Monday, April 16, 2012

Well, I did it...

Yessireebob, I sure did!
(Don't you just love my language? It's the hillbilly from Arkansas/Tennessee coming out!)

What did I do?

I jumped on the make-your-own laundry soap wagon!

I've seen a several of my friends say they've tried it, and I've had it on my to-do list (i.e pinterest board) for a while, I just hadn't gotten around to it yet (in other words, I kept forgetting to buy the ingredients when I went to the store).

One minor difference, though - most everybody I've seen has been doing the powdered version. I wanted to try the liquid for a couple of reasons: one, I'm not a big fan of powdered. I know it's usually the more economical choice, however, (and this is also the other reason for making the liquid) a lot of times it doesn't dissolve well in cold water, and I, for the most part, do all of my
washing in cold water (except for sheets, and other, dirtier stuff).
So, liquid it was.
The melting soap
I used this recipe.

One thing I will say, several people around the web had mentioned that they melt their bar of soap in the microwave. I tried it. If I decide to do this again, I'll try the grating and melting method; for me it just blew up into a big, poufy, soapy sponge that didn't want to dissolve when I added it to the hot water - and my microwave now smells VERY strongly of soap. So much so, that when I went to heat up the kids lunch, it came out with a faint soapy taste to it.
Not good.
Not good at all.

My self-appointed soap-stirrer

The smell was a bit strong. The kids were outside playing when I started the whole melting process, and it got so strong that I opened the windows because I kept sneezing. A couple of minutes late, Juju came trotting in, informing me, 'Mom. I smell soap. Why do I smell soap?' She then appointed herself official soap-stirrer.

'Mom making cake?'
Sorry, son. I kept having to remind him not to taste it!

Of course, the little brother had to get in on the action. He wanted to eat whatever was in the pot. I finally convinced him that it wouldn't taste too good, so then he wanted to help stir.

The finished product.

I started out by putting it into two gallon jugs (the ones shown). I filled them most of the way up with water, but before they were even half cooled, they had already thickened to the point of being unpourable, so I divided in into another gallon jug and added water. It's still pretty thick, but more usable.

SO, cost breakdown:

All together, I paid a little over $9 for the ingredients.
I estimated that I have enough soap made for 80-ish loads, which makes it about 10-11 cents per load. When you take into consideration that I normally buy my soap on sale for $2.50-3.00 a bottle, it's not really much of a cost savings. However, I do have enough borax and soda left to make several more batches, so that will lower the overall cost dramatically.

Do I like it?
I've washed two loads with it. It seems to get the clothes clean, and they smell good when they're done. It's not a strong smell, but they smell clean - and I HATE musty smelling clothes (and towels). Some people have said that they notice their whites/lights get dingy faster using this. I personally find that my whites get really dingy here anyway (apparently from the yucky water), even though I bleach most of them frequently, so I doubt they'll get any worse, but we shall see!

If you've tried it, let me know what you think!

(BTW, THIS is NOT a good deal...good grief! I think my most expensive item was the Borax, which was around $4 for the 76 oz. box. Someone's making a killing!)


Dreamin' said...

I have made the liquid stuff for probably almost a year now, and liked it very well but I just made a batch of the powder stuff to try it. I have been mixing the powedered stuff in a jar with some hot water then pouring it in the washer.

RicKaren said...

I made the powdered, adding Oxy Clean to keep things bright. It was easy to make, easy to use, we LOVE the scent, but savings??? No, not really.

Charity said...

Welcome aboard!! :) I've been using powdered for over a year. I've been mostly pleased with it. I have noticed white tshirts don't seem to get quite as clean, but it may just be time for some replacements... :) I've actually thought of switching back to conventional for a little while just to see if it would make a difference.

Brittany said...

I made one batch, wasn't just blown away with it ;) It worked ok, but like you said, my whites weren't getting clean. (I added Oxy Clean to mine also.) The small savings didn't seem worth all the extra work, and extra bleach for whites. I usually get the store bought stuff on sale and add coupons on top of that, so I can (usually) get a better deal doing it that way anyway. And grating all that soap was NO fun. Oh My! Somebody on Amazon is seriously scalping folks! I bet they think they're being all economical and saving money, too, as they buy that stuff! ;)