Well, I didn't really intend for this to be a New Year's resolution. But it has kind of ended up that way. I have some friends who make a lot of their own cleaning supplies. And I had been seeing it all over Pinterest. And then I found out my sweet Queen of Clean mother-in-law had started using it and loves it. And she got it from her mother, who loves it. And it's the Duggar's recipe. And, it's waaaaaaay cheaper than what you buy. And it's better for the environment. And I was just about out of my box of regular stuff...
So I bit the bullet. I spent an exciting hour on New Year's Eve making my own laundry soap. ;) I spent $16.43 on a bucket, lid, yardstick (to stir it with), and ingredients. From here on out, it will only cost me $1 for a bar of Fels Naptha to make another batch, with an occasional $3ish for the washing soda or borax. (For the recipe, click here.)
I was a little worried that grating the soap would be incredibly hard. It wasn't.
I was a little worried that the fumes from boiling and melting the soap would hurt my eyes. It didn't.
I was a little worried that it would look just as gross as I remembered Pam's looking. And it was. ;) But it smells clean. And it's saving me money. And it works.
My boys have to wear uniforms to school. So if I wash their clothes in the evening, and just pull them out of the dryer for them to put right back on the next morning, no one will know (or care) that they're wearing the same clothes two (or more!) days in a row. So that's what I've done. They've worn the same set of clothes (washed each night, of course) every day for a week. For two weeks now. And they look and smell clean to me. Even when I hold them up to another pair of uniform pants that are exactly the same, except that they haven't been washed by the new stuff five or six times, I can't tell a difference.
The only thing it hasn't worked on is the grass stains, even when I soak them in Shout. So I'll probably just keep a little box of my regular stuff on hand for the super-tough jobs. I'm still saving a ton!
I have missed the smell though. The homemade stuff has a little bit of a clean smell, but nothing like the pure wonderfulness of Gain or Tide. I'm experimenting with some essential oils. My first try is a mixture of tea tree and sweet orange...and it smells pretty good! And I'm reading about some other kinds of soap to use that are already scented with essential oils - they're even fair-trade. A couple dollars more, but still another plus, I'm thinking. I'm afraid this could get dangerous though...being able to choose the scent of the laundry to fit my mood... ;)
I plan to keep playing with it, it's still in the experimental stage. But so far I think I'm really liking it!