Savings Throughout the House, Room by Room: Laundry Room

laundrySecond article in a series featuring many ways to save money in every room of the house. From the basement to the attic: today’s article provides two great ways to save money in the laundry room: detergent and spot remover.

Laundry detergent can be rather expensive, easily costing $10 or much more for your typical bottle of Tide. The first most common way to save on detergent is to buy on sale and use coupons. Doing so can bring down the cost to $5 or less for a typical 32 load bottle. Price and sizes vary greatly, so this is just an example.  This may not seem like a big deal, but my theory is that if you are able to reduce what can cost $10 or more to a few dollars, on many items that you regularly purchase, then your grocery bill will come down a lot. Coupon professionals can even save more money.

Lately we have been making our own laundry detergent using a simple recipe. The formula below makes 1 gallon of detergent for less than $2. The per load portion size is 2 ounces or 1/4 cup. Therefore 1 gallon yields 64 full loads of laundry. The following comes from Mary Hunt of Debt Proof Living is as follows (thank you Mary):

What You Need: Laundry Detergent

  • 1 one-gallon empty container with tight-fitting screw on lid
  • Twenty-Mule Team Borax – available in the laundry aisle – $3.49 for 4 lbs (76 oz)
  • Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda – (sodium carbonate) (I found it at Meijer in the Laundry aisle $3.29 for 3 lbs (55 oz))
  • Blue Dawn dishwashing liquid –  “Original,” “Ultra Concentrated”, or “Advanced Power” are ok.  As long as it’s blue and it is authentic Dawn—not some generic brand, it is okay – $2.89 for 24 oz.
  • Step 1: Measure 3/4 cup borax and 3/4 cup Super Washing Soda.  Pour both into the empty one-gallon container.
  • Step 2: Add 3 cups of the hottest water you have available out of your tap.
  • Step 3: Apply the lid and shake the container vigorously until the powdered ingredients appear to be dissolving.
  • Step 4: Fill the container with hot water to within about an inch of the top, more or less depending on the shape of your container. Leave enough room for the 3/4 cup Dawn.
  • Step 5: Slowly pour in 3/4 cup blue Dawn dishwashing liquid – try not to make any bubbles.
  • Step 6: Once you’ve poured in all of the Dawn, fill that measuring cup with more hot water so you can top off the container.
  • Step 7: Apply the lid. Notice how the dawn is not fully mixed up. That’s fine. Just get that lid on tightly.
  • Step 8: Instead of shaking it up, just lay the container on its side and roll it around a bit to get everything mixed.

Directions for use:  pour 1/4 cup laundry detergent in to your washing machine for each load.  Do not use more or your clothes will be stiff.

We have been using this to clean our clothes exclusively for two months and are very happy with the job this detergent does. We love the fact that it has no dyes and scents. If you want yours scented, you can easily add a few drops of essential oils from your local organic grocery store or from a doTerra representative.

What You Need: Homemade Stain Removal Spray

  • 1 cup Blue Dawn
  • 1 cup Ammonia
  • 1 cup water

Combine all ingredients in a spray container.  Home Depot sells empty spray containers for about a dollar. REMEMBER NEVER TO COMBINE PRODUCTS CONTAINING BLEACH WITH PRODUCTS CONTAINING AMMONIA.  Make sure you don’t use this in a bleach load.

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