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new to blogging and frugality

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Ok, hope this works. I am new to the whole blogging world. ALthough I read one on a regular basis of a fomer local radio dj in my area, I have never had one of my own. But this seems a good time as any to start and why not in a place where people can help me with financial issues. I am a married, mom of 4 wonderful boys. I work part time 2 evenings a week. My husband works full time, has gone back to school to persue his Masters Degree and is also in the Army Reserves...GO ARMY! ANywho, we are by no means well off, but we are not destitute either. I have not really paid too close attention to trying to save money until this past summer. Main reasons, my boys are getting bigger and eating more, gas prices and now 3 kids in private school...ouch. ANywho, I am starting some new things to try and save money. I have joined other Yahoo groups like Menus 4 Moms which gives lots of great advice on how to stretch your money with groceries and I even subscribe to their Frugal Mom's Menus which gives me a weekly menu plus shopping list to feed a family of 6 supper 5 nights a week, for $40 - $70. This Budget 101 group is amazing! I am attempting to incorporate more MYO things in our lives. Speaking of that if anyone has actually read this far, perhaps you can answer a question about the myo super economical laundry detergent. I made that and it says that the liquid will gell. Mine looks like cottage cheese and I am just wondering if I did something wrong. I am about to get more ingredients to make some more and would like to correct my error if I made one.
Well, I think that is all for my first attempt at blogging. Thanks for reading this and helping out with the detergent if you can.

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  1. FreebieQueen's Avatar
    I made that and it says that the liquid will gell. Mine looks like cottage cheese and I am just wondering if I did something wrong.
    Whoa, wait a min, don't go buy more stuff! Lets see if we can help you fix this batch. Which recipe did you use? (what were your ingredients)??
  2. jujuboys3's Avatar
    Here is the recipe I used for this. I am not buying more ingredients to replace a newly made batch. Even though it looked like cottage cheese I used it, it worked but I am running low and want to make a new batch, but thought I would find out if I messed this one up somehow before I attempted to make more.
    6 cups water

    1/3 bar fels naptha laundry detergent, grated

    1/2 cup arm & hammer super washing soda (NOT baking soda!)

    1/2 cup 20 mule team borax laundry detergent

    1 quart hot water in a 2 Gallon Bucket.

    hot water

    Combine 6 c. water and grated fels naptha in a large stockpot over low-med heat. Stir occasionally until fully dissolved, add in washing soda and borax, stirring until thickened. Cool slightly, (enough so it wont melt your 2 gallon plastic jug)

    Remove from heat and add to the quart of hot water in the 2 gallon bucket.

    This mix will gel. Use 1/2 c. per load. You can also add 20 drops of your favorite essential oil for a fresh scent if you wish.
    THanks so much for any help or advise you may have.
  3. Liss's Avatar
    Okay, when you made it, did you fully dissolve the borax and washing soda before adding it? Sometimes when I make this it clumps up with little dry lumps if not (fully dissolved).

    It usually takes several hours before it gels (I make mine in the afternoon and let it set overnight before use).

    Sometimes the dry ingredients just don't dissolve very well. If you have a wire whisk, you could try whisking them to see if it helps.

    I usually add lavender essential oil drops to mine and it makes the clothes smell so good!
  4. jujuboys3's Avatar
    Thanks for the advise Liss, I will make sure it is fully dissolved. I can't remember from the last time, but that makes sense. I will be making more in the next few days and will let your know how it goes!
  5. jujuboys3's Avatar
    Well, I made another batch of the detergent and this one turned out better. Maybe I am expecting a result that isn't going to happen. When the recipe says it will gell I am inagining hair gel....is this correct? Letting it set, it went from a warm yellow liquid to a cool white substance that is now mpre like cream soup than cottage. Sorry about the description, it's the best I can think of. AM I doing it right? It seems to work fine, clothes are clean, I just miss the nice smells from the store bought ones. I did buy some essential oils on sale, but the scents are not my favorite. Oh well, I got 5 bottles of oil for less than $3 so I won't complain.
  6. bflegg's Avatar
    My laundry detergent (same recipe that is here) usually gels, then I stir it up with the runny stuff on the bottom before using. I love this recipe...has saved me LOTS of money.

  7. FreebieQueen's Avatar
    you know, I was thinking about your detergent dilemma, do you perchance have hard water or really soft water? (Do you use a water softener?) That might be the only difference....
  8. jujuboys3's Avatar
    Now that you mention it, we do have hard, well water. We do have a filtering system, and I think a softener system but you may be right, that could be the difference. Well, regardless, it is working and saving me money so I will keep with it.
    THanks for all the help and info.
  9. FreebieQueen's Avatar
    Try increasing your fels naptha to 1/2 bar instead of 1/3 of a bar. I think that will give it more "gel" texture. I used a full bar the first time I made detergent, trying to make a "concentrate" , but it was like Jello Consistency.