Friday, January 24, 2014

Why I switched back to Gain...

Hi y'all! Happy Friday! At the end of 2012 and beginning of 2013 Pinterest (and even Facebook) was blowing up with DIY Laundry Detergent recipes. I read several blogs about them and they all swore that it smelled great, really worked, and the big kicker... that it would give you an entire year's worth of laundry detergent for only $30. 

Since I'm always looking for new ways to save money I thought this sounded great! Let's give it a try. So I made my own laundry detergent towards the end of 2012. I actually wrote the date on my container so I would know if it really lasted a full year or not. 11/6/2012. I used a recipe similar to (or maybe it was exactly) this one, and there really are TONS of dry laundry detergent recipes on Pinterest. The total cost of the supplies was just over $30. Plus I purchased a container to mix and store it in so that was an additional $10-$15. I figured if I keep making this, I'm only going to buy the container once, so why not buy something easy to carry, with locking lids so the kids couldn't get into it. 

One afternoon while the kids were napping I got out all of the ingredients and went to work. It definitely wasn't hard to grate the soap and mix the ingredients. Would it smell good? I'm a big fan of smell good stuff so I purchased two bottles of the Purex crystals. And all of the blog posts were right, it did smell amazing! 

But would the kids be allergic to it? We don't typically have problems with kids breaking out from things, but when McCrae was an infant (as he would have been still in November 2012) we couldn't use lotions on him because it would break him out. So I washed a few items in the new detergent and tried them out... nothing. No break outs at all. I washed more of his stuff in the new detergent and still nothing. So all was good on that front. 

Would it clean clothes well? I knew only time would tell with this one. I don't have a husband that works in the oil field or in a garage fixing cars, so we aren't people who typically come home with greasy clothes. I do have children who have rather explosive diapers at time and that can just be nasty. But even after just one wash, clothes and sheets were coming out clean and smelling great. Wonderful!

At this point, we're hitting a home run with this laundry detergent. But we still have to wait it out and see, is this batch of laundry detergent going to last a full year? The answer for us.... No. It was probably September of 2013 when I had to go out and buy another bottle of Gain because I was out of my DIY Laundry Detergent. Which means the batch of homemade detergent only lasted about 10 months. But let's say it really did last a full year. That would be a full year of laundry detergent for just over $30. 

How much do I spend on Gain? I buy the 50 fl oz bottles at Wal-Mart and they are $9.97 a bottle. Just yesterday I had to open my first new bottle since September. Which means one bottle of Gain lasts about 4 months in my house. Which means I would buy roughly 3 bottles a year and spend.... yep.... about $30 for a full year of laundry detergent that I don't have to grate, mix, store, measure, etc. 

So for us, for now, we're back on the Gain wagon. Although I do have my eye on a new idea... has anyone heard of soap nuts? I've been looking at them for a while but haven't pulled the trigger on buying any yet. 

What about you? Have you tried any DIY laundry detergent recipes? What did you think? Do you stick with store bought laundry detergent or are you interested in "greener" alternatives?


  1. Eh. We have farm clothes and hubby's new job is delivering oil, so, I stick with Tide. All the farmers' wives that I know swear by it. I use coupons and sales so it isn't too bad. I know we go through an awful lot of it, though. I have to do about 3 loads a day to stay on top of things. I appreciate your DIY review, though. I don't want to be tempted to try it- I have enough to do around here! :)

  2. I make my own cleaning supplies (vinegar is great for almost everything) but my hubby fixes small engines and lawnmowers, so he gets quite greasy and stinky sweaty. And he is particular about his clothes smelling good, so it's Arm and Hammer detergent for us.


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