Low-cost laundry love

As I started to write this post, it felt oddly familiar. And that’s when I remembered I had already written about this back in my days at the College Heights Herald at WKU. So I figure I’ll keep the new intro and stick with the original post, because it’s all still very true, minus the college references ;)
Every now and then, I have to force myself to stay home on a Saturday and clean. I mean, really, really. clean. I love living out here by the lakes or going to Greenville to play volleyball, but it seems my cleaning efforts before are always thwarted by The Price is Right or Law & Order: SVU.
So today seems as good as any to talk about laundry detergent since I’m four loads in. (I don’t do laundry very often since I re-wear a lot of my work pants if they don’t get food on them. Just being honest, here.)

As a poor college girl and a Pinterest-addict, I stumbled across a recipe for simple, no-grate homemade laundry detergent. Other recipes I read required grating soap and boiling it have 5-gallon buckets. I wasn’t that committed to the idea.
But I was still pretty poor, so I kept looking. And then I found it.
This recipe comes from One Good Thing By Jillee; she posts all sorts of DIY and homemade ideas. It’s a fantastic resource for cheapos like me :)

[This is the part that I’m copying from myself circa October 2012, tweaked a little.]
I’m on a budget, as are most college students. I sometimes joke that the only reason I’m graduating early is because I’m out of money.

Thanks to Pinterest, we all have access to how to make homemade, well, everything.
And I’m sure there are people that would never dream of purchasing anything but the most expensive laundry detergent on the shelf — because it’s obviously the best.
I searched “homemade laundry detergent” for a few weeks before I landed on the perfect recipe. It was called “No-Grate Homemade Laundry Detergent,” and it had my name written all over it.

Many other recipes call for buying soap, grating it into tiny pieces then cooking it on the stove. They also require huge pots, 5-gallon buckets and way too much effort.
This one requires only 3 Tablespoons of Borax, 3 Tablespoons of Washing Soda, 2 Tablespoons of Dawn and some water.
All three ingredients are in the same aisle, making shopping super easy. For me, the hardest part was choosing a scent of Dawn. (Dawn is known for cutting through grease, so I’d go with name brand on this.)
I rinsed out my old laundry jug, put in the ingredients and added four cups of hot water (use a funnel!). Swish them around to mix them together — it’s a very technical process — and let the whole thing cool.
After it’s room temperature, add water to it straight from the faucet. Bubbles will run over, but try not to let too much of the actual detergent flow over.
That’s it! You’re done. It does require you to use a little more, I use two capfuls, but you’ll have the ingredients left for months.
My clothes are still wonderfully clean, I hand-picked the way they smell, and it will probably be 2013 before I need to buy more Borax.

I was right! I’m hardly halfway through my ingredients and it’s almost July. So I’m pretty confident I can bump that up to 2014. Unless I start a laundry business. Which I don’t plan on.
I convinced my brother to make this one weekend and though they started just using it on towels and the dog’s blankets, I think he and Amy have come to realize it really does the trick.
This detergent is perfectly compatible with ye olde top-loaders (like the ones I had in college) and fancy HE machines as well, like my new big girl one. (Read, expensive.)
The original “Pin-Up Girls” column also features a fudge recipe, so here’s the link to that as well.

Since Jillee’s original laundry detergent post, she has also created a super-concentrated version for those who may be interested.
So here’s to saving a little moolah on laundry day! I need to go add some water to my detergent and throw my last load in the dryer. Happy weekend, y’all! try to stay cool out there!



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s