Monday, January 25, 2010

Laundry Soap

I probably ought to mention that I haven't always been such a wackadoo about living so cheaply, nor was I one to spend an awful lot of time thinking very much about the environment. It has only gradually progressed to how funny I am about it all now over the last few years, and then only due to a most desperate downward shift in my own personal economy back then.

Going from riches to rags can have its advantages in terms of evolving a new and better outlook on things, though. I don't intend to nor would I want to change that, however rich I might end up some day. But it's still relatively new for me, so I do admit that I am in no position to offer up any ground-breaking tips on frugality, as I mention over in the sidebar there; nothing new here.

This blog is truly only to document what it is that I am doing now, and as I've mentioned before, to keep track of whatever new things that I will hopefully learn as I go along. It's still an ongoing adventure for me, a gradual one, and sometimes I discover that I am a bit retarded about considering some of the most basic of things.

Take laundry detergent, for example. Despite all of my jabbering on about this and that to do with laundering clothes (however infrequent and in practically primitive fashion) in order to save money and resources, being better for the planet blah blah blah... it never occurred to me about the detergent I was using; that I could be concocting the stuff myself. Duh.

Of course, thrifty me has always bought (well, still does for now anyway) the cheapest of the cheaper store brands rather than opt for the exorbitant prices of a better-known name. In fact I just bought a jug of it not very long ago, so I am set for awhile in that department. But when the time comes for needing more, it seems like such a simple and ridiculously cheap thing to make up on my own.

And I can hang on to my latest store-bought container to store it in; that'll keep it out of a landfill somewhere, reusing it that way. So I've looked around the Interweb for formulations, and it seems they are mostly the same or very similar with few variations. As a rule a hodgepodge of a handful of just cheap ingredients: washing soda, borax, a bar of soap and water. The proportions seem to be the most different of the lot of them, so I don't know.

From pretty much everywhere I read most people highly recommend something called Fels Naptha soap; I have absolutely no clue what that is, and am pretty sure I have never seen a Fels Naptha anything. Others aren't so particular in their recipes for the kind, suggesting to just go with Ivory or even whatever else happens to be cheapest.

From the various places I have scoped out so far, one thing is sure that it seems that there are undoubtedly some long-term savings to be had from making up your own. Not to mention, as most often is the case when going about something the homemade way, without those nasty chemicals screwing with the environment later on downstream, always a dandy perk for the planet.

So here's throwing it out there to anyone who should perchance make a blogstop here, who might also have experience with making and using your own laundry detergent. I'm on the prowl for recipes from those who have actually made it, used it and thoughts about how everything all turned out. Whatever worked out well, or even not so well, I'm interested in hearing about it!

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