Author Topic: Laundry detergent  (Read 15804 times)

rusty

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 76
  • Location: North Carolina
    • My Medigap Consultant
Laundry detergent
« on: January 07, 2013, 06:29:30 AM »
We recently ran out of laundry detergent and I went to the store to pick some up.  As an engineer, I am always running the numbers of price/unit in my head at the store.   We have always used dry detergent (powder) and what caught my eye was the number of loads you can do with some of the liquid detergents.  Many of the liquid detergents bottles had 64 loads, where as the dry detergents listed only 32 loads.  Yet the pricing on the liquid was slightly lower than what was listed on the dry detergent.  Curious if anyone else had noticed this?

Admittedly, I did not analyze the recommneded load size per brand, but I purchased the liquid to try it out.

herisff

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 111
  • Location: Olympic peninsula, WA
Re: Laundry detergent
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2013, 06:47:45 AM »
One of the differences is the amount of detergent used per load.

On a side note - the amount of detergent per load that is recommended on the container is usually much more than I need. I often use a tablespoon or less per load and still have great results. YMMV of course, depending on the amount of dirt in the load.

Kriegsspiel

  • Guest
Re: Laundry detergent
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2013, 05:26:09 PM »
I just got some washing soda and borax to make my own detergent, I'll let you know how it goes.

MsSindy

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 535
  • Age: 52
  • Location: Philly Burbs
Re: Laundry detergent
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2013, 05:34:21 PM »
Funny, because I just switched to powder thinking that it will save me money.  With the liquid, I would always just guess at the amount to pour in because I hate using the little cap and have the residue drip back into the bottle - messy.  With the powder, it's really easy to measure out the little tiny bit that I need.  I think I bought Arm & Hammer brand, and so far it seems to clean just as well as my Tide liquid.... for a lot less money.  I also buy the cheapo softener (Sauvitel), and then add 50% water to thin it - seems to not gunk up the little container-thingy on my machine.

I also have some washing soda and borax that I've picked up along the way, intending to make my own.  I've read various opinions about the different ingredients 'canceling' each other out or something like that.  I'd be interested in how it goes with you.

Tami1982

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 989
Re: Laundry detergent
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2013, 12:25:45 AM »
Funny, because I just switched to powder thinking that it will save me money.  With the liquid, I would always just guess at the amount to pour in because I hate using the little cap and have the residue drip back into the bottle - messy. 

I have always just thrown the cap in with the laundry and pulled it out when I put the clothes in the dryer.  Comes out clean as a whistle!  I have forgotten it and had it go through the dryer - didn't hurt anything.

happy

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4791
  • Location: NSW Australia
Re: Laundry detergent
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2013, 04:16:22 AM »

On a side note - the amount of detergent per load that is recommended on the container is usually much more than I need. I often use a tablespoon or less per load and still have great results. YMMV of course, depending on the amount of dirt in the load.
+1. I used 1/3rd of the recommended amount  for  a couple of years without any noticeable sense that the clothes weren't clean. Also ditch the fabric softener and use white vinegar if you wish. In the end I often omitted that also.

I recently made my own - its going great so far. http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/forum/share-your-badassity/home-made-laundry-detergent-and-bonus-deck-cleaner/

eyePod

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 966
    • Flipping A Dollar
Re: Laundry detergent
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2013, 09:58:09 AM »
I just got some washing soda and borax to make my own detergent, I'll let you know how it goes.

Same here!  My mom got me a whole bunch of stuff for making your own cleaning supplies for Christmas.  Talk about a useful/thoughtful gift!

yolfer

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 558
  • Age: 38
  • Location: Seattle, WA, USA
    • Camp Mustache
Re: Laundry detergent
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2013, 05:16:26 PM »
I just got some washing soda and borax to make my own detergent, I'll let you know how it goes.

