We live on the second floor of a big old farmhouse. The washing machine is located in the cellar…2 flights of stairs below….exactly 29 stairs if I take the front way or 28 stairs if I take the back way. That being said, there are days that I do not do laundry because I don’t even think of it. I guess having that washing machine out of sight, sort of puts it all out of my mind. Be forewarned, if you ever come to my house, there’s typically 2 overflowing hampers in my bathroom. Actually, they are laundry mountains. The kids get a charge of seeing just how high the laundry can be piled without toppling over….the wall and a medicine cabinet really aide in the construction.
However, with the stomach bug catching my daughter last week and my son last night, I have been doing a bit more laundry out of absolute necessity. It’s somehow difficult to ignore throw-up covered blankets. As I was down cellar this morning, I noted that it’s just about time to make more laundry detergent. The coolest part about that realization is just how long it has been since I made any: last February!!! That’s right – my first batch has lasted almost a year and actually, probably will make it through a whole year with what I have left. I figure I do about 4 to 6 loads of laundry per week. That’s between 208 and 312 loads of laundry in 52 weeks on one batch of detergent. The absolute best part: that batch of detergent cost me $19.06 to make. It’s another way we save money around here.
Here’s how I make a batch…..
The Ingredients: (everything can be found at Wal-Mart)
2 bars (14,1 oz.) of Zote Laundry Soap (white or pink) (note 3 in the picture, but I did not use all 3)
Note: I just saw that the Zote is available in flakes which would totally eliminate the grating process!!! The cost is higher, but to some it might be worth it.
1 box (60 oz.) Biz Stain & Odor Eliminator Powder
1 box (4 lbs. 12 oz) 20 Mule Team Borax
1 box (4 lb.) Arm & Hammer Baking Soda (I had a big bag from Sam’s Club, but this box from Wal-Mart would be easier as you will not have to measure out like I did)
1 box (55 oz.) Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
Grater for the Zote if using bars (I just used our one from the kitchen)
A large tub or tote for mixing
A smaller tote with lid for storing
An old tablespoon measuring spoon for scooping out the detergent for each load
1.) Grate the Zote (unless you bought the flakes as I mentioned above) and dump into your big tub.
2.) Add the rest of the ingredients, mixing as you go. I used my hands, but you may find a tool that works better. Please be careful not to inhale the dust.
3.) Transfer to a smaller tote with lid for storage. Using a scoop or cup is helpful for this.
4.) Find a home for your tote of detergent next to your washing machine.
5.) Enjoy a year of not having to buy detergent.
I use one heaping tablespoonful for each load of laundry. If the clothes are extra dirty, I use two heaping tablespoonfuls. You can adjust according to your needs.
I found that for certain spots and stains, it is still best to use a pre-treat spray. You can make that at home, too!!!