The Homemade Laundry Room

Several years ago I started looking for alternatives to commercial laundry products. I had two main reasons for doing this. First, commercial products were becoming more and more expensive and I was having trouble finding ones that worked well, or at least well enough to justify their price tags. Second, I wanted products that were more environmentally friendly, less toxic, and less wasteful. No more fumes and chemicals. No more big jugs and bottles to recycle and no more one use dryer sheets heading for the landfill. Through a lot of trial and error, I found several recipes and ideas that make every aspect of doing the laundry cheaper and better for the environment. Here are my picks:

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11 Responses to The Homemade Laundry Room

  1. Hilary says:

    I wonder what the environmentally-friendly difference is between homemade laundry detergent and something like Seventh Generation detergent? I wonder if the latter uses Borax?

    By far the biggest money-saver for me doing laundry is the fact that I air-dry my clothes. Because I live in an apartment and pay per load, it saves me $1.50/load. If you’re doing 5-6 loads per week (!!), though, that’s probably not an option. I’m on my own, so I only do one load every 2 weeks or so. I actually find it easier because I only have to go down to the laundry room twice, instead of three times.

  2. Well, according to the prez of Seventh Generation, one needs little if any laundry detergent. This was featured in the WSJ. When I discussed on my own blog, I received many concurring opinions. Generic detergent in my area is about 5 cents a load on sale–hence, if you use half of that, you are spending only pennies a load.

    The best way to save on dryer sheets is not to use them!

  3. mom-from-missouri says:

    I have been doing this for years, and it adds up. I probably save around $200 a year, based on our family size by making my own.
    And, I save even further by line drying.

  4. Mrs. Money says:

    It’s funny because I make so much of my own products that it’s second nature now! I have been making laundry detergent for a couple years now. Love it!

  5. Gail says:

    Front loading washer/dryer combo machines don’t need dryer sheets or fabric softeners. We got one of these machines as we didn’t have space for two machines. If cost a lot but has paid for itself. When we lived with metered water, the quarterly water cost was down $20, no more dryer sheets, a very small amount of detergent and you are good to go. I also dry severl loads a week on a dryer rack my MIL was getting rid of so that was free. During the winter I set the dryer rack over a heat vent so it doesn’t take that long for the stuff to dry plus it adds needed moisture into our dry winter air.

  6. Breton Wench says:

    Great post, and I agree with FS, dryer sheets?? Why? Never used them and don’t see the need. It s just more ‘stuff’ we are encouraged to buy.

  7. Rebecca says:

    Good to know about the alternative to dryer sheets. I am making my first laundry detergent on Sat. After that, throwing out chemical cleansers and mixing my own. Feels good to take responsibility – for environment, safety, finances, etc. AND I will be able to actually inhale while cleaning!

  8. Sonja says:

    What is a dryer sheet? I’ve never even heard of it. So I very much doubt you actually need one.

  9. Jeffrey says:

    It’s a sheet placed in the dryer with clothes that keeps them from getting static cling.

  10. Padraigin says:

    I envy you folks who live in houses with yards so you can hang a clothes line for air drying. We apartment dwellers do indeed have to be creative when we want to air dry (e.g., the folding dryer over a heat vent). I’m wondering if anyone knows how to easily de-toxify dryers in public laundromats (i.e. remove the fumes left behind from dryer sheets even after the sheets have been removed that stink up my clothes and make me ill). Thanks!

  11. Kathy says:

    has anyone explored how to make your own dryer bars yet? I have extremely sensitive skin and can’t use downy or like fabric softeners because I am allergic. Dryer sheets make me break out in hives as well. I am looking for an all natural way to re-purpose my downy dryer bars and make them reusable but can’t for the life of me figure out how to make that work. I also don’t know what type of raw materials to start with to make it and I am sure whatever it is it’s not going to cost me $6.00 every single time….$6.00 for 10 or 20 maybe but not just for one lol. Any ideas would be welcome and very helpful. I know someone out there has at some point thought the same thing. How do we stop having to pay such high prices for things we can make on our own for a third of the cost.

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