I have a large family. Families are compromised of people. People wear clothes. Clothes need to be washed. All those basic facts to reveal that this mom does a lot of laundry. My goal is always to do 3-5 full loads of laundry–washed, dried, and put away, everyday Monday thru Friday. If we do the math that is approximately 15-20 loads of laundry a week.
Most weeks I find good deals on laundry detergents, but, lately, (since Judah’s arrival), I just haven’t been able to get out of the house and go to the stores to shop sales. So, I’ve been spending between $4.99-8.99 on a bottle of detergent that is not organic that does approximately 45 loads. Now, I don’t know if you’ve actually calculated how many loads a bottle actually does, but my laundry soap never actually gets that amount of loads. So for the sake of this math problem I’m going to say I spend on average $6.99 and get 40 loads. Over the course of 6 months, I spend approximately $84 on laundry detergent.
6.99 (for 40 loads) divided by 2 (to make it 20 loads per week) x 4 (weeks in the month) x 6 (for months) = $84
I am tired of it. Really tired of it. Seems like a money waster, literally and figuratively its money going down the drain. Surely, there’s a better method.
My sister made this recipe awhile ago, she found it on pinterest through a blog called I can teach my Child
It’s really pretty easy! In fact, I did it with my 6 year old sister and my 4 year old son. They did most of the work! I did change her recipe slightly so make sure you look at the substitutions!
Ingredients for 10 gallons:
4 cups hot water (for the beginning)
1 soap bar without glycerin (I used Yardley Organic Lavender Soap for 2/$2.00)
1 cup Arm and Hammer Washing Soap ($2.99 at Target/Walmart) or SEE BELOW to substitute Baking Soda (requires additional step) (approx. $.59-1.29 or maybe you already have some)
1/2 Cup Borax ($2.99 at Walmart/Target)
For scented soap, you can add a few drops intermittently of natural oils (I didn’t do this because I found lavender scented soap that is without glycerin)
2-5 gal buckets or any plethora of recycled bins equaling 10 gallons (I bought 5 gal stackable containers for $5.00/each, a little more than I’d like to spend but I don’t have space to store a lot of containers and they are reusable)
1. Grate a bar of soap and add to saucepan with 4 cups water. Heat on med-low heat until soap dissolves
2. Fill 5 gal bucket 1/2 full of hot tap water. Add ingredients from saucepan, washing soda or substitute, and borax. Stir well until borax dissolves.
3. Fill bucket to top with more hot water equaling 5 gallons.
4. Stir again. Pour 1/2 of solution in additional 5 gal buckets (or in various sized containers I’ve seen milk jugs, apple juice bottles, etc) and fill remaining amount of each bucket with hot tap water. Let cool for 24 hours!
5. Use 5/8 cup for regular wash machines or 1/2 cup for HE machines.
******SUBSTITUTE: How to USE Baking Soda
For 10 gallons, take 1 cup Baking Soda and spread evenly on a cookie sheet. Bake for minimum of 30 min-2 hrs at 350 degrees. Add immediately to liquid mixture. Do not leave out as exposing to air changes chemical compound consistency back to Baking Soda.
Here’s the exciting part I have enough stuff left to make 10-20 gallons more! So for the cost of $5 (I didn’t buy Baking Soda, I had some. And, I’m not counting bins because I can reuse again and again or use for something else) I made enough Laundry Soap to last for 200 loads. I have now been using it for 1 week and I love it, my clothes are beautiful (a big worry) and I have not had to use dryer sheets or fabric softener because the chemical consistency is making my clothes softer–which I guess saves me more money!
320 (16 cups per gallon x 20 gallons) x 5/8 (cups to make 1 load) = 200 loads
200 loads only lasts me (based on 20 loads a week) 2.5 months. So, I need to calculate for 6 months. I’m gonna make it easy and calculate cost per load which is 5.00/200 =.025
.025 (price per load) x 20 (loads in a week) x 4 (weeks per month) x 6 (months)= $12.00
$84-12.00=$72.00 WHAT?! I just saved a whole lot of money. That’s a great date including child care for my hubby and me!
I saved a ton of money, made organic laundry soap, and had a great day with my kiddos doing it!
My next goal is to make homemade dishwashing soap, dishwasher soap, and laundry stain remover, cloth towels on a roll–to replace paper towels….STAY TUNED!
Tell me about your laundry soap making adventures..What did you do differently? Same? How much would it save you?