Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Adventures in Frugality: Coming Clean

How's this for coming clean: I aspire to be more frugal, and sometimes I succeed.

Here's one of my successes. Inspired by Tricia at Hodgepodge, I made my own laundry detergent today. (My camera was AWOL, so I have no fab photos; but Tricia does, so visit her blog to see what I did. Ha ha!) I opted to make the powdered version from the Duggar Family website, the same recipe Tricia used.

After some research, I discovered that the liquid/gel recipe is the best value, but I don't have a five-gallon bucket with a lid hanging around my house. Maybe one day....

I bought all three ingredients at my local grocery store in the laundry detergent section. If you can't find them, check online.

Here's the recipe:

1 bar Fels Naphtha laundry soap, finely grated
1 cup washing soda (NOT baking soda)
1/2 cup borax

The girls and I used my crank cheese grater to grate the soap. Then we mixed everything together and stored it in a clean and empty OxyClean bucket-style container, along with an extra plastic tablespoon measure I had. Voila! One tablespoon per load is all that's needed. Use two tablespoons for really soiled clothing.

I've already washed a load of clothes with this concoction, and everything came out clean. Which I sort of expected, since hundreds of other people have had success with this recipe. It's not like I'm cutting-edge or anything.

The best news is that it's so easy to make that I might actually stick with it. Thanks, Tricia!


  1. I keep saying I'm going to do this but haven't yet. Glad to hear you had success, which pushes me a wee bit more towards actually doing it. :)

  2. Good for you ;) I use the liquid because we have hard water and it doesn't dissolve when I use powder. I concentrate my liquid because I do not have a 5 gallon bucket either.
    The only complaint I have with homemade is that whites become dingy and the tough spots don't always come as clean as store bought. But I'm sticking with it!

  3. So, did you feel a little bit like Little House on the Prairie? We did! I went into it thinking that it was going to be lots of work but really, as you said, it's not cutting-edge. Pretty simple. That crank cheese grater is mighty handy. Thanks for the mention fellow frugal adventurer!

  4. Blossom, have you tried adding some OxyClean powder to your white/light loads? I wonder if that would help. Some recipes I found actually use OxyClean powder as one of the ingredients. And I still use OxyClean spray for stains. Just a thought!


I love reading comments! And I appreciate the time you take to leave them. Thanks!