Return to the Money Saving Tips Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Laundry

Posted by silver2 (My Page) on
Fri, Jun 6, 08 at 4:43

With everything climbing in price, I have been looking for ways to cut expenses. One of the things that I have been doing is making my own laundry detergent. I make two weeks worth of liquid laundry detergent for about a dollar. Where before I was spending ten on buying detergent at the store. And of course, I hang clothes on the lines outdoors as much as I can. Have also switched to white vinegar for rinse cycle and have been pleased with results on both actions. I also maximize my oven space when baking, as it might take a little longer with a full oven, but it is less expensive than doing baking individually.
There are many free recipes for making your own laundry detergent, febreeze type products, natural flea repellents, dryer sheets, fabric softner, spray starch,baby wipes and all kinds of green cleaning products online. You just need to use google to find and choose what types you might want to try.


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Laundry

I didn't like the smell of the Fels Naptha mixtures, but liked using ZOTE much better. ZOTE was also much cheaper to use, but not always readily available. ZOTE also has optical brighteners to make your clothing appear cleaner.

After years of using homemade laundry soap, I decided to try Charlie's Soap and love it. I couldn't believe the "clean" difference in the feel and smell of my laundry using Charlie's Soap. Line dried clothing were no longer as stiff. I loved it so much I purchased the 1280 load 5-gallon pail of it. This should last us 3.5 years.

Here's the breakdown:

Charlie's Soap - 9 cents per load (It's increased in price recently, however, but shipping is free.)

White Vinegar (Sam's Club) - around 1-cent an ounce and I use approximately 2-3 oz. in the kitchen and bath towel loads ONLY. You don't need vinegar in the rinse of clothing because Charlie's Soap rinses out so well. I probably don't even need vinegar in the towels, but use it just in case there's some soap residue in them from use.

I pretreat with Charlie's Soap All-Purpose Spray, a bar of Fels Naptha or ZOTE - just wet the bar and rub in the stain - and still have SHOUT gel on hand. Shampoo still removes collar and sleeve grime very well, and hair spray for the occasional ink pen mark.

-Grainlady

Here is a link that might be useful: Charlie's Soap


 o
RE: Laundry

My question is, does Charlie's Soap actually make your clothes CLEANER? My daughter and I were just discussing this very thing tonight. Neither of us is thrilled with the laundry detergents that are out there right now. Every time you turn around, they are changing them - 2X concentrated, 3X concentrated, with Dawn Stainremovers, with Downy, and this is just the TIDE. We don't feel that our clothes are getting as clean as they used to and even with fabric softener, they don't smell clean after they come out of the dryer. Her husband is a mechanic and she has problems getting his work clothes clean. If Charlie's Soap would do the job, we'd be thrilled!

Linda


 o
RE: Laundry

There's a lot of discussion on this in the laundry forum and it might be worth it for you to look over some of those threads. I've learned a LOT over the years and it's resulted in my clothes coming out cleaner. There's more involved than you think. There's chemistry between water, the detergent, the type of soil, temperatures being used, fabrics and the like. Also the machine, how full, how it's loaded makes a difference. Water hardness, chemical content and the like all make for differences from one place to another. Some love Charlie's. Some haven't been impressed.

Often it's just trial and error. Pretreating is important.

I tend to wonder if the clothes themselves are making a difference these days. What's in the fabrics now?


 o
RE: Laundry

Linda (linlily) - I tend to avoid the unnecessary, and potentially dangerous, chemicals in traditional laundry products, which is why I like Charlie's Soap and use vinegar instead of liquid or sheet softeners. Fewer dangerous chemicals is why I used homemade laundry soap for so many years - as well as the wonderfully frugal low price for whipping up a batch of homemade soap.

"Cleaner" is relative, as cynic pointed out. Our clothes were clean using homemade laundry recipes. Our clothes aren't "dirty" to begin with (although we re-wear as much clothing as possible to save on water use), and I'm careful about pre-treating stains and am known to use an old-fashioned soak before washing, on occasions.

I also dry clothes outside much of the time, so whites get a natural bleaching from the sun, so I can't compare whites that are dried in the dryer, I so rarely use the thing. I have lines in the basement to use when I can't dry outdoors.

Charlie's isn't loaded with optical brighteners, enzymes, and other things that are in other products. I'm as impressed with how well it rinses out of clothes as well as being pleased with it's cleaning capacity. My husband tends to have skin "issues" from many kinds of laundry detergents. One itchy outbreak episode is one too many...

Check out their web site for some interesting tests results, including how 8 washes in Tide liquid (at recommended levels) resulted in a 2% weight gain in diapers from residue build-up. Those washed in Charlie's Soap (at recommended levels and 4 times recommended levels) gained no measurable weight at all.