I'm curious to know how yours turns out! I tried a recipe I found online (for liquid detergent) and it ended up making a LOT. Here's my writeup about it:

https://foundryintheforest.wordpress.com/2012/08/13/a-supposedly-frugal-thing-i-actually-did-try-again/

prosaic

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 202
Re: Laundry detergent
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2013, 05:38:26 PM »
I have been making the following for about 6 months, no problems in my top-loading Maytag washer:

1 bar of grated Fels Naptha soap
1.5 c. Borax
1.5 cups washing soda

Put it all in a food processor. Grind as finely as possible. Use 1 tbsp. per large/ex-l load. Works out to 2-3 cents per load. I do use Shout stain remover for stains as a pretreatment (3 kids...stains).

happy

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4791
  • Location: NSW Australia
Re: Laundry detergent
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2013, 03:51:55 AM »


 I tried a recipe I found online (for liquid detergent) and it ended up making a LOT.
[/quote]

Yes, you can make a LOT for a few $$$. I liked your post Yolfer.  The recipe I use makes 10 litres of liquid, using 1/4 cup per wash for around $3. Laundry detergent co.s are making a mint!

Heather

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 79
Re: Laundry detergent
« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2013, 10:03:22 AM »

Why is laundry powder sold in such weenie small boxes? I'd love to just buy a year's supply of laundry powder in a big bucket, and be done with it.
The liquid may be cheaper per load, but I don't like throwing out the plastic bottles.  I can burn the cardboard boxes in the wood stove and they are gone.

Does anyone buy large discount quantities of laundry soap?
Heather.
 

yolfer

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 558
  • Age: 38
  • Location: Seattle, WA, USA
    • Camp Mustache
Re: Laundry detergent
« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2013, 01:02:06 PM »

Why is laundry powder sold in such weenie small boxes? I'd love to just buy a year's supply of laundry powder in a big bucket, and be done with it.
The liquid may be cheaper per load, but I don't like throwing out the plastic bottles.  I can burn the cardboard boxes in the wood stove and they are gone.

Does anyone buy large discount quantities of laundry soap?
Heather.
 

Hi Heather, I've seen it for sale in a 5 Gallon bucket at costco and amazon, e.g. http://www.amazon.com/Borateem-00145-gallon-Chlorine-Free-Laundry/dp/B004NG9BKW

Jamesqf

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4047
Re: Laundry detergent
« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2013, 02:59:57 PM »
From what I understand of the chemistry, the active ingredients in laundry detergents are naturally liquids.  To make powder, they have to be added to stuff that soaks up the liquid but doesn't do anything for cleaning, which is why a fairly small bottle does the same amount of washing as a big box of powder.  And why the powdered detergent always feels sort of wet.

N

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1377
  • Location: Chicago
  • You must change your life. -Rainer Maria Rilke
Re: Laundry detergent
« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2013, 06:47:17 PM »
I used to buy this:
http://theecstore.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=171&products_id=790

Its a 50lb bag of biokleen detergent drop shipped to your house.

Ive been mixing my own lately though (for the past 18 months). I make a dry mix because my husband said the liquid version looked like afterbirth and refused to use it. Ha ha.

The recipe I use is
1 lb borax, 1 lb washing soda, 1 lb baking soda, 1 lb generic oxi clean, 1 bar of fels naptha soap, grated fine.
If you can find the first 3 ingredients in boxes, they are usually 3 or 3.5 lbs so you can use one box each and 3 bars soap.
It probably averages out to 1-2$ a lb.

Husband is willing to use dry powder. I use about a scant 1/4 cup per load for extra dirty/stinky laundry and less for more normal laundry.
I use cold water and have a non- HE washer. ymmv.


N

meadow lark

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4831
Re: Laundry detergent
« Reply #14 on: January 10, 2013, 10:07:29 PM »
I like this.  http://www.sears.com/appliances-accessories-washer-dryers/s-1023537?keyword=laundry+detergent+he&viewItems=25&autoRedirect=true&redirectType=CAT_REC_PRED   
It's Sears Ultra powder, 275 loads for $26.95.  I made my own for years, but my family didn't really like it all that much, and I have to admit the store bought does get clothes cleaner.  I do live somewhere with VERY hard water, and that may be why the detergent works better than homemade laundry soap. 
  When I made it I would always use both Fels Naptha which is yellow and Zote which is pink.  It makes it very pretty ( white with specks of pink and yellow.)

