DIY Laundry Detergent, Fabric Softener and Dryer Sheets!

Laundry in container

About a year ago I began to re-evaluate how we spend our money on normal household needs like grocery’s, cleaning supplies and other necessities. This evaluation led me to investigate ways we could save money by making our own items. I began to search online for ideas and recipes for laundry detergent. I found many unique and clever suggestions. Some liquid soap, some powder etc. I found one bloggers site here that totally inspired me. She has some wonderful ideas and I completely can relate to her site title, Being Creative to Keep my Sanity. I feel that way daily! I would absolutely lose my mind if I didn’t have my creative outlets.

Her laundry detergent recipe is great. It’s simple, there’s hardly any mess, it lasts forever AND it completely cleans your clothes. Plus, the ingredients are not harsh and they are inexpensive. For the items listed below, I spend roughly $13 every 9 months. I cringe to think how much I was spending a month prior to switching! I was so afraid that I would spend the money and time making this stuff and it would be terrible. But we really like how our clothes look and feel. I have added one extra ingredient to her recipe, Purex Scent Crystals. These are added simply to give a bit of fragrance to the laundry.  I have also included some practices I’ve incorporated over time for fabric softener and dryer sheets. Below is the recipe with my own little addition. If you have any DIY cleaning products then please feel free to share them below.

Laundry Detergent

Laundry Det

Ingredients:

  • 1-4 lb 12 oz box of Borax from the laundry aisle (BORAX- A mineral that can destroy mildew, act as an enhancer to soaps, and remove stains. )
  • 1-4 lb box of Baking Soda from the baking aisle. (Baking Soda-AKA Sodium Bicarbonate. It is an abrasive powder used to clean shiny surfaces and act as a polishing agent. It can deodorize your refrigerator or carpets, puts out grease fires and cleans your teeth)
  • 1 box of Arm and Hammer Super Washing Suds from the laundry aisle
  • 3 bars of Fels-Naptha soap in the laundry aisle. You can also use Zote brand but you will only need 2 bars. I have used both and both work very well.
  • OPTIONAL- 2 small containers of Oxy Clean. You don’t need this but it boosts the detergents stain fighting power. I use it as I have two very messy little kids who keep me on my toes.
  • OPTIONAL- 1 or 2 bottles of scented laundry crystals like Purex. This is purely to add some fragrance.
  • A large container that holds at least 2 gallons.

Directions:

  1. Grate the bars of soap (Fels-Naptha or Zote) completely. Dump into container.
  2. Dump all other ingredients on top of grated soap. Then stir to mix.
  3. Use 1-2 TBSLP per load of laundry. Trust me, this really IS enough to clean your clothes.

DIY Fabric Softener

white vinegar

While on my adventure to seek and destroy monthly costs of our household, I came across a remedy for fabric softener. Using white vinegar in a Downy ball achieves the same effect as dumping in chemically ridden store-bought fabric softener. And everyone always asks me if my clothes come out smelling like vinegar. As long as you fill up the ball to the line and use it in a large laundry cycle, then no your clothes will not smell like vinegar. If you use a lot of vinegar with a small load then your clothes will have a slight smell. Rule of Thumb: Just don’t over do it on the vinegar.  You can always add a few drops of EO (essential oil) to the wash load as well to give a bit of fragrance.

Supplies:

  • Downy Ball
  • White Vinegar

Directions:

Fill the Downy Ball with white vinegar to the line on the ball. Drop into the wash load!

DIY Dryer Sheet

Foil

Many people are not fans of dryer sheets because of the residue they leave on clothes, in the dryer and vents which can contribute to house fires. This residue is because the sheets are covered in wax. The heat from the dryer melts this which can cause the build up trapping lent and dust. Always make sure to clean your dryer vents and the dryer vent pipes regularly. The vent pipes can accumulate lent build up as well.

The easiest thing to use as a dryer sheet is a ball of aluminum foil. You simply tear off a sheet, crumble it into a ball about 2-4 inches in diameter and toss it into the dryer. The aluminum foil removes static electricity from your clothes and it virtually never needs changed! Mine has been in my dryer for 6 months and there is no sign that this needs to be changed out. Foil is an extremely economic alternative to store bought dryer sheets.

I hope you found these tips and hints to be helpful! If you have any of your own you’d like to share then please do so below.  I would love to hear what other people are doing to save money and the environment!

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