Our Poly Life

Our life as a Polyamorous Quad, with 10 kids.

It's a Friday

on November 8, 2008

Friday is potpourri day…..Depending on our mood and what we find trolling the web, Friday will either be a WTF day or Frugal Friday.

This  week you happen to get Frugal Friday. In our efforts to “go green” and to help create a pocketbook friendly budget Goddess and I have decided to try our hand at creating our own laundry soap.

With our usual products we spend every two weeks approx, 2 boxes of laundry soap at $15 per box (64 loads each box),  3 bottles of fabric softener, $24 (95 loads) and 1 container of laundry booster, $12 ( 25 loads). Our monthly total for over 100 loads of laundry ( yes we do that much laundry) is $66.00 per month. That averages out to .66 cents per load.

The recipe we use calls for 3 ingredients… plus our “fabric softener.

1 bar Fels Naptha soap, Dove or Ivory is acceptable also

1 ½  cup Arm & Hammer washing soda .. NOT baking soda

1½ cup 20 Mule Team borax powder 


Grate the soap and put it in a sauce pan.  Add 6 cups water and heat it until the soap melts.  Add the washing soda and the borax and stir until it is dissolved.  Remove from heat.  Pour 4 cups hot water into the bucket.   Now add your soap mixture and stir.  Now add 1 gallon plus 6 cups of water and stir.  Let the soap sit for about 24 hours and it will gel.  You use ½ cup per load.



**A few things to note about the soap** 


~The finished soap will not be a solid gel.  It will be more of a watery gel that has been accurately described as an “egg noodle soup” look.


~The soap is a low sudsing soap.  So if you don’t see suds, that is ok.  Suds are not what does the cleaning, it is the ingredients in the soap.


Optional: If you want your soap to have some sort of scent you can scent this with  1 oz. of essential oil or fragrance oil of your choice.  Our favorite scents are Vanilla, Lavendar, Sandalwood, or a combination of those in essential oils.   Other popular choices are orange or citrus blends.


** In place of fabric softener you can use ½ cup of white vinegar in a Downy ball or your fabric softener dispenser cup. You may also add a 1 oz of essential oil to 1 gallon of vinegar.  This will separate, so you must shake before pouring each time.

So now that you have the recipe, here is the cost breakdown…

The recipe makes approximately 3 – 3.5 gallons. At a 1/2 cup per load that roughly 100 loads for arguments sake. 

Soap $1.25 for a 5.5 oz bar … The entire bar is used, so the cost is $1.25 per batch

Borax  $3.27 for a 76 oz box…  I calculated how much per oz (3.27 divided by 76) and then weighed a cup and a half of borax)  1 1/2 cups of borax weighs 10.5 oz.  This came to .43 cents per batch.

Washing Soda 2.23 for a 55 oz box …  I calculated how much per oz (2.23 divided by 55) and then weighed a cup and a  half  of washing soda (4.2 oz.) and multiplied my per oz. price by 4.2 This came to .17 cents per batch.

$1.25 + .43+ .17 = 1.85 to make enough soap for 100 loads. For a total of .18  1/2  cents per load.

Now add in the fabric softener…

Vinegar $2.69  per gallon X’s 3 is $8.07 ( 96 loads) = .8 cents per load

Grand total per load to clean and soften is  $0.27 per load

Also, the $12 container of laundry booster is being replaced by ¼ cup( 2 oz) of Hydrogen peroxide at 1.50 a bottle (32 oz.) and additional  .9 cents per  load for the more heavily soiled loads or whites.

So we have gone from $0.66 per load to $0.27 -$0.36 per load. The difference between $36 and $66 is a savings of over $350 a year.

This is probably WAY more detail than any of you wanted to know… but when we find a good thing we just have to pass it along.




2 responses to “It's a Friday

  1. […] They’ve also included a list of tips, as well as cost breakdowns of each batch. Please check out the full article here. […]

  2. […] added 6 cups of water, per the instructions provided by the OPL article, turned on the stove, and let the soap […]

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