N

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1377
  • Location: Chicago
  • You must change your life. -Rainer Maria Rilke
Re: Laundry detergent
« Reply #15 on: January 10, 2013, 11:36:22 PM »
hey that sears powder seems like a great deal. it says it has perfume though, does it smell strongly? I have reactions to a lot of perfumes and scented stuff so Im apprehensive about trying it.

meadow lark

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4831
Re: Laundry detergent
« Reply #16 on: January 11, 2013, 05:58:13 AM »
I think the type I buy is unscented.  My wife hates strong smells, They have multiple varieties.  It used to come in 5 gal plastic buckets, but they changed it to cardboard boxes.  I empty it into a plastic container (less messy).  I think the quality is good.  I started using it after reading about it in Consumer Reports - I think it was one of their " best buys".

jwystup

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 84
Re: Laundry detergent
« Reply #17 on: January 11, 2013, 04:01:22 PM »
I often wonder how you normal non-girlfriends-of-people-that-clean-dorms would fare if you scoured the college dumpsters after move-out. We got SO MUCH laundry detergent after the kids moved out last spring. The kids just leave 1/2 empty things of detergent instead of moving it back home. So we probably have 10+ bottles that aren't full. One of boyfriend's coworkers was excited about mixing them together, but I left them all separate. Either way, it's crazy.

My mom makes her own though...

Tami1982

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 989
Re: Laundry detergent
« Reply #18 on: January 11, 2013, 09:53:58 PM »
I often wonder how you normal non-girlfriends-of-people-that-clean-dorms would fare if you scoured the college dumpsters after move-out. We got SO MUCH laundry detergent after the kids moved out last spring. The kids just leave 1/2 empty things of detergent instead of moving it back home. So we probably have 10+ bottles that aren't full. One of boyfriend's coworkers was excited about mixing them together, but I left them all separate. Either way, it's crazy.

My mom makes her own though...

Man, college dorms in June are awesome.  Furniture, soaps, just about anything you could want and they just toss it in trash.  I wish I still lived in a college town just for that reason!  Oh, and the snow.  I miss the snow.

meadow lark

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4831
Re: Laundry detergent
« Reply #19 on: January 12, 2013, 09:45:48 AM »
I need to consider the college dorm dumpster diving - that would definitely be the cheapest way to get detergent!  I've never done that before, and it didn't occur to me you could get random things like cleaning products.

mustachecat

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 398
Re: Laundry detergent
« Reply #20 on: January 12, 2013, 01:15:52 PM »
Does anyone have a recipe for a detergent for wool or silk? I always heard that it's bad to wash them with regular detergent--true or false? I've also heard that Woolite is actually not good for wool.

happy

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4791
  • Location: NSW Australia
Re: Laundry detergent
« Reply #21 on: January 13, 2013, 11:20:14 PM »
If I handwash wool I always just use simple soap.

JanMN

  • Guest
Re: Laundry detergent
« Reply #22 on: January 14, 2013, 07:06:42 AM »
For wools, I take a small spoonful of my laundry detergent (liquid homemade version with Kirk's castile, borax, washing soda), fill a small tub of cool water, dunk the item, let sit for a bit, swish, rinse and dry on a rack.  Works pretty well so far. 
For silks, I haven't yet tried this.

John74

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 91
Re: Laundry detergent
« Reply #23 on: January 14, 2013, 09:47:16 AM »
I have been using dr. bronner's liquid soap as laundry detergent for the past year. It works remarkably well and a little bit goes a long way.

For wool, I simply use dishwashing liquid (recommended by Martha Stewart none the less). It's a lot gentler than laundry detergents.