These features might concern people who have sensitivities to chemicals, etc.

-Grainlady

Here is a link that might be useful: Charlie's Soap


 o
RE: Laundry

Thank you cynic and grainlady. Would you believe that I didn't even know there was a Laundry Forum???? Glad that you told me. I guess I need to check over the list of Home Forums.

We have a water softener (a new one that recharges on demand, not by a timer) and therefore, I'm able to use small amounts of detergent = less chemicals in the environment and $ savings. I use detergents with color safe bleach and do not use regular bleach for any maching washing. I believe it eats the fabric and your clothing does not last as long.

My Whirlpool is over 15 years old and my DH has been able to keep it going by adding new parts a few times. I really like this model because it washes at regular speed for some minutes, than automatically washes at a slower speed for several minutes.Again, saving clothing life. When the timer went three years ago, we bought a new Energy Star Matag top loader. I know why it was an Energy Star - it ran less time, both wash and spin times. When the clothes came out of the final spin cycle, they were wetter than with my old washer and took longer to dry. So much for saving energy. The new washer went to my daughter's house and we fixed the old one and it's still going!

I pretreat with Awsome Spray from Dollar Tree, or Zout, or Lestoil for grease stains. My favorite of the newer detergents lately is All Small And Mighty With Stainlifters. Because I have a softner, it takes me a long time to go through a box or bottle of detergent, and my Tide With (color safe) Bleach and Gain With (color safe) Bleach just don't seem to get the clothes as clean and fresh smelling anymore. That is why I was asking about Charlies Soap. I soak my whites in hot water and detergent the night before I run them through, and socks just don't come clean anymore. It's disappointing.

Linda


 o
RE: Laundry

I don't understand why you have to add anything other than soap. I use powder gain and it works great. I wash all my clothes in it. Delicates and nice clothing go in a laundry bag on a light cycle. I have never used any other additives. I treat all stains with zout. It is the best stain removal I've used - and I've used most of them.

Am I missing something? Why do so many people use vinegar?
My clothes aren't gray or faded. I wash warm lights - towels, socks and underwear mostly, and cold darks- garden and around the house work clothes, towels, and dishclothes, and nice clothes get their own wash.

What am I missing???


 o
RE: Laundry

Vinegar in the rinse does a couple of very good things, it is more efficient in getting the soap residue out of your clothing and it also reduces mineral build ups in your washer. Some washing machine manufacturers recommend using vinegar in your rinse to help clean out your machine. It leaves no odor on your clothing and is a natural product, so it falls into the "Green" area. It is also much less expensive than fabric softners and gives you side bonuses. As this is the money saving or frugal tips forum, I brought it up. And the saving you can gain by using it as well as making home made laundry detergent. It takes me about ten minutes to make detergent, and I make two gallons, which cost about fifty cents to make. Which normally I would be spending about ten dollars to end up with the same amount of loads. And my laundry comes out every bit as clean as when I use the name brand products. The white vinegar costs less than two dollars a gallon and has many other uses, as well as rinsing laundry. I also use it to clean out the mineral deposits in my coffee maker. Works wonderfully well on that project too. So I am happy with my venture into frugal laundry detergent and am content with giving up ten minutes every two weeks to make detergent.
Thanks for giving me a chance to share in a savings, as I feel very good about it. Of course gas prices will eat up the savings, but the good thing, is there will be something to eat up. LOL


 o
RE: Laundry

Recently, I got a new set of hot/cold water hoses for my 7-yr. old washer. I asked the repair man how could I prevent repairs in the future? He mentioned running a load with vinegar in it once a month. I told him I put it in the kitchen towel and bath towel loads, and he said I'd probably never have a problem with the part that tends to clog from the heavy minerals in our water because I use vinegar in the rinse.

Here are some other things that vinegar does. See the link below.

-Grainlady

Here is a link that might be useful: Vinegar Tips/Laundry


 o
RE: Laundry

When I was a kid, my Mom taught me to rinse my hair after shampooing with just a little vinegar mixed in water. I didn't like the smell, but it got out the last bit of shampoo residue. It also got out the yucky tobacco smoke smell from my 2 parents being cigarette addicts! I use it today, keeps my hair clean a day or so extra. This is my favorite use of vinegar atround the house.


 o
RE: Laundry

"Vinegar in the rinse does a couple of very good things, it is more efficient in getting the soap residue out of your clothing"

I just use less detergent... very, very little in fact.


 o
RE: Laundry

The best way to save laundry costs is to do what most people do in the UK and it's Not Rocket Science - use good old sunshine to dry and freshen your laundry. Its easy - like most Brits, after 30++ years of drying outside I HAVE NO SYSTEM. Just check the weather - if you are feeling efficient you could check the TV forcast - and just chuck it all out on the line - it drys - you bring it in later on ...... (OK be a bit tidy with things that may need ironing)

PS Our petrol (gas) is now about $10 for your gallon - help!!!


 o
RE: Laundry

sylvia55 - There's plenty of people over here (across the pond in the US) that line dry clothes. Folks in the UK don't have the market cornered on that. It's not nearly as UNcommon out here in wheat and cattle country as you'd think. It's too bad you've been led to think all Yanks are lazy when it comes to laundry practices because a large percent of homes commonly have a dryer.

