It’s been a little over a year that I’ve been using homemade laundry detergent. I’ve got to say that overall I found it to be a positive experiment. There are a few tweaks here and there and a little bit of intervention required but all in all I will continue to use the homemade laundry detergent. Here are my general observations:
This is the more economical of the two options (here’s the Homemade Laundry Detergent). It makes a much larger batch and can go a lot further than the powdered option. However, I found that modifying the ingredients a little bit gave me varying results.
Variation 1: Ivory soap
I believe the best batches of homemade laundry detergent were those made with Ivory soap. For a little extra cleaning power, I tried a combination of Ivory and Fels Naptha soap. The only problem was that the Fels Naptha caused the solution to be more gloopy and difficult to stir. It required more stirring and chopping every time I used it (A small price to pay for clean clothes).
Variation 2: Lever Soap
One day while making homemade laundry detergent I realized that I and didn’t have Ivory soap and I was in a pinch so I used Lever instead. Although I liked the smell of Lever, I found that it didn’t quite get rid of some of the odors.
When the clothes came out of the washer and dryer, they smelled good and fresh, but once the clothes came into contact with human sweat, they generated an unpleasant smell. The smell was not overpowering but just enough to realize that your clothes shouldn’t smell like that. I found that the neckline of the t-shirts seemed to smell the worst, probably because it’s closer to the nose than other areas.
Let’s face it, no one smells like a daisy after a workout, but this smell was a different smell and one that I’d rather not have in my clothes.
Powdered laundry detergent
I found the Homemade Laundry Detergent to work best. It’s not only quicker and easier to make, but it seemed to get rid of odors and clean the clothes very well. It costs slightly more than the homemade liquid laundry detergent, but it’s worth the extra couple of cents per load. It’s still much less expensive than store bought laundry detergent.
I did find one downside is that there seems to be in accumulating dinginess that occurs with white clothes. It took me a little while to realize the change, but after looking at the white clothes over a period of time, they seemed to lose their brightness. When I first noticed it, I added additional bleach to the wash, but it didn’t seem to make much of a difference. I noticed this more with the liquid than the powdered detergent.
I will continue to use the homemade laundry detergent using the powdered version more so than the liquid. The liquid one I found to be a great pre-treatment for hard to get rid of stains. I poured the liquid detergent directly on the stain, rubbed it in a little and laundered as usual.
Homemade laundry detergent has gotten us through a year of ground in grass, dirt, mud and geese poop stains on white football uniforms. It also got us through various and assorted construction projects, cheerleading uniforms, gym workout clothes and normal everyday wear and tear (not to mention Fido’s bedding).
So far, the homemade laundry detergent has been able to handle 98 to 99% of all the stains. I would recommend purchasing one box of your favorite store-bought detergent to periodically use on white clothes to maintain their bright whiteness.
As far as the cost savings…
I average about 2 – 3 loads of laundry a day six days a week. At two per day, over a period of a year that equals 624 loads for the year (an underestimation).
If half of the loads were washed with homemade liquid detergent and the other half with homemade powdered detergent, the calculations would be as follows:
624 divided by 2 = 312 liquid and 312 powdered
312 times 1 cent per liquid load = $3.12
312 times 3.5 cents per powdered load = $10.92
Total cost to wash 624 loads = $14.04
Do you think the store-bought detergent will get you 624 loads of laundry for $14.04?