Debbie M

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 106
Re: Laundry detergent
« Reply #24 on: January 14, 2013, 06:50:20 PM »
My knitting teacher also said Woolite is not good for wool and recommended shampoo.

grantmeaname

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4732
  • Age: 26
  • Location: NYC
  • Cast me away from yesterday's things
Re: Laundry detergent
« Reply #25 on: January 23, 2013, 12:04:47 PM »
SWMBO is getting laundry detergent ingredients in the mail for her birthday. It's a good thing she has a sense of humor, and an even better thing she's getting on board the frugality train.

LadyM

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 96
  • Location: Northern VA / DC Area
Re: Laundry detergent
« Reply #26 on: February 02, 2013, 06:21:41 PM »
I just got some washing soda and borax to make my own detergent, I'll let you know how it goes.

We've been making our own detergent with borax and washing soda for over a year now, and it's great.  We also use soap in the detergent, and not laundry soap because I heard it can be harsh on those with sensitive skin.

We grate 1 bar of Dr. Bronner's castille bar soap, and mix that in with 1 cup borax and 1 cup washing soda.  Mix it up really well in a decent sized re-sealable container, and use 1 TBSP per load.  That's it!  It gets the clothes clean and no crazy perfume stuff going on.  It lasts us quite a bit...at least a couple of months I think, and we do a good bit of laundry (young kids in the house): around 5-6 loads per week.

mc6

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 242
Re: Laundry detergent--Zote
« Reply #27 on: February 06, 2013, 04:25:50 PM »
Does anyone have a recipe for a detergent for wool or silk? I always heard that it's bad to wash them with regular detergent--true or false? I've also heard that Woolite is actually not good for wool.


I had success washing-- on gentle cycle--some wool sweaters, using a shampoo that I did not like in the shower.  It was one of the more natural, low-chemical shampoos, in a green bottle. 

I made my own powder detergent a couple times and was not that impressed with it.  I have sensitive skin so i need to use stuff that won't make me rashy.  I do find the pink bars of Zote soap to be super-useful and great at getting stains out of clothes.  Plus, it smells like lemons.

smalllife

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 983
Re: Laundry detergent
« Reply #28 on: February 06, 2013, 05:27:18 PM »
Where do you get your washing soda?  I've had this recipe on my to-try list for months but I can't find it anywhere. 

Tami1982

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 989
Re: Laundry detergent
« Reply #29 on: February 07, 2013, 12:40:14 AM »
Fred Meyers (Kroger affiliate) carries it, in the laundry isle.  Walmart does - amazon.com too.

LadyM

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 96
  • Location: Northern VA / DC Area
Re: Laundry detergent
« Reply #30 on: February 08, 2013, 05:48:36 PM »
Where do you get your washing soda?  I've had this recipe on my to-try list for months but I can't find it anywhere.

Ace Hardware is where I buy mine, but you can find it on Amazon too http://www.amazon.com/Church-Dwight-03020-Hammer-Washing/dp/B0029XNTEU/ref=pd_sim_hg_6

grantmeaname

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4732
  • Age: 26
  • Location: NYC
  • Cast me away from yesterday's things
Re: Laundry detergent
« Reply #31 on: February 08, 2013, 06:08:26 PM »
We looked at tons of grocery stores, gave up, and bought it online. We used a specialty retailer -- drugstore.com IIRC -- and got the shipping for free, and a little fatwallet cash back to boot.

MrsStubble

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 164
  • Location: West Chester, PA
Re: Laundry detergent
« Reply #32 on: February 08, 2013, 08:35:55 PM »
We're just trying the home made version of laundry soap now (1 bar ivory soap grated fine (Irish spring works well too), I cup borax, I cup washing soda, and a little oxyclean.  So far so good and we can't tell the difference in the clothes.  I use the oxyclean sparingly but it does help when we have heavily soiled clothes (construction).  It's great.  If you have a problem grating the soap with a grater then freeze it first.  Makes it a lot easier!

Tami1982

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 989
Re: Laundry detergent
« Reply #33 on: February 09, 2013, 01:52:43 PM »
If you have a problem grating the soap with a grater then freeze it first.  Makes it a lot easier!

I totally put the shredding disc in my food processor and did it that way ;)  I figure my food processor is squeaky clean now! LOL