Home Ec For Woodworking #1: Need Money For Woodworking? Make Your Own Laundry Soap and $ave!

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Blog entry by DogwoodTales posted 03-31-2012 06:06 PM 4494 reads 1 time favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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Are you short on cash for woodworking supplies and tools? Many of us are, but there are ways to cut our costs in one area and use those savings for our woodworking addiction.

This may sound like a sacrilege, but woodworkers do not live on sawdust alone. We also have other matters to tend to – such as the dreaded laundry. Well, here’s a way to make your own laundry detergent that will save you a lot of money and saving money on laundry soap means more money for woodworking supplies and tools!

When this formula for making laundry detergent was shown to me by my in-laws I have to admit that I was skeptical. “Think of how much money we can save!” My wife exclaimed. As enticing as the money savings sounded I still questioned the efficacy of this soap. So I told my wife that we’ll wait a little while and see how her sister ends up liking it. In the meantime we went on using the same name brand laundry soap we had been using. In fact we probably spent another $100 or more on laundry soap until I finally decided to give the stuff a try.

I found the process of making the soap very easy, that the soap cleans the laundry very well, that it’s actually a hypoallergenic laundry soap, and for less than a half hour of my time I’m saving hundreds of dollars a year on laundry detergent a year.

In addition to offering custom woodwork and floor refinishing services I also like to offer some simple home ec information.

After you check out this video please stop by my web sites and check them out.

-- Ray

7 comments so far

View David White's profile

David White

120 posts in 3280 days

#1 posted 03-31-2012 08:08 PM

By my calculation this would save me about 50c a week! I can’t wait to get to the tool shop to spend the savings!


View DogwoodTales's profile


29 posts in 2534 days

#2 posted 03-31-2012 08:35 PM

David – yeah, due to the variables of individual laundry demands, obviously the gross savings per week will not be the same for everyone. But even at 50 cents per week, that’s sill $26 a year. Perhaps that’ll pay for your sand paper or a router bit :-)

But for some of us with families, especially large families, the savings become huge and fast.

Plus there’s the added ecological benefit of not adding another empty jug to the land fill or energy used to make one and recycle it.

-- Ray

View eddie's profile


8565 posts in 2613 days

#3 posted 04-01-2012 04:24 AM

wish i had know about this when my five kids were home ,all have left the nest now but i always need to save a buck i,ll be giving it a try i need to buy some soap tomorrow think i’ll go for this if i can find the stuff for it. how dose it smell just wondering ? thanxs for the post

-- Jesus Is Alright with me

View DogwoodTales's profile


29 posts in 2534 days

#4 posted 04-01-2012 04:04 PM

It smells like nothing really, just like a mild soap.

Someone once said that he does his best thinking at church – ahem. Anyway, on my way to church this morning I happened to think about the cost savings on this and I realized I erred in my math.
$20 is NOT the cost per year. $20 is the cost of the initial investment of one box of borax, one box of washing soda and one bar of Fels Naptha soap. However, the boxes of Borax and soda go a long long way and probably make a couple hundred gallons of laundry detergent with the additional cost of a bar of the Fels for every 10 gallons.

In short it costs less than $5.00 per 10 gallons of detergent. Depending on how you measure it out per load (1/4 cup per load or 1/2 cup per load) if you average out the use to .375 cups per load, you will get over 400 washes out of those ten gallons. In short buy making your own soap you will save 17 cents per load over the name brand that I was using.

I’m saving $19 per gallon, and I with my large family I’m saving over $300 a year. Everyone will also realize the same savings – but it may take more or less time depending on your laundry demands.

-- Ray

View usnret's profile


184 posts in 2507 days

#5 posted 04-01-2012 05:28 PM

I use the same stuff except I use it in powder form instead of liquid. I use 1 cup of Borax, 1 cup of Washing Soda, 1/2 bar of Zote laundry soap. I use 1 tablespoon for a load of laundry and it works amazingly. It does really well at getting the smell out of the dogs bedding.
I figured I save .15 cents a load on laundry.
I also make my own dishwasher soap that consists of 1 cup washing soda, 1 cup borax, 1/4 cup kosher salt, and 1/4 cup citric acid. Stir thouroughly, and I mean thouroughly. It will have the tendency to clump so when I do dishes I just shake the container good to mis it up and break up the clumps. I also fill the rinsing agent with distilled white vinegar instaed of Jet Dry. I save .15 cents per load on soap and over .15 cents per load on rinse agent.

-- Chief Petty Officer USN(RET) 1991-2011

View derosa's profile


1577 posts in 2834 days

#6 posted 04-01-2012 05:46 PM

I’ll have to check this out, we use cloth diapers to save money but the cost of laundry detergent that isn’t full of chemicals to add that fresh clean smell, bleach, or color saving agents is really expensive.

-- --Rev. Russ in NY-- A posse ad esse

View DogwoodTales's profile


29 posts in 2534 days

#7 posted 04-01-2012 06:50 PM

Here’s another way to look at the cost savings. 1.32 gallons of the brand name I was buying at Sam’s Club cost about $19-20, but 1.32 gallons of this homemade soap costs me $0.66 and less than a half hour to make 10 gallons of the stuff.

-- Ray

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