Frugality has been one of the main ways my family has been able to get ahead financially on one income.
The amount of frugality to incorporate into your life is an individual decision. Your time is valuable and there is a balance between the amount of time it takes to save money and the actual money saved. When you spend an hour of your time to save two bucks, the savings may not be worth pursuing, but when you invest 5 minutes to save $5, the time invested is worth it, in my opinion.
Each Friday, I will share tips I actually use to save and make money, along with my once-a-month grocery update. The posts will (typically) be short and sweet, giving you ideas for saving or making money over the weekend.
I’d love to hear any tips you would like to share! Please feel free to comment or email me about how you save money through frugality.
How to make your own laundry detergent
I’ve been making my own laundry detergent for a few years now. I started with this recipe, a powdered version that worked just fine, but took longer to make than the liquid detergent I currently use.
My recipe is a version of Mary Hunt’s Quick ‘n Easy Homemade Laundry Detergent (she has a great tutorial out there). The only tweak I’ve made to the recipe is to add OxyClean to the mixture (which makes it less natural); it’s just a personal preference as our clothes get pretty dirty from camping and working in the garden and the OxyClean seems to do the trick.
Laundry Detergent Recipe:
- 3/4 cup borax
- 3/4 cup washing soda
- 1/2 cup OxyClean
- 3/4 cup Dawn
- 1 Gallon Container
1. Find a clean, empty gallon container (or larger) to mix your detergent in.
I use an empty laundry detergent container my mom gave me – it is equal to 1 ½ gallons, so I just adjust the recipe accordingly.
2. Gather your ingredients.
Washing Soda – Sometimes referred to as soda ash; both are sodium carbonate (Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda is most widely available).
Borax – Any brand will do (Twenty Mule Team Borax is most widely available).
Blue Dawn Liquid Dishwashing Soap – I’ve never used generic here, so I can’t speak to that. I always buy a large container when it’s on sale and it lasts for a long time.
OxyClean – I buy the big box of the versatile powder (again, I’ve never used generic here).
3. Using a measuring cup and a funnel, pour ¾ cup borax, ¾ cup washing soda, and ½ cup Oxyclean into your gallon container.
4. Add about 3 cups of very hot tap water to the gallon container slowly…just eyeball it, this doesn’t have to be exact.
5. Put the lid on your container and shake for a couple of minutes to dissolve the powder in the water.
6. Fill the container with hot water until it’s almost full (leaving room for the Dawn).
7. Add ¾ cup Dawn to the container.
8. Fill to the top with water (very slowly).
9. Add lid, but DO NOT shake.
If you shake the bottle, you will have bubbles galore. Just gently tip the container from side to side to mix in the Dawn. If Dawn separates between loads, just give it a little tip side to side, or roll it gently to remix.
10. That’s it! Add ¼ cup of finished detergent to a full load of laundry.*
There you have it! The cost for me to make the detergent this time was $2.42 (of course, this varies, depending on how much the ingredients cost). Assuming I can get around 75 loads out of it, it costs me around 3 cents per load (and I will likely get more loads than that). The whole process took 15 minutes, even with me taking pictures and doing the math. Cha-ching!
*NOTE: I have a top loader and this works just fine. The original recipe (without the Oxyclean) is supposed to be safe to use in HE machines as well, but since I’ve never tried my recipe in a front loader, I cannot guarantee results, so please do your homework – you may want to leave out the Oxyclean if you have a front loader (and the recipe will still work just fine).