I blame laundry detergent.
Have you ever wanted to cry when you put laundry detergent in your cart at the grocery store? Was I the only one? Laundry detergent is so expensive, and I’m not doing laundry for five. Just two. Just two people that wear clothes that need to be cleaned for the cost of gold, apparently.
At some point over the summer, I saw a recipe for making laundry detergent at home. My first reaction was a mix between derision and disbelief, it probably doesn’t work, and why oh why would someone make it themselves? That’s soooooooooooooooooo wierd. (looks over shoulder and tosses hair in a snooty pants way, even though no one else is in the room)
But, I kept running across recipes to make your own. And people kept saying that it was a lot cheaper and that it got their clothes clean.
I’m a sucker for saving money. I blame you, Dutch heritage.
When we moved to Southern Illinois, one of the first things on our shopping list was ingredients for making laundry soap. I was game to try and convinced Jared it was a good idea.
And… it worked! It got our clothes clean, smelled, good, and didn’t use a lot of the ingredients, which meant that the ingredients would last a long time, which meant that I was saving money (nope, ain’t gonna crunch no numbers. Numbers hurt my brain. Knowing it’s a “lot” cheaper is good enough for me).
Now, I’m making a lot of our own stuff.
|From left to right, two different kinds of facewash, facial toner, hairspray, conditioner, shampoo, chapstick, dishwashing soap, laundry detergent, hand scrub, foamy soap.|
I’m not messing around, folks. We’re saving some serious cash money.
While I still love love love our laundry detergent, we’re probably saving the most cash money on my head. My hair is kind of picky and I’m kind of picky about my hair. My previous routine was shampoo, conditioner, leave-in conditioner after I got out of the shower, mousse, and hairspray. We were dropping a lot $$$$$$$$$$$$$ every other week to keep my hair from frying out or getting fizzy.
After reading about some people that were going “‘poo free” and avoiding all those funky toxins and preservatives I thought I would give it a shot. After all, I rub that stuff into my scalp. I just thought I’d pay a little respect to my brain. I went through a stage using the baking soda and vinegar rinse method for my head. It was a great “detox”stage, but I wasn’t able to wear my hair down and curly which made me super sad. Also, after three weeks my bangs were still getting greazzzzy and plastered to my forehead. I kicked around with just going back to regular shampoo and conditioner, and even did for a wash or two. But my hair felt so dried and fizzy afterward I just couldn’t handle it.
Now, I’m using this shampoo recipe (I used the “homemade herbal recipe”) and this conditioner recipe. I really really really like them. The shampoo gets my hair nice and clean and I can use the conditioner as a leave-in to style my curl. My hair is healthy, free of toxins, and cheap.
I really like this tutorial and recipe for laundry soap (also, if you like homemade things, you should check out Julia’s blog. She’s pretty great, and I appreciate that she’s always trying to be creative with what she has). When I shopped for ingredients, I couldn’t find the FelsNaptha bar soap. I’m not sure if it’s sold in Carbondale (I’m a lot more familiar with my store options now, I might be able to find it), but I read in other recipes that you can use regular bars of soap. So, that’s what I did. Please note, this is a recipe for top loading machines. I know that front-loader recipes exist, but we have a top loader so I haven’t looked for them. The clear mason jar has dishwasher soap in it, which is equal parts borax and baking soda. We put vinegar in our rinse aid section, and this work pretty well.
The aqua mason jar (Mom, this is one you gave me, thanks!) has foamy soap in it. It’s not organic, but it’s a money saver. Tutorial for foamy soap here. Tutorial for mason jar soap dispenser here. The little glass jar with a latch has a basic sugar scrub for my fingers that I keep next to my kitchen sink. I really like to use it after I get dough stuck to my fingers.
That’s it, folks!
I’m not sure I’m actually a hippie, but we’re saving cash money and avoiding a lot of toxin loaded stuff.
First, it does take a little money to get started. It’ll probably seem like it’s more expensive at first. For example, the conditioner recipe I use calls for both guar gum and xanthan gum, both of which are pretty pricey. But, I use a 1/2 a teaspoon per batch, so it will last a loooooooooooooooooong time, so we’re still saving money. It pays off in the long run… we payed $30(including the glass jar) for our laundry detergent ingredients in the beginning of August and haven’t gone through half of the ingredients yet and I’ve made four batches. (There has to be a Dutch grandmother, somewhere, cheering me on!)
Second, lots of people tell me they just don’t have time for this sort of thing. I appreciate that I might have more time than the usual stay at home mom or overworked student. But, I would firmly respond that it does not take as much time as you think. I made a fresh back of laundry detergent last night, it took me about ten minutes. I did it while I was wiping down counters and putting dishes in the dishwasher. The laundry detergent is the most time consuming recipe I use… the rest are just measuring and pouring.
Okay, three notes. If you’re looking for more recipes, I have a whole pinterest folder for Body Goods. Check it out. I’m currently working on a new body wash for Jared… we’ll see how he likes it (equal parts challenging to make something that smells manly and is a consistency he’ll approve of. He likes his skin to be ashy and dry, so I have to avoid moisturizers)…
Let me know if you make any of these, or have any other recipes you think I should try. Happy Monday, everyone!