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Laundry on Less Than a Dime

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Grating Soap for Detergent

Can you do laundry on less than a dime’s worth of detergent?  We use inexpensive, homemade detergent at our house, and it works just fine for our everyday things like towels, t-shirts and jeans. Although we keep a bottle of more expensive, store-bought liquid around for a few delicates and we still need to pretreat stains, we mostly use a tablespoon of the homemade stuff for each washer load.

Homemade Laundry Detergent Costs Less Than 10 Cents Per Load

We’ve been using green cleaning recipes from Women’s Voices for the Earth for some time now. The detergent recipe starts with grating vegetable soap into flakes.  I use two, 4-ounce bars of a coconut, Castile soap, which makes enough soap flakes for a triple batch of the WVE recipe.  I like to grind the soap down in a food processor. Then we mix in the other dry ingredients, which include one common baking product.  You can find the complete recipe here at WVE’s website.

I had seen previous estimates of 13-cents per laundry load for the homemade mixture.  But when I calculated what I paid for ingredients, including a little extra for tax, I came up with less than10-cents per load.  I use a heaping tablespoon of detergent. This is less than what I previously paid for store-bought, name-brand detergent.

I don’t only make my own detergent because it’s frugal.  I do it for the peace of mind of knowing with more certainty what exactly is in my family’s laundry.  You see, those comforting laundry detergent smells many of us grew up with are scientifically shown to be a reason for concern. You can learn more here that scientists are telling us about artificial scents and other additives.  Did you know that makers aren’t even required to list every last one of their ingredients on the package?  If I buy a commercially prepared laundry detergent, I want to know exactly what it contains and whether it’s safe for my children in both the short and long term.
Homemade detergent is worth the few minutes to make each month.  I appreciate the peace of mind. And sure, I’ll take the savings. More parents are sharing information on simple living changes like this at Green Momma Parties all over the country. If you think you’d like to host one, check out the free party guide here.

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One Response to Laundry on Less Than a Dime

  1. Rebecca at Simply Natural Mom June 14, 2012 at 6:30 am #

    I finally got around to making my own laundry detergent recently. It works great! I’m really surprised. And happy.

    I made this one from Eco Karen.

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