I recently learned how to make my own laundry soap. From $5 worth of materials, I have a 5-gallon bucket of laundry soap. Also, the borax and washing soda I bought (that was the $5), when mixed half-and-half, make dishwasher detergent. Since I still have a box of borax under my sink, our homeschool science project today was making Flubber. (Yes, like the movie, except, of course, not with its own personality.)
I'm not typically the most "green" person I know (OK, stop laughing. I know I'm a gas-guzzling, convenience-food-feeding, disposable-diaper-using, high-maintenance-hair-product-needing environmental terrorist.). But I'm also pretty cheap. Especially about things I can make at home. The environmental thing is just a bonus.
- Grate a bar of soap (whatever kind you want; a scent you like)
- Melt soap in a small pot of boiling water
- Pour melted soap and water into a 5-gallon bucket, stir.
- Add 1/2 cup of borax and 1 cup of washing soda, stir again (make sure it is dissolved)
- Slowly (so it doesn't bubble up too much) fill the bucket with water, stir again
- Let gel overnight, stir, pour into an empty detergent bottle for dispensing
This is slightly thinner than regular detergent, but works great. Use about 1 cup per load (the standard measure on a jumbo-size detergent bottle).
- in an empty jar w/ lid, mix 1 part borax and 1 part washing soap.
- Use about 1/4 cup per load (split between the 2 compartments of the washer). If your water is hard and it leaves a film, put white vinegar in the Jet-Dry compartment.
In one bowl, mix 1 cup white glue, 3/4 cup water and a few drops of food coloring.
In a second bowl, mix 2 tsp. borax and 1/2 cup warm water.
Pour bowl 1 into bowl 2, they will combine automatically and you can just pull out globs of "Flubber".
(This was a math lesson, too, since I discovered that I only had 1/2 cup of glue, so I had to halve the recipe!)
So there you go...my contribution to the environment and your (and my) wallet.