Thursday, February 25, 2010

Off the deep end...

Mr. Boy has eczema, it's bad and it's not fun. We spend more money on skin care products for him, then the rest of the family combined. His body wash alone is $38 a bottle, and we use Aquaphor like it's going out of style. Be careful trying to catch Mr. Boy, because it's like chasing a greased pig with all the products we slather on him. We've been buying Tide Free for ages, but I just don't feel like the clothes get clean, plus the $13 price tag for 64 loads makes me grumble every time I buy it. Then I heard all about making your own laundry soap. The Duggars do it, but that just scared me. Next thing you know I'll have 19 children and I'll be driving a bus around town... and we will be eating Tater Tot Casserole from a big trough.

But then.. when I went to grab that giant bottle of Tide Free last week and flipped it around and noticed that they do not list the ingredients on it... So how do I know what kind of things are in it that are aggravating Mr. Boy's skin? That was the turning point and I threw open the window and said, "I'm mad as hell and I can't take it anymore!" Or maybe I wasn't quite that dramatic and I just put the Tide back on the shelf. I decided right then and there, no matter how weird it made me, I'd try making my own soap.

I had heard finding the ingredients West of the Missippi were a bit challenging. So I headed over to my new favorite website: Alice.com It's like Alice the maid from the Brady Bunch, who I wished we had living with us when I grew up. The stuff on the website is reasonably priced and if you order 6 items it ships free. Plus their packaging is clever and eyecatching. The only thing they didn't have was the Fels-Naptha but I found that at the regular grocery store. I had heard that Dial soap works great too, so I decided to use the 1/2 the Hypo-Allergenic Bar of Dial Soap and 1/2 Fels Naptha. Total cost to make enough for at least 120 loads: $12. I still have tons of the Washing Soda & Borax leftover, probably enough for at least 15 more batches. Mr. Man walked in right at this moment, and said, "Is that soap in the Cuisinart? What is going on?" I told him about my new plan and he just said, "I think you've gone too far with this natural thing, I get the whole organic food thing, but really?" I know he's wondering if I'm going to start cooking our laundry in the backyard in a giant kettle. He's already told me if I bring home a cow to put in the back 40, it's a dealbreaker. (As luck would have it, we are not zoned for cows, so the marriage is safe.) Here's the recipe for the detergent.

1 Fels-Naptha soap bar
1 Cup - Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
1/2 Cup Borax

-Grate soap or break into pieces and process in a food processor until powdered. Mix all ingredients. For light load, use 1 Tablespoon. For heavy or heavily soiled load, use 2 Tablespoons. Yields: 3 Cups detergent. (Approx. 40 loads)

I tried it out on a load of whites, tossing in one of AK's chocolate stained shirts. Without using any stain treatment, it came out white! The clothes smell clean too.

So, now I'm off to buy a bus, and get me 17 more kids. Wish me luck!

8 comments:

Cimblog (tm) said...

ooooooo....

I'm not a fan of the bus OR the nineteen kids. I'm just sayin'...

Caitlin said...

This whole post cracked me up! I'm very impressed. But I agree homemade detergent is most likely the limit of good things we can learn from the Duggars.

Laura said...

Ding! ding ding ding ding dingdingdingdingdingding!

Raena Johnson said...

Love it - I wanted to make my own detergent too a while back but we don't require any special brands so when I calculated the savings for my husband he looked at me like I was crazy and suggested I use the time it would take to make detergent and make dinner instead. He's no fun.

stacy said...

Would you believe I had the very same fears about 19 kids and a bus? (I'd actually like a bus but we'll talk about that another day.) I had friends that did the liquid version and I thought they were all nuts stirring a million gallons in coolers. I might do it now that you've paved the way. Combined, that's 36 kids and a LOT of Flat Stanleys. Let's stick to the soap.

Brooke said...

Wow. I am majorly impressed. I almost want to copy you....almost. BTW - did I tell you we bought part of a grass fed cow last month? And my neighbor is checking into raising chickens...are you zoned for chickens?? ;)

Karlea said...

Love it!! What a great idea, Wendy. I'm SHOCKED at the amount of laundry soap we're going throug right now and how much space all the Costco-sized containers are taking. This might just be a great alternative. What do you do for fabric softener???

~Anna~ said...

Oh man, I think you should do the kettle in the back yard... No, really. I think it would fit right in with the 19 kids and the bus.

I'll spring for the boat paddle to stir the clothes.