Monday, August 27, 2012

Outkast would be proud.

I'll preface this by saying I am in NO way addicted to Pinterest.  I definitely use it from time to time but if I started to pin everything I loved on there, it would incite a pretty intense anxiety attack from the amount of unfinished projects and ideas that I never got around to actually doing.  You see, I'm a DIYer.  Not a PIYer (Pin it Yourself).  So for every few things I pin, I make sure I actually DO one of those things.  

I got this image from Pinterest.  The irony is thick, I know.

Anyone who has ever perused the site has probably seen the hundreds of "recipes" for DIY Laundry detergent.  With incredible claims of saving crap tons of money and many of them going the all natural route, I made this idea one of my super exclusive pins.  (If my pins had a wardrobe, they'd wear Members Only jackets.)

What's odd is that I've not ONCE thought about how much money I spend on detergent in a year (I imagine it's not more than the average American) and I don't go too far out of my way for the natural, organic route (sorry treehugging amigos).  But this seemed easy enough and would kill two birds with one stone.  (Husbo would be upset if I didn't encourage you to Google "Nick Thune Killing Two Birds joke."  It's worth it.)

After a Saturday afternoon trip to Target (and then Walmart)'s my loot:

Update: I didn't use the small container of Oxi-Clean.  Photobombing bastard.

1. (1) four pound twelve ounce box of Borax (Found in Laundry aisle)
2. (3) bars of Fels-Naptha soap (Found in Laundry aisle)
3. (1) four pound box of arm & hammer baking soda (Baking aisle)
4. (1) box of arm & hammer super washing soda (Laundry aisle)
5. (1) large container of Oxi Clean Free (Laundry aisle)

The only semi-difficult part was that the soap bars needed to be grated.  Ready for an action shot?
Go Steelers!

It took a little while to grate the three bars (Husbo helped) and afterwards, it looked like grated cheddar cheese.  Since I've been known to eat an entire bag of cheese cubes in one sitting, it was a good thing it smelled so much like soap.

Make your own taco bar, anyone?

From there, I just mixed all the other ingredients into a large 5 gallon bucket (this recipe makes about 3-1/2 to 4 gallons).  

I have bigger plans to help organize our laundry closet/pantry/storage catch all, so I thought I'd give myself a head start by storing my new concoction in a fancy pants container.  I bought a simple glass jar from Target and with some leftover chalkboard paint I had lying around, I went to work.

Here's a quick hint for painting this stuff onto glass: scuff up the glass a little with some sandpaper and wash it with a warm cloth to get all the dust off.  It will help the paint adhere better.  Tape off the area to be painted and you're off!

It takes 2-3 coats to get good coverage on glass but I always wrap my paint brush in a plastic bag between coats so I don't have to wash it between applications and it doesn't start to harden up or get gross.  Easy. Breezy. Beautiful. Cover Girl.

And here she is filled up and labeled.  (Which, if you think about it, is kind of stupid because I'm relatively certain that even with my horribly awful memory, I think I could remember what I put in this container.  But I'm a big fan of adding "jewelry" to any project.)

Hello, lova.

I wanted to wait to write about it until I made sure it worked. If it left our clothes smelling like a sweaty gym bag or made weird splotchy stains, what kind of endorsement would that be?   So yesterday,  we did 3 loads (I used 2 tablespoons per load b/c you can use less with this stuff).  Verdict: amazeballs.
It smells really great (but not too strong) and left our clothes scent-free but fresh.  They say it works fine in HE washers (which we don't have) and on sensitive skin (which we also don't have but I can see why that would be true).  We do, however, use cold water for everything but the whites.  It worked well in both temperatures.
After I did a little math on the subject, figuring the total cost of the ingredients and the amount that I made, it equates to about $0.08/load.  Compared to the brands we were using before, we were spending 2-3 times that per load, wasting the plastic containers and purchasing every 4 months or so.  This should last us well over a year.  
Is it going to save us enough to buy our own private bungalow on the coast of the North Shore?  No.  But it kept me busy for an afternoon and considering I would have otherwise gone out and bought an amazing pair of "fall is almost here" boots, this project did actually save us some money.
*Note: the title of this blog post is an ode to Outkast's 2001 megahit "So Fresh, So Clean."  Even though I'm happy to overuse a catchphrase or joke until it makes people groan, 10 years is my limit for outright usage.  But I'll imply it all day long.

1 comment:

  1. This post is amazeballs. I'm doing this ASAP!