Middlest Does It Herself: Laundry Detergent

21 Aug

Laundry. Good riddens I hate doing the laundry. I would much rather pluck my pubic hair than spend a day cleaning clothes. Yes, I know what plucking pubic hair feels like; I was in puberty-denial for a solid 2 months as an adolescent. Too much too soon? Ok, you win. I would much rather pluck knee hair than do laundry (which is more painful than pulling crotch hair, but I digress).

What is it about laundry that makes me so ticked? A few reasons. Please see list below:

  1. Gathering. Actually this is easy to do. I am very good at this. Throw clothing into cute laundry basket and let it pile up.
  2. Sorting. Alright, I can do this. My organizational skills thrive in this environment. Turning clothes inside out is a bit of a pain but manageable, nonetheless.
  3. Transfer to washer. Wow, I guess I don’t know what the fuss is all about? I don’t mind doing this. Cold water, soap, and swish-swish. Good stuff.
  4. Waiting for load to wash.  I am antsy by nature and quite forgetful. Finding something to do in the meantime is easy, but remembering to take laundry out of the machine is a hassle. Luckily this does not happen too often. I had one stinky load from forgetting, so my heightened senses are ultra alert during this step.
  5. Drying:
    5a. Transfer to dryer. Easy and doable (that’s what she said…or he). I love the smell of fresh laundry donned from the washer. Remembering a laundry sheet is quite the battle for me, so I get ultra peeved when I get static at the end of this process. Please see bullet 7.
    5b. Transfer to drying racks. This is my preferred method for scrubs and my “nice” clothing. I actually enjoy this because it gives me a good reason to not finish the laundry during laundry day. Procrastination at its finest!
  6. Waiting some more. Need I say more?!
  7. Remembering to empty dryer. I am awful at this step. I cannot even begin to tell you how many times I have opened the dryer and cursed because I forgot to unload the dryer the week prior. “Must be nice to have enough clothes to last between washes.” Back off; I still have clothing from high school. And then there’s the moment when I’m getting zapped from static because I forgot to use a laundry sheet. Many bombs have been cursed at this point.
  8. Folding Laundry. Very relaxing, but it takes me back to my years working in retail. I worked a good portion of my high school years in the clothing departments at Kmart. Initially I loved sorting, folding, organizing, and putting clothing away because it was very productive and instantly gratifying. And then two hours later it looked like I sat on my ass the entire shift. About a year of constantly refolding clothing an hour before closing made me despise customers immensely.
  9. PUTTING LAUNDRY AWAY. And here’s the motherload, friends. Blech. I hate this part. I am also very slow in this process. My closet is sorted by color, sleeve lengths, and all clothing items must be “facing” the correct way. I have seriously caught Youngest messing with my closet. It’s quite thrilling to sense when something is out of place. Again, I blame Kmart for this. I have offended plenty of family members by “re-doing” their efforts in folding my laundry. My anal tendencies are what make laundry so awful. “So Meghan…what you’re saying is that it’s your fault you hate laundry?” Precisely. Good observation, readers.

So where am I going with this posting, you ask? A few weeks ago I went to go pick up some laundry detergent & softener at the store. I don’t know if I was financially blind before, but I looked at the pricing of laundry detergent and got instantly pissed. I distinctively remember saying, “are you fucking kidding me?!” in aisle 5 of the local Kmart [Blue Light for Life]. During my cursing tantrum I glanced at a box of Borax on the shelf and had a light-bulb moment: my friend CoraL makes her own detergent! A quick phone call was made and I retrieved the recipe linked below. Hey, if I am going to do something that I hate, I may as well do it as cheap and fun as possible. Making stuff from scratch is v. enjoyable and the satisfaction of saving my pretty pennies ought to make laundry much more tolerable.

CoraL’s Homemade Laundry Detergent [Word Document for easy printing!]

Basically you process bar soap, Borax, and Wash Soap. It’s so simple, it’s stupid. 

Borax: $4.45 for a 4lb box
Wash Soap: $3.29 for a 3.4 lb box
Bar Soap: $3.99 for 10 bars
Total: $11.73
Lasts: 6 months (with a remainder of 6 bar soaps and enough Borax/Wash Soap for about 1½ years of homemade detergent)

The Gain detergent that I usually buy is $15.99 and it definitely doesn’t last 6 months. I call this a win.

And of course before I blogged about this, I had to do a couple weeks worth of laundry to see how this stuff works. My review: It’s awesome. The ivory soap leaves a light, delightful scent. The detergent is potent enough to get out pesky stains (like blood, baby formula, spit, urine, sweat, etc.) from my scrubs and trustworthy enough for my dresses and delicates. Towels and sheets clean great. Note: I haven’t had to get out grease with this yet, an update is sure to follow.

So there ya have it. I made laundry detergent all by myself. My mother’s great grand-mother would be proud.



7 Responses to “Middlest Does It Herself: Laundry Detergent”

  1. aLi C (@aLiYoOp906) August 21, 2012 at 4:33 pm #

    This was a hell of a read; however, next time keep your lady bit hair outta it 😉

    • Meghan (@megAYCHan) August 21, 2012 at 4:35 pm #

      Would you expect anything less from me? Gotta keep the people entertained with my nonchalant talk about the human body!

    • anonymous October 9, 2012 at 6:01 pm #

      oldest, i second you on that, Mug listen to your sister !

  2. Bob August 21, 2012 at 4:50 pm #

    Can you remind me not to eat anything at your place that has been through the food processor? Mmmkay? Thanks!

  3. sarahjane January 8, 2017 at 12:05 pm #

    Do you use this in a high efficiency machine?

    • glitzandblitz906 January 9, 2017 at 9:36 am #

      My friend said that she uses this recipe and has a high efficiency machine and hasn’t had any issues. My mom, on the other hand, stopped using the soap because she has a high efficiency machine.

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