Cleaning supplies and soaps are some of the most expensive products people consume on a regular basis. With that in mind, I'm determined to begin making my own soaps and detergents. In preparation, I have been saving the containers from the store bought versions for several months now and will refill them with my homemade products.
Laundry soap will be my first project. I prefer liquid laundry products because I think they disperse more thoroughly in the washing process which makes them flush away more easily in the rinse cycle. I have been buying the generic brands in the big 64 oz jugs for years. These jugs have a spigot opening and a screw top opening. The inevitable last few drops of soap from the spigot tended to create a mess after just a few loads. So I always refill a smaller quart-size jug and use that to measure my soap into the washer. That allowed me to realize the savings of the 64 oz economy jug but keep the mess to a minimum. When I make my own soap for the first time, I will attempt to make enough to fill one 64 oz jug. When I'm sure I have the formula correct, I will double or triple or quadruple the batch to fill as many of the 64 oz jugs as I have available ...economizing on the time required to make the soap. From what I've read, the cost savings should be significant and homemade products produce great results.
When I've mastered laundry soap, I will attempt liquid dishwashing liquid. Yes, I still use a dishwasher. With only the two of us these days, we only run it once or twice a week ...usually only once. I wash all pots and pans by hand but I think the dishwasher does a very good job and is an efficient use of our resources ...including my time. If I were to stop using the dishwasher, I would have to spend an hour or so per day washing and drying the dishes. I don't know about you, but I don't have a extra hour every day that I've been wondering what to do with. The dishwasher that we have now has a delayed start option on it and I typically have it run between midnight and 3:00am ...off-peak hours for electricity consumption. Power companies charge lower rates during off-peak hours so I'm being as frugal as possible with our resources. I currently buy generic liquid dishwasher soap from Walmart for less than $3 for a quart-sized jug. A jug lasts me at least 3 months so it's not like I spend a great deal on dishwashing liquid as it is. When I find a recipe I like, I will plan to make a gallon and store it in the quart-sized containers I have been saving. I believe I will be able to make a gallon of homemade for approximately $3 which would be great. I would have gone from $12 annual expense to $3 ...wooo-WHOO! The $9 savings can go toward any number of things on our wish list.
I will save my attempts at making shampoo and body wash until I have built my confidence on the laundry and dish soaps. Shampoo is a big deal for me since my hair is long and thick and I'm tender-headed. I have a higher tolerance for pain than most people in almost any other area ...but combing out my hair when it's tangled makes me whimper. So you can bet I'll be doing some research before I attempt shampoo. Body soap shouldn't be too hard. Very basic ingredients and the only real criteria is a soap that lathers easily and rinses well. Yeoldfurt doesn't like to scented soaps that smell too sweet ...like flowers or fruits. But when I find a good recipe for body wash, I can always put some in a small bottle just for me and add few drops of scented oil. It's a Venus thing. : )
When I find the recipes for each of these products that work well for me, I'll post the recipes and welcome comments. In the meantime, if you have a recipe you like for any of these cleaning products, please leave me a comment with the recipe or a link to the recipe. I'd love to try what works for you.