(This is a post in the No Spend Challenge series.) I’m about to make a radical statement. Are you sitting down? This frugal, crunchy mama is about to spill it: Why I don’t make homemade laundry detergent.
I wrote on this topic a few years ago after several good, solid trials into homemade laundry detergent making adventures.
Why don’t I make homemade laundry detergent?
I’m so glad you asked.
I had the same problem when I tried vegetarianism. I can barely get enough to eat when I am consuming animals, much less when I’m not. But may I never be accused of being closed-minded and not giving life hack experiments a fair shot.
I don’t know why some bloggers insist that they love their homemade laundry detergent.
Perhaps their water rinses cleaner than mine (although I have soft water, so this is unlikely).
My guess is that some people blog about something before they’ve fully tested it, or they want it to work so badly (because homemade laundry detergent looks so purty in those big glass jars on Pinterest!) that they ignore the signs, for example their husbands’ complaints about stinky shirts. Or they’re covering up the stank with so much essential oils.
Or perhaps all those posts and pins about homemade laundry detergent bring them so much traffic due to their extreme popularity that they’re afraid to lose credibility by circling back around and admitting the stuff doesn’t work!
Or something. I dunno.
I just know that the Laundry Fairy hasn’t blessed me yet with a homemade laundry detergent recipe that works for more than a few months’ time (just long enough for every article to be washed several times and the ill effects to show up).
And honestly, I’ve found a ton of bloggers and even some scientists who say the same thing I’m saying here.
Why I don’t make homemade laundry detergent:
- Homemade laundry detergent doesn’t dissolve well, even using warm water. I can use COLD water for EVERY load of laundry with a commercial product and stuff gets cleaner. If you use the super-diluted “Duggar recipe”, the amount of any actual cleansing ingredients is so small as to be useless, making your recipe as useful as water. See this.
- Since it’s made of SOAP, not detergent (a very important distinction), it leaves a soap film that kills absorbency on towels and cloth diapers. Which defeats the purpose of those items.
- … the soap film also makes clothing dingy and grey.
- Everything will smell funky after a while. Soap, made of FAT, is a food source for mildew…
- … so everything will get moldy eventually. Maybe not right away, but on the next hot day or the next time something isn’t washed within minutes of being taken off your body.
- It leaves a ring around the washing machine (just like bathtub ring, which is caused by body oils + soap). Gross.
- Homemade laundry detergent clogs your plumbing!
- I can get laundry detergent for .04 a load by combining store sales and coupons (including cash-back phone apps), so homemade isn’t always a frugal choice in the end.
Laundry detergent is one of those modern inventions we can be thankful for.
Pictured above is the cabinet in my laundry room. On the left are the 6 containers of Purex Free & Clear. I buy “free and clear” because I don’t like perfume-y laundry. I snagged those for pennies on the dollar by combining a store sale with coupons I printed online plus a cash-back app. The next 2 containers of Clean & Care detergent I won from a giveaway.
How does homemade laundry detergent work for you?
More: another post with dirty little secrets of homemade cleaning products.
How I save time and money getting my cleaning products from Grove. Speaking of Grove, did you know as a new customer you can get a $10 credit and a full-sized product, FREE? Go here!