March 29, 2009

heart attacks and mcbutterpants

No, hubby didn't have another heart attack, thank God. But last time I was in the Costco laundry detergent isle putting my hand on the big ol' box of detergent we always buy, I almost had one! It went up in price over $6 from the last time we bought it!
So, my hand flew off that box like it was on fire and I slowly backed out of the isle, shaking my head in disbelief. No way. No how. Luckily for us, I'd been reading up on home made laundry detergent, how much cheaper it was and how much less of it you have to use than the commercial stuff. So my thought was, I can do this!

Here's what you need:

1 bar Fels Naptha (can use regular Ivory or Zotes bar too), grated finely
1 1/2 cups WASHING soda (NOT baking soda)
1 1/2 cups Borax powder

I found all of these items on the laundry detergent isle at Kroger. The first batch I made, I only used 1/3 of the bar, 1/2 washing soda, and 1/2 cup borax. Then I figured out, you could just make a bigger, longer lasting batch if you used the whole bar and tripled the amount of the powders.

Here I am grating the bar of soap, using gardening gloves so I can get that last little bit of soap through the grater and not my skin :-)

Mix it all together and store in airtight container. Mine is in an old, (large size) sour cream container. All three ingredients with tax cost a grand total of $7.43 and the boxes of powder will probably last me all year, I'll only have to buy more bars of soap (those were $1.19)

Here's the deal about this. And it's NO JOKE, we've been using it for over a month and so I know it works. You use 1 TABLESPOON for light loads or 2 TABLEspoons for heavy loads. Just mix it all together, don't worry about the amount of grated soap you get in each scoop, it all comes out in the wash! Yes, your clothes get clean!!

OK, the final kicker is this. Don't faint. I've been using VINEGAR as my fabric softener! Yep, regular white vinegar! And we don't smell like a pickle! In fact, all of our towels, sheets, etc. smell better than they ever have! And I'm a faithful Downy user from way back, so I was skeptical! Actually, I read somewhere that if you had any fabric softener left over, you could mix it with the vinegar for scent (some people add essential oils for fragrance, but it's not a must), so I've been adding 1 teaspoon to each 1/4 cup vinegar and putting that in the Downy Ball with each load. But when the Downy runs out, that's it. A huge gallon bottle of vinegar cost a little over $2 at the WalMarts :-)

I feel better about laundry now :-) Cutting back in small ways really adds up!

Speaking of cutting back....have you seen Muttley lately? He's one year old now and we're thinking it's time for him to get rid of that baby fat....

so here's Muttley, aka Fatty McButterpants, aka Laser Eyes

Yes, we have an Amazon pug!

Astro is not fat, but check out that face roll....

Happy Sunday y'all!


Sharon said...

Mr McButterpants is sooo cute. Love those little rolls.
Wow, I am really excited for you trying that soap. I have wanted to and just never did, I was afraid it wouldn't get clothes clean. I heard of the recipe but didn't really know anyone who had used it. I was happy to read that it was really good. I am going to have to try it. I wonder if its safe for septics. We go through so much detergent in this family and Tide or Cheer is what we have always used and its painful to buy it lately. Good to come up with ideas to save money these days.

Alice said...

Thanks for all those money saving idea's Andrea. Pity I am not in America to get my hands on those products. I will see what I can find here and improvise where I can. Now I never thought vinegar could be so handy. Your pug is a cuty!

Tammy said...

Adorable pugs of course! Been eyeballing them on your flickr page! OK, you have SO sold me on the detergent. And I'm going to gather the ingredients this week. My job is coming to an end for the summer and this will save at least a few bucks, but lots in the long term it seems. WOW-I am impressed!

Laura said...

Thanks for the laundry soap recipe. I am going to give it a try.

Melissa said...

Hi Andrea, it's funny (not the ha ha kind) that with the economy being so bad it may provide side benefits such as getting back to basics which is good for our pocket book and the environment! Interesting. I read about the same thing on Staci's blog awhile ago about the laundry detergent so will give it a dry.

Poor Mr McButterpants. Does he know his mommy is writing those things about him? Too funny!

Heather said...

I have been skeptical of this, but why wouldn't it work? And really, all you need is 2 tbsp for a large load? Holy cow, that is hardly anything at all.

Bine said...

Thanks for posting the recipe. Sounds really easy. I will have to try it :)
My mom uses vinegar as a softener as far as I can think back. And it worked.

Jan said...

What neat money saving tips!! And I had never heard of the vinegar, that is certainly an eye-opener!

Siobhán said...

Okay, Fatty McButterpants?? ROFLOL Your pups are too adorable.

YGG on the laundry stuff! I don't think I could find half of the stuff here, but I do want to try the vinegar trick!

:: wee bird :: said...

I have heard about the soap recipe but not about using vinegar in the rinse.I will give that a try for sure.
Too bad I can't get half of those ingredients here but I think I read you can use baking soda in your wash too.Actually I have used it in with my husbands work clothes and they came out ok.
Vinegar is also great to use on hardwood and ceramic floorings.
it's always good to save money where we can..then we can buy more stash lol

Annemarie said...

This sounds pathetic, you know, with me being a 38 year old woman, but my mother does my laundry. I have no washing machine! If I did, I would certainly give this a try.

It's such a relief to find a doggy person stitcher amongst all the cat owners. For a while there I thought I was on my own :o)

grace said...

This seems like a great idea. :)
Thank you for the tips!
Cutting back on bits always adds up. :]
Muttley is so cute!

CindyMae said...

I totally understand. Last time I bought detergent I was amazed at how much the priced are going up! I might have to give this a try! Thanks for sharing it with us all!! I just love your pugs!!! So adorable!

MJ Enterprises said...

I am so impressed with you! I wanna come play with Muttley and get dirty so you can wash my clothes. hehe

Maren said...

I love looking at the pictures of your pugs. They are absolutely darling.

Thank you for posting this laundry recipe. I have to go to the store today anyway, so I'm going to pick up the supplies and try it out!

Rachel V said...

Andrea, have you seen this etsy shop? I immediately thought of you!!

Melissa said...

I've had the stuff to make my own washing powder for a while but haven't tried it yet. My friend has been using it for a while and loves the way the laundry smells.

Those cookiebrownies look good and I hadn't heard of the recipe either.

Melissa said...

Oh darn I forgot to say, there's also a recipe for borax and baking soda for the dishwasher. I can't find my link at the moment but you use like a tablespoon of borax and a tablespoon of baking soda and you can use vinegar instead of that rinse aid and my mind is blanking on what it's called. can use vinegar instead of Jet-Dri. I haven't bought Jet Dri in a year and my dishes wash up really nice.

Penny said...

Do you a a front loader? With three kids I am always doing laundry. Penny

Jinger said...

Thanks for the money saving laundry detergent recipe. I have copied it and will put it to use soon! Anything to save money!

Your pooch is a cutie!

Michelle said...

I am really interested in knowing more about the cleaning solutions you've been reading up on. Can you share your source(s)?