Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Homemade Laundry Soap

Let me tell you, I've been on the hunt!

I am reading up on a ton of homemade stuff, trying to save us money and live a more frugal life, especially when it comes to food and household needs. These are the areas that I can control on how much money we spend and I'm trying.

So last week I ventured out all over Memphis in search of Borax powder, Arm and Hammer washing soda and Fels Naptha soap. I live in the Bartlett area but I drove all the way to Poplar Avenue to hunt at the grocery stores that sell more speciality products (for those who don't live here, it's a good 30 minutes over there). What a waste! No one had anything I needed. Let's just say I didn't research well as to where I could find these products, but I honestly wasn't sure where to look. After my adventure I came home and I got on the blog where I found the recipe for making the homemade laundry detergent (you can find that here at The Grocery Cart Challenge), and saw people's comments on where they shopped to find the supplies needed. That helped on 2 of the items, the borax powder and washing soda but not the Fels Naptha soap. And I wasn't even sure I would be able to find any of the items where they said they found them, but I went back out the next day anyways. And with great success I found all the items I needed to make my homemade laundry soap and in my own neighborhood. I traveled about 5 miles from my home instead of 20, typical me! :)

Below is a picture of all the items needed to make the soap, minus the 5 gallon bucket which you can find at any hardware store.

Borax Powder-$2.98 at Super Wal-Mart (in the detergent isle)
Arm and Hammer Washing Soda-$2.99 at Kroger (in the detergent isle)
Fels Naptha Soap-$1.99 at Stewart Brothers, Do-It-Yourself Center (I asked the nice man if they kept it in stock at all times and he said they do! So yay!)

So that is last weeks adventure! I'm glad I found all the ingredients I'll be needing for my little project (even though I do still have some of my store bought detergent left, I'm just too excited and can't wait to try my homemade stuff). Hubby has sensitive skin when it comes to laundry detergent (I can't use any kind of powder detergent) so I'm hoping this won't break him out and I'll be able to use it all the time and save tons of money on something I hate spending money on! (I'll let you know how it works on his sensitive skin in another blog post.)

I'm also very excited because she (Gayle of The Grocery Cart Challenge) said it cost a penny a load! (You can find that breakdown Here). Are you kidding? That's amazing. (It may be more than a penny a load when you consider I spent a little more on the 3 products than the ladies that did the breakdown did, but it will still be under 3 cents a load!)

I spent about $7 on all the soaps. The cost of my bucket was free. I have a great friend who works at Kroger in the bakery department and they have giant icing buckets they use and throw away when empty so she grabbed one for me. She even decorated for me (the picture at the top is my bucket, obviously).

I'll get 2 to 2.5 gallons of laundry soap from just 1/2 cup each borax powder and washing soda and 1/3 of a bar of Fels Naptha (and water). Awesome! The powders are in pretty big boxes so I know I can get quite a few uses out of that when making more laundry detergent. And I have two other uses out of the Fels Naptha since I only use 1/3 of the bar per batch (which can also be used to get out stains directly, see directions on the side of the wrapper).

I have to say this has been an amazing find. I spend almost $14 (from Sam's Club) to get 110 loads from All free and clear, which is a great brand, but I want to get more for my money. And we all know that you actually get less than it says on the containers of those things.

Can you tell I'm excited? Well if you can't, I am! :)

I'm loving finding all these great ways I can save money on household items and cleaners (I do make my own household cleaners too). Check out the blogs I read on the sidebar to learn how to save money and live a frugal life too!

What ways do you save money on everyday household items?
Link up below to tell others your great frugal ideas. Please link up to your post and not your main page. And please make sure to link back to my page.


Memphis Mama said...

You can use regular ivory bar soap instead of the Fels Naptha. All of these items are sold at Kroger in East Memphis on Mendenhall. Regular ivory bar soap usually comes in like a 10 pack and it can be found with all the other bar soap and it's usually around 1.99 for the whole package! I have been doing this for quite some time b/c my skin is so sensitive to so many detergents. I usually do 1/2 cup of washing soda & borax for every cup of grated ivory soap. Sift it all together or shake it really good and use 2 tbsp per load of laundry. It really does save a lot of money!

Ginny said...

Unfortunately I can't use a powder detergent b/c of Hubby. He tends to break out in hives from it. He has very sensitive skin and it reacts strongly against powders for some reason.
Thanks for stopping by!