Ohiofarmgirl's Adventures in The Good Land is largely a fish out of water tale about how I eventually found my footing on a small farm in an Amish town. We are a mostly organic, somewhat self sufficient, sustainable farm in Ohio. There's action and adventure and I'll always tell you the truth about farming.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Laundry Theft? What's with that?

Did everyone see this story a while ago about how thieves were stealing thousands of dollars of name brand laundry soap? I have a hard time believing that is real - especially when you can make your own laundry soap for just pennies a load.

You'll remember from my post last year that I was shocked and amazed that making your own laundry soap actually works. But what I didn't expect was how much money I saved. And how I couldn't go back to store brand laundry soap.

All you need to make your own laundry soap is a bar of Fels Naftha soap, Washing Soda, and Borax - I found all of these item at the local (and hated) WalMart. In fact, they were all neatly lined up on the same shelf next to that high dollar stuff. As I marched down the extra-scented aisle of various bottles of chemical soup I wondered just who among my fellow shoppers were willing to go to jail for stealing something they could make for pretty much all the change they had in their car or in their couch cushions.

I did my last laundry soap post in May last year but I had been using home made soap since about January. That's when I first bought all the ingredients. It wasn't until last week that I needed to buy more Washing Soda and Borax. You read that right - two of the three ingredients lasted over a year!!!!  Sure I need to buy a bar of Fels for every batch but that cost me exactly  $0.97 each time.

Here are the itemized costs from my receipt:

Fels Naptha:      $0.97
Borax:               $3.38
Washing Soda   $3.38

Total:                $7.73

But wait - don't say, "Wow! That's a lot!" Because... that's for all the ingredients and aside from the Fels.... that lasted me a year!  I usually had to make a new batch every other month... so my real costs for doing all our laundry for over a year was about $12.58. At our local store a big jug of Tide costs over $17.

If the savings don't get you....then check this out.... It is a fact that last month I fell off the wagon and bought a jug of All Detergent from our local Dollar Store for $4. It lasted a week. And then I noticed that the kitchen towels were...well..... weird. I couldn't seem to dry my hands on them. It was like drying my hands with waxed paper. I just didn't work. I even had to do the thing where you wash your towels once with vinegar and once with baking soda just to wash the gunk out of them.

So nope, I'm not going back to store brand laundry soap. And next time I get lazy I'll just read this post and remind myself that the $4 I'm spending at the Dollar Store for a jug of detergent just isn't worth it.

Got a bucket? Got $8? Then run right down and get the fixin's to make your own laundry soap and save yourself about a million bucks!

Happy Monday everyone! Prevent crime and make your own laundry soap!


freemotion said...

I will never go back to store bought! The only issue I've had is that whites aren't as white....but our great grandmothers used bluing. I just gradually worked most of the whites out of our laundry, and don't care if the hubster's tighty whities are slightly grey. Ever so slightly.

Vickie said...

Good morning! I've been making my own detergent for about 6 months now. It's great! I add some baking soda, too, just makes me feel better (no real reason :)
I use vinegar in the rinse sometimes especially on towels and such. I did the liquid AND the dry detergent, and for me (messy person that I am) I decided the dry detergent was best at my house. I'll never go back! Actually, I may have read about it on your blog among others. Detergent is a HUGE rip-off and I'm working on my family and friends to make their own, too!

Diane said...

Ya know, this is one of the few things left I don't make myself. I've heard that it's not good for septic and lagoons. (Like the chemical soup detergents are??) I've heard that it doesn't work well for farmy sorts like us that get down & dirty on a regular basis. (Who cares if my clothes aren't bright white? I gave up on white clothes long, long ago.) I have some sort of mental resistance to it or something. Maybe I should seek counseling...

Hey, what is that Fels Naptha anyway? What makes it a special bar of soap? Can we use our own homemade soaps? How can we make Fels Naptha ourselves?

Okay. I'm going to call the nearest psychotherapist rght now.

Damummis said...

Still working on the pail that I made in Jan. Love the way it smells too, clean.

Traci Sumner said...

I don't use homemade, but I do use Charlie's soap. It takes a tablespoon for every load and the ultimate test of a laundry soap is that it took the smell of iodine from my brother's barn clothes.

Tiffany said...

Haha OFG, you never fail to crack me up! I will definitely have to try this. Our laundry detergent lasts a long time, but it certainly doesn't last a year nor does it cost mere pennies. :)

David said...

I will have to give this a try

Denise said...

I've been making our laundry detergent for years. I make the dry stuff too. I use octagon soap instead of the fels naptha as me and my hubby think it is too strongly perfumed. Tried to make the gel type but just reminded me too much of snot, yuck. As to stealing the detergent, isn't that a main ingredient in meth?

Unknown said...

I made some too, works great, BUT I find my whites are dingy too, so I need to try something different for those...

Ohiofarmgirl said...

I think other folks have the same issue, Free. There are some great ideas here.

Its a huge rip off, Vickie.. I just cant believe it.

Diane, yes you need therapy! Ha! actually it took me a long time to get over my detergent issues too. ha! So Freemotion knows about using you own soap. You can order the Fels online.

Isnt that incredible, Damummis? Ours last such a long time too!

Great work, Traci!

TW, you wont believe how well it works.

Dave - you wont believe it. I'm allergic to almost everything scented - so this works great for me.

I dunno, Denise, I keep wondering why people want to steal it... weird.

Nancy - some folks will add some Tide to their whites, or like Free - she uses bluing. For me I just use a little bleach and it works just fine.

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