Thursday, May 22, 2008

Getting back to basics.

Food and fuel prices are getting higher and higher. I need to do my part to stretch our budget. Now that the weather is getting nice and I try to take the stroller shopping instead of our minivan. I make more things from scratch. My mom gave me a beautiful bread maker for Christmas this year so we only buy bread on very rare occaisions. I have started making yogurt from scratch. I think I have perfected my technique and I don't even use a yogurt maker. I have also started making my own laundry detergent. I feel so much better now that I don't have to drip $20 on the giagantic plastic jug of what I now know to be mostly water.

I thought I would share the recipe I use for detergent with you, my five loyal readers. All the ingredients are readily available down the laundry aisle of your local supermarket and are all quite inexpensive. This makes a fairly small quantity so even if you are short on space it is easy to store and use.

Powdered Laundry Detergent
1 bar plain soap (I use Sunlight, but I have heard of people using Ivory, or Fels Naptha as well)
1 cup Borax
1 cup Arm and Hammer Washing Soda
1/2 cup powdered Oxy clean (I use the generic brand)

Grate the bar of soap and then grind in a food processor until granulated. You should have around 1-1/2 cups of soap. Mix soap with remaining ingredients. Store in a covered container. Use 2-3 tablespoons per regular load.

This makes a plain, unscented detergent. If you want it to be smelly, add 10-15 drops of your favourite essential oil to the mix. The Sunlight makes the detergent smell lemony, but there is no lingering scent on the clothes. The oxy-clean is optional, but I found it makes a real difference in how stains come out of the kid's clothes.

I like to add the detergent first and let the water run over it to dissolve a bit before adding clothes.

Here is a nice site to start with if you are interested in making detergent.

Anyone want to know how I make yogurt???


~ Elly ~ said...

I don't think i'm up for making my own detergent, but we use Charlie's soap, powdered, which washes clean out. It's probably made similar to what you've listed. However, I DO want to know how you make yogurt!

Ami said...

I'd like to know about the yogurt, too.

I switched to ALL laundry detergent, it's a lot cheaper and seems to do a good job.

I add regular baking soda to the washer when I wash whites or my swimwear.

I bet you have more than 5 readers.

Brie said...

I'd be interested in the yogurt.

I have issues with laundry detergent powders because most seem to need hot water and I wash in cold (my hot water inlet is brokwn and I haven't gotten it fixed (in 3.5 years, so I don't know if I'll ever :) ).

April said...

Cool Jen. You always impress me! Hope to see ya soon.