Your questions answered: Laundry detergents
Even though it's still cold here in our part of Ohio, I'm getting anxious to start using my outdoor clothesline again! :) Here are a couple of questions I received about laundry detergent:
Do you still make your detergent? I'm trying to be careful with money. I've been buying Purex, Xtra or Sun, but then I feel compelled to also use Arm and Hammer super washing soda. I don't know if I should just bite the bullet and buy expensive detergent. Could you tell me your opinion? I also wash in cold water. That's one reason I think I need an extra additive.
Yes, I do still make my own detergent, though I haven't made any since Ruth was born. I'm presently using some Arm and Hammer detergent that was given to us, and I also have some packets of Tide free samples to use.
In the past, I've used all of the brands you mentioned and liked them just fine! As far as needing an additive -- well, I think that depends on just how dirty your clothing is. Our laundry really does come clean without additives, though I occasionally use a little bleach on our whites (maybe once every 3 months or so).
I think sometimes we tend to want to add more soap, more boosters, more stuff to our washers because it makes us feel better, and not because it's necessary. I especially found this to be the case with me and my cloth diapers, which only need an amazingly tiny amount of detergent. :)
And, from personal experience, the Washing Soda can be rather harsh on fabrics. You're probably not sprinkling it directly on your laundry, but still be careful. :) I use is sparingly -- like I do with bleach. :)
Lori also emailed me asking:
I read your idea on just using borax and washing soda for your laundry soap. I have a question for you on how you made it since this is the first time I am venturing into the homemade soap field. Did you use boiling water to dissolve the powder or just regular water hot water? How have the long term results of this have been?I did heat my water on the stove, since our hot tap water isn't extremely hot. Some people don't even dissolve their borax, grated bar soap, and washing soda before using -- they just sprinkle it in the washer. I haven't tried that myself, since I often use cold water for laundry.
I haven't done anything scientific, and I also haven't used exclusively homemade detergent for a long period of time, so I hesitate to comment on long-term results. I honestly think I like store-bought detergent better than my homemade, even if just for the scent. ;) I make my own detergent to save money. :)