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Old 07-14-2010, 01:22 AM   #21
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I live a few minutes walk from a discount grocery store that sells 150 fluid oz bottles of laundry detergent for $3.99. A 4oz capful does a load, so the bottle holds enough for 37 loads, making the cost per load just under 11c.

I only do 3 or 4 loads a month, so my savings using the home made stuff would be no more than 24c.

Making your own laundry soap looks like a cool thing but for me, the time and effort doesn't justify the savings. For someone who is paying the full retail price for their detergent and who is doing a lot of laundry, then maybe the savings would be a few dollars a month and making their own detergent would make more sense.
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Old 07-14-2010, 08:24 AM   #22
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In my Grandmother's day in the country, women had a little buildings they used to make soap with. I have no idea the recipe, but my Grandma had one made of concrete blocks she used when she was raising her kids during the Depression. I have a feeling it was from the fat of pigs or something. Women really had to work like dogs back then...thank heaven those days are gone.
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Old 07-14-2010, 08:55 AM   #23
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Orchidflower - you reminded me of a British TV series I watched a while back called "The 1900 House". The producers found a typical house from 1900 and retrofitted it to look the way it would have back then - appliances, stove, everything. Then a family lived in it for a a few months and the whole experience was filmed. It took them (or the women, I should say) 2 whole days every week just to do the laundry.

I agree - thank heavens those days are gone!
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Old 07-14-2010, 09:44 AM   #24
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I remember when my mother finally got a laundry machine. She was amazed that such a "contraption" worked and would be entertaining looking at the dirty water draining out through the hoses. I was only about 5 years old at the time.
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Old 07-14-2010, 09:51 AM   #25
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I live a few minutes walk from a discount grocery store that sells 150 fluid oz bottles of laundry detergent for $3.99. A 4oz capful does a load, so the bottle holds enough for 37 loads, making the cost per load just under 11c.

I only do 3 or 4 loads a month, so my savings using the home made stuff would be no more than 24c.

Making your own laundry soap looks like a cool thing but for me, the time and effort doesn't justify the savings. For someone who is paying the full retail price for their detergent and who is doing a lot of laundry, then maybe the savings would be a few dollars a month and making their own detergent would make more sense.
Yes, that's why I decided to roll up my sleeves and make a huge batch (from 8 bars of soap) to last a long time. If I had to make the detergent every month or so, that would become a chore. Guess it all balances out because for the effot, now I won't have to lug the laundry bottles around in the grocery cart again
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Old 07-14-2010, 10:52 AM   #26
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Orchidflower - you reminded me of a British TV series I watched a while back called "The 1900 House". The producers found a typical house from 1900 and retrofitted it to look the way it would have back then - appliances, stove, everything. Then a family lived in it for a a few months and the whole experience was filmed. It took them (or the women, I should say) 2 whole days every week just to do the laundry.

I agree - thank heavens those days are gone!
A wonderful book similarly themed is Logan Ward's See you in a 100 years. They bought an old farmhouse and lived with only those items available in 1900 or so. Including a horse and buggy. It is a very enlightening and entertaining book.
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Old 07-14-2010, 11:02 AM   #27
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Very interesting Sarah - I'm going to have to look out for that book.
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Old 07-14-2010, 11:41 AM   #28
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I make my own laundry soap. We have extremely hard water and it works just as well as the store-bought. It doesn't work out to that much savings, I just find it enjoyable. A little like being a chemist or cooking. I started w/ the same basic recipe as everyone else. I use Naptha (which is yellow) soap plus Zote (which is pink.) Looks kind of pretty against the white washing soda and borax. Then I add a container of generic Oxy Clean from the dollar store. Mix it all up, don't inhale. I use vinegar in the fabric softener dispenser. (Whenever I eat an orange I add the peel to the gallon of vinegar, smells good.)
I also use my orangey vinegar as glass cleaner and bathroom cleaner.
My other big laundry tip - dark colors. I don't use bleach (I think it is carcinogenic) so my sheets are tan, my towels are blue, most of my socks and my teenager's are black (we live in jeans and most of our shoes are black, so it looks fine), my underthings are (almost) all either red or black. Especially parents w/ kids - black socks rule!
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Old 07-14-2010, 12:09 PM   #29
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After the wash I did yesterday, I was going through my clothes and noticed part of this decal on a t-shirt that I hadn't seen before. Looks like the t-shirt washed in the past with regular detergent had gray areas that had covered the decal. So, I guess the homemade stuff is working out fine for me
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Old 07-14-2010, 12:50 PM   #30
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Cough cough cough cough cough cough cough...

Smooth...
Reminds me of that James Brown song "Smokin' and Drinkin'" The words went something like "Smokin' and drinkin' will slow your thinkin'." James Brown is one of my top ten artists.

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Old 07-14-2010, 03:38 PM   #31
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My other big laundry tip - dark colors. I don't use bleach (I think it is carcinogenic) so my sheets are tan, my towels are blue, most of my socks and my teenager's are black (we live in jeans and most of our shoes are black, so it looks fine), my underthings are (almost) all either red or black. Especially parents w/ kids - black socks rule!
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I'm going to die, then, as we use bleach on everything!
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Old 07-14-2010, 09:04 PM   #32
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DH and I were in China in 1980. We were med. size town, walking along the street. A local chap wanted to try out his English so we chatted for a while. A middle aged woman, washing her laundry in a bucket, gave him a piece of her mind. I asked the chap what she said. He told us that she scolded him for being lazy. I looked at her, then him, and told him that my wish for her was a washing machine.. that I truly felt sorry with her situation. He turned and translated, her scowl turned to a smile. Our relationship changed from rich foreigner to that of women/mothers in an instant.
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