Giving the Gift of Clean

I’m a couponer
. . . not an extreme couponer like in the {not so} reality TV show mind you . . .
just an average clip-the-coupons-from-the-Sunday-paper couponer. I shop and buy based on sales and stack with coupons. It’s been such a provision for our family as we seek to eat healthfully and yet stay on budget.
Shopping this way has allowed me to buy things, like laundry detergent, fairly cheaply. Most of the time, I’d get a regular size bottle of Gain for about $4-5 {$3.50 on a good day}, but it would only last me about 2-3 weeks.
That adds up to ~$100.80/year.
And that’s not including fabric softener, bleach, or stain removers.
Then I was introduced to a simple, easy-to-keep-up-with, cheap, and effective alternative:
 
{Thanks Mary Beth!}
Homemade Laundry Detergent! 
 
Simply mix:
1 bar of ivory soap shavings {pictured above}
1 cup of borax
1 cup of baking soda
with a wooden spoon and store in an airtight container!
Here’s the breakdown of the cost so you can compare for yourself:
{2} 4lb. boxes of baking soda: $5.78
{1} box of borax: $4.39
{1} 10 bar pk. of ivory soap: $5.29
{you can often find coupons for ivory soap, making it even cheaper}
Total: $15.46 
I’ve found that you can make approximately 10 batches, each being big enough to fill a large mason jar, with these materials.
{at 2-3 Tbsp/load, you’re covered for ~20 loads of stinky laundry/batch}
That’s $1.55/batch!
Now we’ll only spend $34.72/year.
That’s a savings of ~$66.08/year!
And your clothes really do come out clean.
Goodbye $4.50 Gain!
To take the savings to a whole new level, I started gifting the stuff.
My sister moved into her new house a few weeks ago, and as a house warming gift I made her a batch of laundry detergent so she could test it out for herself.
All of the Segar girls pitching in to get Charity’s house sparkling clean on moving day
To make it “giftable”, I stored the detergent in a clean, dry, mason jar and attached a handy wooden scoop with some twine.
{you can find cute scoops at Hobby Lobby or other craft stores}
I also printed up the “recipe” on some cardstock and glued it to the front of the jar so she can continue saving money on her laundry in the future.
{Hint: There are plenty of old mason jars and random canisters at Goodwill these days so you can always pick one up for cheap. If the mason jar is missing it’s lid, you can pick up a pack of lids from your local grocery store for a few well spent pennies.}
I already have plans for giving the gift of clean at . . .
. . . baby showers, paired with a box of huggies diapers or the momma’s cloth diaper of choice . . .
. . . wedding showers, paired with their set of bathroom or kitchen towels . . .
. . . and other house warming events, paired with a pretty potted flower . . .
The possibilities are endless in my mind’s eye!
A gift that saves you money and enables the person you give it to to do the same is my kind of gift!
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5 comments

  1. I've seen this posted a lot of times different places throughout the internet. Do you think it would be okay for a child that is allergic to fragrance? Mali is allergic to fragrances and so we have to use fragrance free everything (shampoo, laundry detergent, soap, etc.). I've wanted to try this, but I'm too after that she would react. What do you think?

  2. There isn't any fragrance in the mix so I'm pretty sure this would be safe for your daughter. If you would like to try it out I'd love to give you some so you can do a test run!

  3. Thanks for sharing, Susanna! I still faithfully use the same detergent and it works great for our family. I asked my pediatrician about it irritating children's skin since Keller broke out in a bad rash/hives a couple weeks ago and she said that based upon the ingredients I used, it shouldn't effect his skin. Plus, we've been using it forever and it's never bothered any of us before. Hope that helps Blaire a little!

  4. That's really helpful Mary Beth. Thanks!

  5. Awwww! Thanks, ladies! Susanna, we have several bottles of detergent that I got for pennies at CVS that still need to be used up, but after they're gone I would love to give your recipe a try! Thank you so much for the sweet offer!

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