Put that litter bucket to use! DIY detergent.

I had been waiting and waiting and WAITING for my store-bought laundry detergent to run out so that I could make my own. But given that I try to do as little laundry as possible, getting to the bottom of that bottle took about a million years.

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Then the day came. I had a mountain of laundry in the basement and had done the upside-down detergent bottle trick until the bottle was bone dry. I got my Pinterest-finger ready. 

Energy Saving Tip: Don't Re-invent the DIY - Pinterest Has A Purpose

Which led me here: The Hen Pen

A very simple, straight-forward and affordable homemade laundry detergent recipe. So I ran to the seedy grocery store down the street to see if they had the basics that I would need:

4- 4oz. bars of grated Castile soap
1- 78 oz. box of Borax
8- 16 oz. boxes of baking soda 
3 tbl. essential oil

I already had the essential oil. I had quite a few options left over from my DIY shampoo good times. (Which I'm still using, by the way. I have not reverted to Bumble & Bumble and their over-priced smell-goodery marketing tricks.)

Turns out, my seedy neighborhood grocer had the essentials. Just a hop skip and a jump from the beer/bacon/cheese aisle. 

photo by Cransky.
grocer's name blurred to protect the innocent.

But instead of 8 16oz boxes of baking soda, I got this economical beefcake, times 2:

We had a cat named Tamale Party for awhile. Then he took a tragic turn and is no longer with us. But the legacy of his little box remains with a perfect bucket for mixing and storing detergent. Thank you Tamale Party. RIP.

So I grated the Castile soap. I opened the baking soda boxes. I opened the Borax box. Then I dumped it in the (clean) litter bucket. I put in a few drops of gardenia essential oil and worked it into the powder with my hands. I mixed the powders together until I could no longer tell where the Borax ended and the baking soda began. The ingredients cost me about $20, and according to the blog/pin from whence this recipe came, it can last through 288 loads of laundry. So ... that's some savings. And it smells exactly as I want it to. And I'm reminded of my dearly departed cat every time I visit the basement and begrudgingly do laundry completely unsorted and wrong. 

Sanity Saving Tip: Do Full Loads of Laundry -- If You Do Laundry At All

p.s. This recipe works, yo. It took out a child's nosebleed wreckage from a pink princess pillowcase.


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