We do a lot of laundry around here. Between my husbands work and school uniforms, regular clothes, Army Uniforms, my clothes, and our daughter's clothes I feel like I'm doing it constantly. And laundry detergent is not exactly cheap. You pay about $18 for the big container of Tide and it would only last about a month. I figured there had to be a way to do laundry and not spend as much on the process.
A few years ago, I saved a bit of money by replacing dryer sheets with "homemade" dryer sheets. I bought a 3 pack of washcloths at the dollar store. Then I took my favorite liquid fabric softener and mixed it half and half in a spray bottle. Spray on the washcloth and throw in the dryer. One bottle of fabric softener lasted about a year.
But I wanted to do more. So I looked up homemade laundry detergents. There were actually quite a few different recipes out there. I picked the easiest one. The recipe is below:
Powdered Laundry Detergent
1 cup washing soda
1 cup Borax
1 grated bar of castile soap
Mix all ingredients in a food processor and store in a covered container. Use 1-2 Tbsp per load of laundry.
The washing soda and Borax are about $4 a box and you can get a 3 pack of castile soap for about $3.50 at Wal-Mart. All of the ingredients cost less than one large jug of Tide and will last much longer. You can use any bar soap you want, but in the effort to be more green, I chose a natural one.
The new laundry routine consists of 1 Tbsp detergent, 1 Tbsp OxyClean and a Downy ball filled to the XL line with Vinegar. The vinegar works as a fabric softener/static reducer. And no, your clothes will not smell like vinegar. The smell will go away as the clothes dry.
If you prefer not to use vinegar, you can use the dryer sheet idea mentioned above. And if you want to add fragrance to your detergent, you can add a few drops of essential oil to it and mix it in.
So that's my new, green laundry routine.