Tomorrow, I’ll talk about line-drying, but today I’m going to share a not-so-successful thing I did recently. A year or so ago, I read about how to make homemade laundry detergent on The Simple Dollar. The thought of mixing up a 5 gallon bucket was overwhelming to me, though, so I put off trying it for a while. However, this summer I finally got motivated. First I tried making a powdered version, but that got my food processor all soapy. So, I tried the liquid detergent recipe, but I cut it in half to make it a little more manageable.
And, at first I thought it was working fine. It wasn’t sudsy, but the clothes appeared to be as clean as usual. After a couple of weeks, though, my kid’s clothes and especially my kitchen towels and washcloths began to have a funky smell…sort of a combination of stinky feet and the smell of a hamper, which is not exactly the scent I was hoping for. At first I thought that perhaps the line-drying was to blame, so I tried running a few loads through the dryer. Although these clothes were fluffy and soft, they still smelled like stinky feet.
So, I broke down and bought a container of regular detergent, and the clothes washed with it have a lovely, fresh scent even when I line-dry them.
I’m so bummed about this…the homemade detergent cost only pennies, and it wasn’t even hard to make. I really, really wanted it to work well! Sigh. It did seem to do the job on things like bath towels and sheets, so I will probably keep it around to use for things like that(but definitely not for kid’s clothes or kitchen towels!). Still, I wanted to be one of those people who never bought laundry detergent again.
If any of my dear readers have some advice on how to make this work, I’m all ears. But until I figure out something better, I’m sticking with my store-bought detergent!