband had already told me they didn't have it, but I was determined not to come back home empty handed. Like he did, ahem...

So I started reading all the packaging to see if I really needed both baking soda and washing powder. I decided since the Zote is a laundry bar, and people use just that to do their laundry, that I would give it a try without the washing soda.

I dumped the whole box of borax and all 3 boxes of baking soda in a bag. Then I grated up the Zote.

Ok, ok I got my husband to grate up the Zote. Lol, that bar is BIG! I managed to do about a quarter of it before I decided to call in reinforcement. He breezed through it like a BOSS. Love my man! 

Once everything was all grated up I tied up the bag and mixed everything around, so it could be evenly distributed. Then I put it in this awesome green waste basket I found at the store for $1.99! 

So now this, my vinegar, and a bottle of essential oil (to sent the vinegar) sits on my dryer. 

I've used this detergent for probably 10 loads now and I love it. After doing some googling I learned that leaving out the washing powder isn't a big deal and that my recipe is actually better for cloth diapers! Which I am hoping to switch to soon.

I use 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup), but my husband uses like 8 scoops! I can't even call the tablespoons. He goes crazy on the soap, always has. Thankfully he only does laundry sometimes lol.

Even with his excessive soap use, we've barely even made a dent in our soap stash! It cost me about $8 to make this and works out to be around $0.11 per load. Normally we spend about $0.20-$0.30 per load. So this particular batch didn't save me as much as it could have. But I know for a fact I over paid for the baking soda. I'm confident I can get it down to $0.08 per load. If we did liquid detergent I could probably get it down to $0.05 per load but storing a big 5 gallon container kind of makes it not worth it for us right now. 

I know we are counting pennies here but over time it adds up. As a friend used to always say "pennies make dollars". Plus I feel better knowing what's going into my detergent and being able to control it. 

What about you? Do you make your own detergent? Would you ever consider making your own?

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  1. Im going to give this recipe a try!!! I tried the Duggars recipe (leaving borax out), that was a disaster-spots didnt come out. Since then I've learned that peroxide works as a stain remover. How is this working with your daughters eczema?

    1. So far it has been fine. The zote leans more to the natural side.

  2. I make my own soap all the time. I have never tried to figure out how much I am saving, but how do use the vinegar for a fabric softener? do you have it premixed? and how much do you mix ? I would love to know..

    1. Hi Michele, I pour some vinegar in the rinse cycle thingy (lol) and then I pour in some water. If I want to add essential oils then I put a few drops in the water before I pour it in. You can add it in however you normally add in softener. I use a couple tablespoons of vinegar for a regular size load, and quarter cup for a really big load...... I have had the vinegar and essential oil premixed in the past. I would shake it up every time I needed to use it and then do the same thing as I said above. The only reason I don't have it pre-mixed now is because I don't use the scent for every wash... hope that helps! :o)