Saturday, July 4, 2009

Tide vs. Homemade laundry soap

I have never used expensive laundry soap. We used to have a Sam's Club membership and I would buy the cheapest one there. Then last August, I started using coupons and shopping at CVS and Walgreens and decided to see if a membership was really necessary or if I could find deals on the things I normally bought there. I have successfully avoided Sam's Club for almost a year and spent a lot less on groceries and household items. The downside is that there has been more running around and more time spent on looking for deals. I'm not ready to give it up entirely but I'm thinking about seeing if I can continue a cash budget and have a membership at Sam's to simplify life a little.

But I digress - this is about laundry soap. Recently I found a blog about homemade laundry soap. The author said that she had 3 boys who were very dirty and it worked great. I looked at the store the next time I was there and found the 3 products needed (bar of Fels Naptha soap, washing soda, Borax) and it would be less than $10 total. Those 3 would make at least 3 batches of 3 gallons so it really appealed to me.

I made the soap two weeks ago and it was really easy to do. Then I tried it out on a regular load of clothes and was very disappointed. There were a few clothes with dirt on them and after the wash cycle, they looked exactly the same except wet. So disappointing.

Then we went on vacation and I knew I'd have to do laundry once while we were gone. I had gotten some samples of Tide in the mail so I took those. When I got to the laundromat with our very filthy clothes, I realized I had no stain remover. I wondered how they would turn out but decided they'd at least smell better. I couldn't believe it when I pulled them out and saw that almost everything was completely clean! The only thing that wasn't were some of Brendan's socks.

When we got home yesterday, I had lots of laundry to do so decided to try a couple things. I did one load with All and used the homemade as a stain remover. Everything came out pretty clean. I did one load with the homemade and also used the homemade as a stain remover and nothing came out clean. I did a load of whites with All and bleach - Brendan's socks looked just the same as they did after using Tide.

I am seriously thinking about switching to Tide but not sure if I can really pay so much after paying so little all year. I keep reminding myself that I'll save time and money by not having to use stain removers, too. Maybe I'll buy a little bottle of Tide and do some more experiements first. I'd love comments about your favorite laundry soap!


Anonymous said...

I always use the All Free and Clear. I've never tried Tide as it's always so much more expensive than All...maybe I'll have to try it sometime! I was getting excited about making my own laundry soap but glad you tried it out first. Thanks for the head's up! :)
Jen B.

Judy said...

I tried making my own soap and liked it for a couple of months. I found that over time, our clothes became dingy...especially the whites (I even used bleach). I have stopped using the homemade stuff and notice a huge difference. Will not go back. Some things are worth the price.

Julie Durocher said...

I always buy the cheap stuff. Never tried TIDE...never tried experiments. But you've got me curious. My whites never stay looking white after a few washes. I generally don't buy white clothes except socks and underwear. Maybe it's worth a try?

Kelly said...

I always try to use All Free and Clear, as most of us are allergic to anything with scent. However, about every 3 months or so I buy Tide Free just to brighten everything up. It's just too expensive to use it year around, although I would rather :)