Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Homemade Laundry Liquid

Keeping on with our initiative to save money and reduce our impact on the environment I have been doing some research on homemade alternatives for everyday household cleaning items.

There are some really simple ones which we already use such as eucalyptus oil, vinegar and bicarbonate of soda. These are for a whole range of jobs around the house; mopping floors, sanitising sinks/toilets, fabric softener and other general household cleaning.


I've also recently started using a cloth nappy wipe solution and using my cloth wipes again. It's really simple, just:

1 cup water, 1 Tbs olive oil (you could use baby oil), 1 Tbs baby wash (I use the Gaia Baby range), I also added a few drops of lavender oil as a light fragrance and for it's antibacterial/antifungal properties!

I keep the solution in a spray bottle and simply spray on the cloth wipe before wiping Miss Daisy, then it goes into the nappy bucket along with the used cloth nappy. Easy! For on the go I presoak a few wipes and place them in a plastic zip lock I kept from a set of crayons!

However, as the title suggested, this post is intended for a concoction of a different variety! 

Something I haven't tried up until now but have talked about for a long time!

I was previously using the 'Earth Choice' brand of laundry liquid and fabric softener. I changed a few months ago to using vinegar as my fabric softener and have been super happy! With the price and the result! I also use vinegar on my cloth nappies every now and then before the final rinse as a strip wash to clear them of any chemicals/creams.

After reading this fabulous blog I discovered Rhonda's recipe for simple laundry liquid and couldn't resist making up a batch! You can get lots of fabulous info from her post (and her whole blog!) but I'll do a few of my own calculations here!

Product Cost:
I bought the necessary ingredients from Woolworths.
Lux Flakes 700g           =   $6.42
Borax 500g                    =   $3.98
Washing Soda 1kg        =   $2.79

I used:
1 cup Lux flakes            =   $0.69
1/2 cup washing soda  =   $0.35
1/2 cup borax                =  $0.75

TOTAL COST:              =   $1.79 for 10 litres!

Considering I was buying 'Earth Choice' detergent (which is one of the cheapest available) and it was costing me $1/litre... That's a saving of $8.21!! Yay! 

Here's what I did with Rhonda's easy recipe from her blog!

1. Put 1 1/2 litres of water on the stove (I used my regular saucepan/whisk)
    Add 1 cup soap flakes, 1/2 cup borax and 1/2 cup washing soda

2. Allow to dissolve fully as you stir it whilst on low-medium heat.

3. The whisk helped me to get the soap flakes to separate and dissolve. It made some  
    bubbles on the top but left a lovely mix below!

4. Put approximately 8 litres of cold water in a 10L bucket. Add the hot soapy mix to the
    cold water and stir.

5. This made about 10L of liquid and I divided it amongst some containers we had in our

6. These are my two bottles I'll use to pour from, I've left a little space at the top to allow me to shake the mixture as it will separate and need to be mixed together before adding to the wash!

And that's it! Easy and super cheap! 

Now the big test - how does it work! 
Well, I'll update you soon! 

Looking forward to trying it out!

UPDATE: 27/4/12 - We've been using this laundry liquid exclusively since I posted this recipe. No complaints. Early on I worked out the right quantity for certain loads ie. I put more in for a load of hubby's work clothes and don't need quite so much for Miss Daisy's load. With nappies I often add a few drops of tea tree straight into the wash or vinegar in the fabric softener compartment to help strip them a little...
Let me know if you've tried this and what you think!
I've also been adding lavendar oil as I make it on the stove to give it a little fresh scent for our clothes/linen! Perfect! And the savings are awesome! Love skipping past all the washing powder products at EVERY grocery shop! :)

UPDATE: 5/3/13  - We're coming up to two years of using homemade laundry liquid in our home. How exciting! Hope you've given this one a try too! $1.79 for 10L is an incredible saving for your household!

UPDATE: 14/4/14 - Yes, that's right! We're still using this laundry liquid!! My favourite is still to make it and add a little tea tree oil into the mix when I'm adding the cold water! :) Smells great and adds an antibacterial property to the washing liquid! Good luck!