Monday, November 2, 2009

Laundry Detergent

Living here in the UK via the military has so far proven to be great fun but also a pain at times. The biggest issue to date is the availability of products that I am used to getting in the states. The commissary tends to carry only select few varieties of items and you have to adapt to the "if you see it you better buy it now" attitude. I was using Country Save laundry detergent in the states and loved it but they haven't carried it here at all so I bought Purex free and clear at almost $10.00 a bottle. I like it, but having a family of 5 we can go through lots of detergent very quickly. After going through a bottle in a very quick amount of time I decided to do some research to see if there was a cheaper way and possibly home made way of doing laundry detergent. There are many sites out there that are set up to help the frugal (or cheap as my 9 year old put it) people. I read lots of sites before determining that I was going to try to make the detergent myself at home. Most of the recipes were for a liquid version and made like 5 gallons of detergent. I don't have enough room to store that much so I found a few that had powder recipes. Of course they were all a little different so I just estimated and put together my own based on a conglomeration of them all. I used 1 bar of Fels Naptha grated then ran through the food processor, 1 cup washing soda (or soda crystals as they are called here), and 1 cup of Borax. I mixed them all together in a Tupperware type container and put an old 1 tablespoon measuring spoon in there. For each load I dissolve 2 tablespoons of this mixture in HOT water and then dump it in my washer for the load of clothes. I usually wash my clothes on the cold/cold cycle and this will not dissolve the mixture properly. I really like this detergent and it cost less than a bottle of stuff from the store. I still keep a bottle of the liquid detergent from the store in the cupboard in case we run out of hot water to dissolve the home made detergent in, but I am super impressed by the frugal, impressive because I did it at home detergent.

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