As my husband wrote, he has been suffering from adrenal fatigue. One of the ways that we are attacking this illness is through diet. We ate fairly healthy food before this, but we've become even more radical. We buy organic as much as possible. We eat only free-range, grass fed meat. Lots of fresh fruits and veggies, little-to-no processed foods. This has made our grocery budget almost double. Since we are trying to save as much money as we can so that we can be debt-free, we decided that we would simply have to cut back in other areas. My husband's health is too important to me so we are making it a priority to eat well and buy good food. Unfortunately, you don't find coupons for organic veggies and fruit, so we really can't save that way. Therefore, we are trying to spend less money on other things.
One of the areas in which we are cutting back is cleaning supplies and products. We've been using vinegar as a natural cleaner for a while now. Recently, we made our own laundry detergent....and it was really easy, and REALLY cheap.
We followed this recipe (found through Amy's blog). I found a lot of different recipes online, but this one seemed to be the easiest, plus used cleaner ingredients. The only change we made was using Dr. Bronner's soap, instead of Kirk's. Amy did the math on her blog, and it comes out to be about .07 cents per load! So cheap! That was with Kirk's, instead of Dr. Bronner's, but I added a couple more dollars for the difference and it's still only .09 cents per load. Not bad, compared to the detergent we were using before.
The detergent has been working very well. There aren't any suds when you put it into the washer, so that freaked me out at first, but so far everything has come out clean! Z has very sensitive skin and we have always had to wash her clothes in a free & clear detergent. She hasn't had any problems with this detergent.
We have also been using this on our cloth diapers. We previously had been using Rockin' Green, which is about .35 cents per load. I did a little research online to see if homemade detergent would be ok with cloth diapers. I found that most of the trouble came with diapers that were made with materials other than cotton. Since all of our diapers are cotton because of sensitive skin issues, we decided to try it out. We discovered that we needed to cut the amount in half, so we only use 1 tablespoon per load instead of 2. Also, we add about a 1/2 cup of vinegar to the final rinse. It's been working great!
This detergent will also work as an all-purpose cleanser. You can use it to clean your sink, toliet, tub, etc. Like I said before, I usually use vinegar. However, if I need a little more cleaning power, this detergent does the trick.
Cheap, easy and effective!