Thursday, June 3, 2010
Make Your Own Laundry Detergent - Be Green & Save Some Green!
Yep! Off the deep end I go...again! :0) This time, I am turning my attention to making my home more green - both with using homemade, green products AND saving some green, as in CASH! Today I made my own glass cleaner, as well as a batch of homemade laundry detergent.
For the glass cleaner, I simply mixed equal parts of water and white vinegar and some freshly squeezed lemon juice. I swirled it all together in a spray bottle and viola! It works great. I think the stuff you get at the store - the blue juice - has alcohol and/or ammonia in it, so it dries much quicker. I noticed as I was washing my windows that I didn't need as much spray as I normally use of the blue stuff.
For the laundry detergent, I found a recipe online that uses Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda ($2.79, Harris Teeter), Fels-Naptha soap ($1.29, also at Harris Teeter), and Borax ($2.97, Wal-Mart). There are lots of online recipes, but here is the one I used:
1 cup grated soap, such as Fels-Naptha
1/2 cup Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
1/2 cup 20 Mule Team Borax
Grate the soap and then mix in a pan with 3 pints of water over medium heat, until it all dissolves, roughly 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the washing soda and Borax. Mix until everything thickens, another 3 minutes or so, then remove from heat. Put 1 quart of hot water in a 2 gallon bucket, then add the soap mixture you just made. Mix well.
Now fill the bucket with the mixture with cold water. Stir until well blended. It will thicken and separate as it cools. Stir or shake well before using. Use 1/2 cup for each load, or more for very dirty items.
An average gallon of laundry detergent is around $5.00. This recipe is environmentally friendly, and costs about 25 cents per gallon (1/20th the cost!), so you save the green in two ways!