Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Why I Stopped Using Homemade Laundry Detergent

Last spring I came across a blog post raving about homemade laundry detergent. The recipe called for only three inexpensive ingredients, and I figured, why not? I quickly whipped up a batch, determined the money saved, and did my laundry as usual. It seemed to work fine.

My sister-in-law makes homemade laundry detergent too. Her recipe has around seven ingredients, and she loves hers. But the money savings dwindles using that method. If I'm making homemade detergent, I expect a return on my time by having clean clothes and more money in my pocket.




About three months of using the three-ingredient recipe, I noticed my whites were dingy. No biggie. I added bleach to them. They still looked bad.

Soon I noticed strange gray splotches on our T-shirts and light colored clothes. Not little spots, mind you--huge random gray areas. I tried adding OxiClean to each load. New discolorations still appeared.

After nine months of using the three-ingredient homemade laundry detergent, I've decided to switch back to store bought, liquid detergent. Too many of our clothes acquired odd markings after months of using homemade. Unfortunately, those items need to be replaced. Maybe our water reacts with the detergent. Maybe my HE washer just can't handle powder detergent. I don't know, but I'm willing to spend more money if it assures our clothes won't end up discolored and ruined.

I don't regret trying a different laundry method. Am I disappointed the money saved didn't yield the results I wanted? Sure. But in the end, I'd  rather at least try a new way to save money than assume it's too hard or won't work.

Have you tried a frugal tip only to be disappointed?

Have a lovely Wednesday!


17 comments:

  1. I've tried some home-made cleaning products. They never seem to work as well as the commercial products. )-:

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    1. I agree. The only homemade cleaner I've had success with is for my hardwood floors. We mix equal parts water, vinegar, and rubbing alcohol together, throw it in a spray bottle and mop as usual. I switch back in forth between this and Windex. Works great!

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  2. With my old non-HE washer I used to shave in some homemade soap peels. My grandmother used to make soap and she did this. With the old washer, I thought the clothes actually looked whiter. But I've been afraid to try it with my new HE. Now I think, I won't try it! :)

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    1. I think you'd be fine using soap peels, Anne. The recipe I used included Fels Naptha bars, washing soda, and Borax. Everything dissolved, so that wasn't an issue. Plus, it might just be my machine, my water--who knows?

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  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    1. I am SO sorry, Carla, for removing your comment! I hit the wrong button this morning. Ugh.

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  5. I'm just impressed that you TRIED the new method--making your own soap. I tend to too often opt for convenience over frugality. Haha! But if I WAS going to go for a money-saving technique in one housekeeping area or another, you've given me a good one to stay away from. :)

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    1. Yeah, don't bother with this one, Melissa. Just use store bought!

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  6. I too am impressed you tried! I'm into hassle-free living at the moment (i.e., lazy!).

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    1. Hassle free is my favorite way to live! Your baby is adorable, by the way. :)

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  7. Well now I know for sure not to try! Thanks for being a guinea pig:)

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    1. Ha! I know! Like I said, it might just be my machine or our water or something. Who knows? I just won't be using it anymore!

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  8. Good for you for trying something new, but so disappointing that you now have to replace some items of clothing! I sometimes mix up my brands of dishwasher soaps to see what cleans best. But I still don't know!

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  9. I don't know either, Kelly! I figure if they smell okay and look clean, they must be clean, right? :)

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  10. I swapped Windex and furniture polish for Pledge Multi-Surface in the blue spray bottle: granite, wood, glass, metal. I cleaner to rule them all.

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    1. Ooh, I'll try it! The less products I have to buy, the happier I am! Thanks!

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