I also doubt that you have an outdoor temperature range as wide and extreme as what we experience here in the mid-west, which is why I have an indoor line as well as an outdoor one, but I also own a dryer.

I also bet there are more folks introducing, or reintroducing, themselves to the clothes line with the price of utilities going up, which is good all around. I've always been frugal, so this is life as usual for me.

BTW - To put things in perspective, I happen to live out in the middle of wheat and cattle country where there's no such thing as mass-transit or a public transportation system, such as a bus or train. NOTHING is nearby. The state I live in is approximately 3/4 as big as England and in order to get anywhere, you have to drive. The distances are just too great from one place to another.

It is not uncommon for people to commute long distances from their farms to a town/city where at least one or more of the family members also works a job AND farms.

Our gas may be cheaper, but we have farther to travel, out of necessity, than you probably have to, so it may prove a "wash" - distance for price.

-Grainlady


 o
RE: Laundry

Grainlady - I purchased Charlie's Soap on your recommendation. Thank you, thank you, thank you, I LOVE it. I've been using vinegar as a rinse for years - picked up that tip on this forum as well.


 o
RE: Laundry

Apologies for those in the US who line dry - I know that there are many of you. I do apprecitate the distances you have to travel - I was not suggesting your gas should be dearer - but I wish our was cheaper!


 o
RE: Laundry

eiagaff - Glad you are so pleased with Charlie's Soap. I read about it on the Laundry board. I tried two of the 80-load bags and couldn't believe the difference in the clothes. Even wet out of the washer they seemed "different" - softer. I purchased the 1280 load bucket late last summer, and that should last me about 3-1/2 years (approx. 9 cents per load).

-Grainlady


 o
RE: Laundry

Grainlady- I purchased the liquid & the 80 load bag. I didn't know which I'd like and I'm accustomed to using liquids. I haven't even tried the liquid yet, I'm so pleased with the powder I don't see a reason to spend more on the liquid. I'm going to save it in case I need to spot treat something. I don't think the bag is going to last very long though - I'm giving out samples to everyone I know. I can't wait to see if it helps one of my friends who has very sensitive skin - everything causes her to break-out. I'm hoping if she washes her clothes a few times with Charlie's that she'll notice a difference. Next I'm going to try the all-purpose cleaner. I use home made cleaning products most of the time, but I'm anxious to try their product.


 o
RE: Laundry

I just finished my first bottle of Charlie's. I will not buy again. The label on it is green ink, and it comes off on everything damp that touches it. I ruined two shirts.
Nothing will budge that ink that I have tried. There is always a little dribble of liquid detergent to drip down the outside of a bottle, but this is the only brand I have ever used that dissolved its own label's ink.


 o
RE: Laundry

gabeach - Why not just transfer the liquid to another container? I'd certainly report this to Charlie's Soap and ask them for suggestions for removal - perhaps pretreating with Charlie's Soap will do it. Did you try hairspray to remove the ink or one of those famous Billy Mays soaks in Oxy-Clean that removes ink?

-Grainlady


 o
RE: Laundry

I could transfer the Charlie's to another container, but it is too late for the pale pink top that is ruined. As of yet, the company has not responded to my email. I tried the Charlie's soap, oxy, etc., and nothing removed the green ink. Incidentally, my MIL told me she had a stubborn ink stain which milk removed. No such luck for me, but sometimes milk works! I love your postings, btw. I am a Montessori teacher, and you have given me many ideas to use in the classroom.


 o
RE: Laundry

Charlies wasn't a success for me at all and neither was the two recipes I tried when making my own. Guess our hard water might be to blame. Our clothes smelled dirty still after either use, especially soccer and work out clothes.

Went back to Tide HE as it is one of the few that seem to work.

One of these days we will be able to afford a water softner and then we can always try it again. I still have the charlies soap.


 o
RE: Laundry

lyfia -

You may need to use more than the suggested 1-tablespoon scoop of Charlie's when you have hard water. Detergent-based products commonly wash much better in hard water than soap-based, which your experience with homemade and Charlie's Soap clearly indicates.

