Since we're focused on being frugal with our No Shopping Challenge happening at the moment I thought I would try my hand at making my own laundry liquid. It only took me half an hour to make about 10L of the stuff - enough for months for my family and some to take along to the Crop & Swap next month. Nice.
There are loads of recipes online for making this stuff but this is what I went with:
1 C washing soda (NOT baking soda)
1 C borax
1 bar Sunlight soap - grated
2 Tbsp pure eucalyptus oil
- Heat 4 L water in a large stock pot that will take at least 8L of liquid
- Add grated bar of soap and stir until dissolved
- Add washing soda and borax and stir until dissolved
- Bring to the boil and let it simmer until you're convinced everything is incorporated and dissolved (about 3 minutes)
- Let it cool a bit then add the other 4L of water
- Once cool add the eucalyptus oil and stir
- Bottle and label
For a normal size wash I use about 100ml and that works well for us. You can use this in a top or front loader but in a front loader I would try using less liquid first to see if you can get away with it. The consistency is more like a gel than a flowing liquid and you may want to give it a shake before using it. You don't have to use Sunlight soap - any soap will so.
While I was at it I thought I'd make some dishwasher powder using this recipe:
Washing soda, borax, and salt in equal parts plus a small amount of citric acid. This was my first try so I made a small batch in case it didn't work. My ratios were 1/2 C each of washing soda, borax, and salt, and 2 Tbsp of citric acid. We used 1 Tbsp in the dishwasher and everything was sparkly and clean this morning.
You can get washing soda at the supermarket for around $3.60 a kg, and Borax was just over $7 a kg at Bunnings. There are cheaper places to order Borax online in bulk if you search for them.
The No Shopping Challenge
We're almost half way through our challenge and we're doing great. Our attitude to shopping has definitely changed and we're thinking a lot more about what we want to use our money on than we did before. We've had some big bills and a holiday last week so we haven't saved as much as we wanted to but I'm hoping that will change next month!