Friday, March 26, 2010

Frugal Tip Friday - Commen Cents Home Guest Blogger talks Laundry!

Today Tina from The Common Cents Home is here to tell you how to make your own laundry detergent!! Detergent, especially the green ones like Eco can run between 12 and 20 $ per container. Below, Tina gives you the ingredients for how to make detergent for under 10$ and again, its totally GREEN and good for the environment!

Hi, I'm Tina and I write The Common Cents Home. I am so excited to be guest blogging here at Simple Travels in My Homeland. Nikki has such great ideas and I have learned so much from her. Stop by and see me!
I am mom to four very active kids who give me a lot of joy but also keep me very busy. I'm obsessed with saving money and doing things as simply and inexpensively as possible. I love doing things the way Grandma did them, but seriously, who has the time to stand in the kitchen all day making pies or washing clothes by hand? I know I sure don't! I've made it my mission to find the easiest and cheapest ways possible to have that old fashioned life-style. At The Common Cents Home I share with you simple recipes, cleaning tips, ideas for family traditions and other inexpensive ideas that make life so much easier. Fridays on The Common Cents Home are dedicating to highlighting favorite things, these are simple things that have rocked my world and I really don't know how I ever survived without them. Come on over. Today on my blog Nikki is sharing one of her favorite things.

This is my method for making homemade laundry detergent.
This is my version of homemade laundry detergent. Now, mind you, there are many different recipes that I've found on the internet and many different reports about them. I'm telling you what I have discovered and what I do, but I in no way claim to be an expert on the matter and I claim no responsibilities for results you may have that are less than satisfactory.
I have been using my homemade laundry detergent for almost four months now and I have been nothing but happy with it. It has done a smashing job of removing both odor and dirt from my clothes, which is considerable in a home with so many little people. My whites have looked white and my colors have been bright.
The recipes that I have found for laundry detergent all list the same three ingredients, borax, washing soda and a bar of soap. When I went looking for those ingredients, I discovered that I was not able to find washing soda anywhere. It is available for order on-line, but I wasn't too fond of the prices I saw attached to it. I decided to research the differences between washing soda and baking soda; they are not at all the same. The two have different chemical compositions. Washing Soda is Sodium Carbonate while Baking Soda is a Sodium Bicarbonate. The nuts and bolts of this is that Washing Soda has an Alkalinity of around 11 (which is why we don't use this in our baking) and Baking Soda has an Alkalinity of about 8.1 (7 is neutral.) This means that Washing Soda is far more caustic or reactive than Baking Soda. Hmmm? This information made me curious and made me want to experiment. I don't necessarily like the idea of washing my clothes in a caustic detergent, doing so would be awfully hard on my fibers (and the word 'caustic' just sounds so nasty.) So, I decided to make laundry detergent using the less caustic but still effective Baking Soda.

My Recipe for Laundry Detergent
1 bar of Zote Laundry Soap
2 cups Baking Soda
2 cups Borax (easy to find in the laundry aisle)

Grate the bar of Zote using food processor. You may need to cut it into a couple of chunks to fit it through the feed hole. After Zote is grated I switch to my processing blade and add in the remaining ingredients. Blend until a fine powder is formed. I store this mixture in a large 1/2 gallon mason jar.
Use 1 Tbs per load of laundry. For a very heavily soiled load I will use a heaping Tbs. This is a highly concentrated mixture and does not create suds. I always use at least the warm cycle on my washing machine. This mixture is also eco-friendly! When comparing this mixture to the very frugal detergent I was purchasing from the warehouse store, I estimate my homemade version costs me less than 1/2 the price per load.

As I said, this has worked wonderfully for me. My clothes smell fresh and clean and I have not had any problems with dirt or stains!

and Happy Friday Follow!


  1. How much $$ does this save? I may have to try it!

  2. not only is it green, and better for the environment but laundry detergent like Eco can cost 12-20 per 4lb - 14lb bottle. This formula from Tina at Common Cents only would cost soap - 2-3$, baking soda 2$, and borax 1b will cost about 2$ so thats only 7$ for your own GREEN LAUNDRY SOAP! Its so worth it. I can't wait to use mine that I made!!

  3. Thanks for following me! I am your newest follower and your blog is so cute! I love the design. Have a great weekend!

  4. Hi there! Following you from Friday Follow. Great to meet you. Hope to see you over at my blog!

  5. Happy Follow Friday! Now Following.

    Please join

  6. From Follow Friday!
    I am going to try your laundry soap. Sounds great.

  7. You know, my mother makes her own laundry detergent with a near identical recipe and it works great! I don't know why it's never occurred to me to do the same. You've inspired me! :)

    Found you via FF and now I'm following you both!

  8. Thanks for the follow on my blog. Returning the love. :) I love love love this detergent, I use the washing soda but once I'm out I'm going to try the baking soda for sure!

  9. I have seen other laundry soap recipes before, and this one seems way simpler. Simpler to the point that I might actually try this one out. Thanks!!

  10. I think I'm going to give this handmade laundry detergent a try.
    Found you on Friday Follow.

    Have a great weekend,

  11. Great article and a great basic formula for homemade laundry soap.

    I am a new follower from Friday Follow! Hope to see you at my blog soon. I have 3 giveaways ending on March 28!

  12. so excited to make my own soap

    Here from FF running behind this week

    Take a minute to check out my blog
    I Have a Misikko Hana flat Iron Giveaway Going over 100 dollar package and other giveaways also

  13. Hi I'm Barb from FF.I'm now a follower of yours.. I hope you will go to
    & find some ideas that might inspire you & your family/Home. I hope you will follow me too. I just finished 4 Kitchen Chairs for $1.25 ea. with black & white polka dots fabric..then 4 stools..a hutch..a table runner..& napkin holder..I couldn't stop! Ha! Ha! Anyway I have aprons, bows, vinyl lettering, one-painting, jewelry & Lots of leave me a comment if you would & tell me what you think..Have a great day! Barb

  14. Following you from Friday Follow! (A little late!) How are you? I love your blog..very cute!!

  15. I love the idea of being frugal, but truthfully, I think I'll stick to Tide ;-) Your site is darling!! Well, Happy belated Friday Follow ... stop by my place when you can.

  16. I've done this before and Ive used it because I like it a lot and I think the clothes come out so soft! much softer without softener. Ive not been able to find zote locally so I use fels naptha - although I hear zote is easier to cut and process - if I can ever find it I will snap it right up

    Tracy (followed you from harriets comment challenge!)

  17. Hi Nikki..Barb from FF (last week) I could be wrong but in your comment to me I thought you were going to become a follower of mine back???It sounded like you wanted to look at the polka dot chairs first but I don't see you anywhere on my followers list so maybe it was an oversight??? Anyway hope you follow...
    Have a Happy Easter!!


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