Here’s a simple, quick way to save money: swap your laundry detergent for dish soap.
If you frequent frugal living groups and sites you’ll find a lot of folks bemoaning the cost of laundry detergent and posting a variety of recipes for making your own. Those recipes require you to grate up a huge batch of fels naptha soap bars, mix in some water and borax powder, and store the entire miasmic brew in a five gallon bucket.
I do not have room for a five gallon bucket in my laundry room.
Besides the storage problem, those concoctions can leave a residue in your machine. As that residue builds up you can find a foul odor emanating from your washer, and eventually the build up will damage your appliance.
So here’s my no-frills method for saving money on laundry: use one teaspoon of dish soap per load of laundry. No need to add detergent.
Won’t this damage my washer? This is safe for your machine, even your HE and front loader machines, as long as you don’t use too much dish soap. Seriously, one teaspoon is all you need. You can safely add two teaspoons if your clothes are really soiled.
Will any dish soap work? You don’t have to use the blue brand with the adorable duckling on the front, any store brand will do. Avoid getting any dish soap with bleach, though, or you might end up with spots on your clothing.
But my clothes are really dirty! If your clothes are extremely soiled, for instance if you have been dragged around the yard by a berserk sheep, you can run them through on a short cycle in cold water, without any additional soap. That initial soak and agitation will get a lot of the grime and dirt off your clothes. Then run a regular cycle with the dish soap.