I am blessed with the opportunity to work from home one day a week. While I usually stay busy working, I also find time to pop a load of laundry in the washer in-between emails and conference calls. However a few weeks ago, I found myself completely out of laundry detergent and unable to run to the store to pick some up until my work day was complete.
Not wanting to waste the opportunity to do the laundry in between my calls, I decided to do a little research on the best laundry detergents from common household ingredients. I found a few online resources that claimed you can use baking soda and white distilled vinegar to do the trick. I figured it was worth a try. And now I will never go back. Here’s why:
I was half expecting to pull a load of ruined clothes out of my washing machine. To my surprise, not only were the clothes not ruined, but they were cleaner and softer than when I used store-bought detergent. My daughter’s spaghetti sauce stains and my husband’s mustard stains were gone. My whites were a tiny bit whiter than I remembered them and the clothes were softer than they ever had been. I was a little afraid that the clothes would smell like vinegar, so I still used the fabric softener, and it worked like a charm; they smelled great!
Whenever I can, I try to find an all-natural alternative to using chemicals. While our house is not 100 percent all natural, I figure every little bit counts. While I still use a store-bought fabric softener, making my own laundry detergent cuts the unnecessary chemicals in half.
I did the math, and on average, baking soda is $0.16/oz. and vinegar is $0.12/oz. while the generic laundry detergent I was buying was $0.34/oz. Figuring I need one ounce of vinegar and one of once baking soda for every ounce of laundry detergent, I still am saving $0.06/oz. I use about four ounces of detergent/wash and do 4 loads of laundry a week, so I am saving just about $1 a week by making my own detergent. While it doesn’t sound like much, I only have a family of three for now. For larger families, the savings only can go up.
Want the recipe?
I sprinkle 2-3 oz. of baking soda into the bottom of my washer before putting in the clothes. I put the fabric soften in as usual and then put the vinegar in the slot for the detergent. Easy, quick and cheap!