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Cheap and Green!

I've been reading The Simple Dollar blog for awhile now and have been waiting to run out of laundry detergent so I could make some of my own.

Yes, I said "make some."

It's not a difficult process.  The ingredients are cheap and readily available.  It's not a lot of work.  The result is a detergent that is about $.03 per load, instead of $.70 a load for Tide. 

So, here's what I had to get:
1 bar of soap.  I used Lever 2000 because there's a bunch of it in the closet.
1 cup of Arm & Hammer Washing Soda.  (I'd never heard of it but there it was in the laundry aisle at my grocery store)
1/2 cup of Borax

That's it!

I grated the bar of soap on my box grater and put it in a pot on your stove with 4 cups of simmering water.  I stirred until the soap dissolved.

Dump the soap water into a big bucket with 3 gallons of hot water and stir.

Add the washing soda and stir.

Add the borax and stir.

That's it!  Now I have to let it cool.  Apparently, according to the recipe on the web site, it will gel or slime up once it's cooled.  I can't wait to see how it works.  Plus, there's still a mostly full box of washing soda and borax, so I can make tons more.  Considering I do about 8 loads of laundry per week and use the clothesline to dry everything except socks, this should make me feel waaaaaaayyy less guilty when I run the air conditioner in the summer.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 2nd, 2008 06:50 pm (UTC)
Way cool! You go, Juli!

Hey, as long as you've got borax you can make flubber... recipes online, so fun!
Jun. 3rd, 2008 03:49 pm (UTC)
A bunch of places have described borax as a dangerous substance. Can I really play with it?
Jun. 3rd, 2008 04:14 pm (UTC)
Once it's chemically turned into a polymer (via the flubber recipe), yes. It's a long molecular chain, flubber is, completely inert and different from borax.
Jun. 3rd, 2008 04:47 pm (UTC)
Oooh. I think I'll do this later tonight when the boys get home.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )