Saturday, July 16, 2011

Beating the Cost of Clean Laundry

Anyone who wears clothes will produce laundry. Cleaning laundry is getting expensive, and I hate paying $7 for laundry soap and $2 for dryer sheets and another $3 for softener, but I'm not willing to go naked either! My solution? Offset the cost of doing laundry by making my own laundry soap! Because I am in an apartment, with a laundromat nearby, and have no washing machine of my own, and no clothes line...I'm stuck with what I have, so, let's make the best of it.
The Apartment Prepper offers this recipe:
* 1 bar bath soap such as Ivory or Zote, or anything comparable in your area. (I've used Zote myself, and I was happy with it)
* 1 cup Arm & hammer Washing Soda
* 1 cup borax
* bowl
* plastic container

"Grate the bar of soap with a cheese grater and place it in the bowl. Add the borax and Arm & Hammer Washing Soda. Mix well. Store in a plastic container and label it. Keep it out of children's reach. To use, measure one tablespoon of homemade detergent per load, or two for heavily soiled loads."

We've used a recipe very similar to this (I didn't know about the Apartment Prepper then), and we were happy with it. Lately, I've taken to washing some of our laundry in a non-food grade bucket. Shirts, underwear and socks have all been getting washed at home. In this way, we save laundry funds for those items that are more difficult to wash and wring out by myself, towels, jeans, sheets, quilts and dog blankets. So in goes the homemade laundry detergent, mix well to dissolve. put in the laundry items. I have a plunger that was purchased JUST for laundry, and I'll plunge, twist and mash down the laundry in the bucket, imitating the action of the washing machine. The advantage here is that I use only enough water to cover the clothes, saving on water. Great for those on a well or who have to pay for water. i do this for a while, moving the soapy solution through the clothes, agitating the dirt out until my arms get sore. If certain pieces of clothing needed extra stain fighting power (I love Spray & Wash for this), they've already been treated and they go into the bucket now. More plunging for awhile, then I rinse, repeatedly. Nothing is itchier than undies with soap residue! when the laundry is well rinsed, I wrong it out. Shirts and dish towels and pillowcases go out on the patio over my little accordion style clothes dryer to dry in the little sun that we get. (They smell better for this) and the socks and undies go up in the dryer. Too much work you say? Some days, I would agree, but for the most part, I am getting cleaner laundry, saving and prioritizing my laundry budget AND giving my upper body a workout too!
For those of you who have to use liquid detergent in a laundromat, I offer the following vid from WellnessMama.
Take control of your laundry budget folks!

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