Polk Moms

Connecting moms in Polk County, Fla.

Why You Don't Need Laundry Detergent is how a newsgroup tag-lined this piece. That title took my click and I would recommend the read to you.  I'm admitting interest in this concept and to sum it up, I'll add a quote from the author:

So, there are at least two alternatives to the agitation of paying too much for laundry detergent: Ditch it altogether and use nothing more than water in your washer, or save to 90% by making your own laundry detergent.

Another point the author mentions throughout the write-up is to simply use way less laundry detergent than what we probably do.  I'm first to raise my hand at this - I'm guilty- I know I use extra laundry detergent.

After reading the attached link, I'm promising myself to be more conscious of how much I add.

Will you consider any of these three options?

- using less name brand soap?

- make your own detergent?

- go without soap all together?

I tell you what, the laundry soap recipe added in the link genuinely has me fascinated- I really might try it- how about you?

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I would be willing to use less. I think I probably should be anyway. I always tend to use too much.
I would not forgo using detergent all together - especially not with 2 little boys.
I also can't see myself spending the extra time making my own, so I will probably keep buying storebrand, but I may use less of it per load.
I agree with Jessica. I'm not about to start making my own -- I have my time priorities and it simply doesn't fit into my life. But I'm more than willing to use less.
I do try to be cautious of not using too much, although sometimes in a rush, especially with a new brand I'm sure I do. I may consider making some...will have to think on that. I have started using generic brands and not noticed any difference from name brand.

(Slightly off topic - Just a tip from my maintenance man husband - steer clear of powered detergents - in both washing machines and dishwashers. Liquid is much better for both machines, especially if you have hard water. Powder can lead to a build up inside the machines you can't see and cause problems.)
I have also used white vinegar in the wash, it's good for getting the 'funk' out of towels, too.

Vinegar, or lemon juice is all that I ever use to clean my microwave. I zap a bowl of vinegar, or mix vinegar and lemon juice in the micro for three minutes, and wipe the inside with a damp cloth. No harsh chemicals necessary, and no chemicals being cooked every time I use it, either.

I haven't ever made my own detergent but am intrigued. I think I have a tendency to use too much, and I know it has a detrimental effect on clothes especially darker clothes.

Will have to look into this more...

I like my laundry to smell nice though lol! Whatever homemade concoction I would come up with would have to smell good or that would be a deal breaker for me :D
We've actually been making our own detergent for about a year. Money got tight to the point where we couldn't spend $25 or more a month on detergent (my husband works a messy job and we do a lot of laundry). One batch lasts us three or four months, and costs way less. To get all of the ingredients cost us about what a bottle of detergent would (ten dollars or so) and you get several batches out of it. Then it takes me maybe an hour one evening to make, and I'm set for a few months. Now that things aren't so tight I keep some of the dye-free scent-free stuff around for my toddler, who seems to have sensitive skin, and a small bottle of regular detergent for the weeks when hubby's clothes get really nasty, but the bulk of our household laundry still gets washed in the homemade stuff.

It's not for everyone but if money's tight it's a way to save quite a bit of money.
I've tried making my own laundry detergent and didn't like it at all. I noticed our clothes getting dingy after awhile. I would never do without soap in the laundry, gross! I do try to use lesser amounts of soap than I used too but my main laundry bill is Shout. I couldn't live without it and haven't found anything that works as good. I have used white vinegar in the wash. It is great for getting smells out of anything. If anyone has a problem with odor in the underarms of their clothes just rub a little white vinegar in, throw it in the wash and the odor will be gone. It won't come back as soon as they get hot either.
I will say I have been making my own laundry detergent and cleaners for awhile now. I don't think I could go back to spending the money on name brand cleaners. For me to make a batch of laundry soap it takes about 1/2 an hour to grate the bars and then about 15 minutes a day or 2 later to process it to a fine powder. I only use 1 TABLESPOON for each load, so it lasts me several months. I have stumbled across a recipe for dishwasher detergent that I am thinking of trying too.
I make our laundry detergent and use white vinegar as a fabric softner. It works great!
Does the lint/soap thing apply to towels too? I have very little lint in the dryer except for when I wash towels.
Courtney, I did try it and it worked. I can't believe it! I just thought I had alot of lint because it was towels since I don't have that problem with anything else. Thanks for the info! You probably just prolonged the life of my dryer :)
I have a small container that is half fabric softener and half water and have sponges that have been cut in quarters in it.. I squeeze out one sponge and throw it in the dryer and it works really well for static cling.
I just thought I'd add I cut way back on how much detergent I use as well. Our clothes are still getting clean and smell good. (Minus some towels but I just read about the white vinegar trick I'm trying that next. Thanks) I also cut back on how much fabric softener I use in the rinse, everything still smells nice, is soft and I'm happy.

I know before a few months ago I was seriously using too much soap. I recall my mom telling me I had to see suds in the water to know there was enough but I'm not so sure todays detergents are the same.

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