If you didn't use an entire package of Charlie's Soap, you may have been experiencing the elimination of old detergent/softener build-up, which takes time to thoroughly remove when you first switch to Charlie's, and try adding vinegar to the rinse, rather than softener. Even using softener sheets, rather than liquid softener, leaves a coating of chemicals on your clothing.

Wash in the hottest water possible for the fabric types, can also help. I recently read to set your water heater to around 130F if you have hard water. According to the article, this reduces the mineral build-up in your hot water tank and pipes --- who knew? By reducing the temperature, you'll experience a reduction of minerals in your wash water.

You can also add a water softening add-in to your laundry (especially whites - which tend to get dingy in hard water), but it needs to be added to both the wash and the rinse to be effective, not just the wash water.

If you figure the cost of the more expensive ingredients needed to clean your laundry in hard water, a water softener unit may actually pay for itself in the long run. The only laundry products I use are 1-tablespoon of Charlie's (9-cents per load), and a 1/4-1/3-cup vinegar in the rinse of the kitchen towel load and the bath towel load.

-Grainlady


 o
RE: Laundry

Grainlady - I used double and it didn't make a difference, still very smelly work-out clothes. Only got worse with time too. My un-scented detergent doesn't have that problem. I'm not willing to stink like a guy for a couple of months to see if the Charlies will work. I used half a package and gave up.

We most definetly have plans for a water softner, we just have to save up the money first for the installation of one as it requires a lot of work no matter where we place it due to the placement of the water going into the house. Even DIY it is several weekends of work and materials needed.


 o
or Frontloader

Could also have something to do with that we have a front loader washing machine and maybe Charlies doesn't do too good there. I found a few other people that had similar experiences here on GW that Charlies didn't take out sweat smell out of clothes and it got worse over time.

I'm not sure why some doesn't seem to have this problem and others do.


 o
RE: Laundry

lyfia - Contact Charlie's Soap and get your money back. They will be happy to do that.

-Grainlady


 o
RE: Laundry

Where in the heck do you find Charlie's Soap? Online? Discount stores? It sure isn't in the mainstream stores, and I'd like to try it.


 o
RE: Laundry

Charlie's Soap is found on-line. I've never seen it in a store. -Grainlady

Here is a link that might be useful: Charlie's Soap


 o
RE: Laundry

There is a link on Charlie's website at the top for "Retail Locations". Click on that and then on your state and it will come up with stores that carry Charlie's products.

Janet


 o
RE: Laundry

I live in a rather irresponsible state of mind.

Do you think that Charlie's soap might work there?

We used to get threatened with having our mouths washed out with soap, if we used improper language.

ole joyfoul


 o
RE: Laundry

I made 5 gallons of homemade detergant using fels naptha and washing soda and borax. It was easy to do, I don't mind the smell, but my clothes are not as soft at all. Will vinegar do the trick? I've used it in the past but not with homemade detergant


 o
RE: Laundry

dgmarie -

You may need more than one rinse to remove the soap. If your water is hard, a softener in the rinse may help. Vinegar in the rinse will also help remove soap residue. It's the soap residue that makes them stiff.

Most people would be surprised if they washed their towels WITHOUT any soap/detergent, and how much suds there is in them.

Check out the link below.

-Grainlady

Here is a link that might be useful: Solving Laundry Problems


 o
RE: Laundry

I have a water softner already. Perhaps I am using too much. I used 1 cupful. I'll try reducing by half and I will try adding some vinegar and softner if needed.


 o
RE: Laundry

People all too often use way too much detergent and then they blame the machine for not working right! Too much detergent doesn't help your clothes, your machine or your budget. I use way less than I'm "supposed to" and get great cleaning and save money.


 o
RE: Laundry

Grainlady, I followed your link and I was pleasantly surprised to see a couple of things:
1.- No shipping charge on orders over $20
2.- Discount when you buy more than one item.

I didn't know there was a laundry forum, either! I just found this one a short time ago. You and I have had contact before in the Cooking forum, I think.

I just bought laundry detergent but I'm going to order when I need more. Also I have been using Simple Green as a degreaser. I bought a gallon jug at Sam's years ago and have yet to use it all. It's a concentrate that you can use full strength to a ratio of one part concentrate to five parts water. I've been using it full strength in a spray bottle when I need something that will really cut through grease. It does a great job but the smell chokes me up. I'll use what I have since I've already paid for it and all, but when it's gone I'm trying Charlie's All Purpose Cleaner too.

I'm in the same boat as you as far as no bus service and things being a distance away. We do have a new transit system that has started up but it's so expensive, and they only provide local transportation. So if you have a doctor in the largest metropolitan city, which for me is 50 miles away, you gotta have a car.

I do feel bad for people in other countries who have to pay so much more than we do for gas. And I know in your state they're building wind farms like they are in my state. I really hope that gains momentum.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Money Saving Tips Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here