Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Frugal Laundry Liquid Old and New Price

I was asked yesterday if it was worth me making my own laundry liquid:

Answer 1 - is yes.
Answer 2 - I know what is in it, what it is doing to the environment etc.

For example, here is what is in an own brand value liquid detergent:

Value biological concentrated laundry liquid contains amongst other ingredients: Anionic Surfactants 5-15% Non-Ionic Surfactants, Soap, Phosphonate Less than 5% Also contains: Enzymes, Optical Brightener, Dimethylol Glycol, Perfume, Hexyl Cinnamal, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Citronellol, Geraniol.

It comes with this warning:

DANGER Causes serious eye damage. If medical advice is needed, have product container or label at hand. Keep out of reach of children. Read label before use. Wear eye protection. IF IN EYES: Rinse cautiously with water for several minutes. Remove contact lenses, if present and easy to do. Continue rinsing. Immediately call a POISON CENTER or doctor/physician.

Using the above costs 6p per wash but I for one, would never want to use it!Other makes cost between 20p and 30p per wash and have similar ingredients.

Liquid Soap

Dri Pak and Wilko have decided to stop making/selling soap flakes and replaced them with liquid soap. I thought I might just do a price comparison with the liquid soap flakes per wash.

Dri Pak (greater than 30% soap content) is for sale anywhere from £3.00 to £4.81 per 750ml bottle. In hard water (here) I would need to use 80ml per wash and would get about 9 washes from a bottle. Using the lowest price as a guide, that would cost 33p per wash.

Wilko's own brand (between 15% to 30% soap content), is for sale at £2.50 in their own shop. Again, using 80ml per wash equates to 24p per wash.

On that front, you pay your money and make your choice.

Soap Flakes

Dri Pak soap flakes used to cost £2.20 - Wilko was about £1.99 if I remember correctly.

Using 2oz of soap flakes as the base of frugal laundry liquid would cost 27p with Dri Pak and 25p with Wilko, so let's say 26p as an average per wash.

Washing Soda Crystals

The other ingredient in my frugal laundry liquid is washing soda crystals. Dri Pak have now introduced that in liquid form as well (I do hope that means they are not going to stop producing the crystals). The price difference is huge. 1 kg of crystals is 99p, whereas the liquid version is £1.35 for 500 mls + an unknown amount of water to make it into a liquid.

Using the same weight for making frugal laundry liquid amounts to 5p for crystals or 34p for liquid and being watered down, I have no idea whether it would work - probably not.

Price for crystals and soap flakes for old price frugal laundry liquid

2oz of soda crystals = .05p  
2oz of soap flakes    = .27p  
Total                         = .32p

But wait, there is more!

Once made, my soap flakes based frugal laundry liquid has a total of 4 litres of water in it and 1 cup or 250 mls is used per wash. That meant that 16 washes for 32p used to cost 2p per wash.

New price includes P & P unfortunately so new price now equates to 16 washes for 3.25p per wash. Everything in it is bio-degradable or safe for the environment - and us:).

Using washing soda crystals helps keep my machine clear of scrum or soap residue, fresh smelling and shiny.

Not a huge difference and if I could buy them in a shop I would save on the P & P.


  1. The chemicals are frightening in washing products. I.need to have a go at making some. Nearest wilko is 20 miles away :) I will bulk buy ingredients when I next go I am wondering whether to add a drop of essential oil but am not sure how much and how safe that is. I use good old white vinegar as a softener.

    1. I think all big supermarkets sell the washing soda crystals, it is the soap flakes, in their dry state that is now almost impossible to find. Using liquid soap flakes doesn't work as I found out. 1/2 a grated bar of cheap soap is the best substitute. We also use white vinegar as a conditioner. Not only is it cheaper but is not full of chemicals.

    2. I was going to suggest grating a bar of soap, which is what I do, but I make gloop i.e. thicker/ less water. Re essential oils, I add about 10 drops of tea tree and 10 of lavender because they are the cheapest oils I can find. Tea tree is antiseptic and both smell nice.

    3. As I use 2 cartons to store the liquid, I put 15 drops of lavender in one and a similar amount of lemongrass in the other, then shake well before use.

  2. Well worth doing then, on cost alone.

    The fact that you know exactly what is in it and that it causes no damage to either you or the environment is a brilliant bonus. In fact for those reasons alone it would be worth still making it if the cost were the same as, or even greater than the shop bought washing products.

    Why are we so easily parted with our money for things that do us damage in the long run, whether it be cleaning products or fast food stuffs. :-(

    1. If clothes are a little 'off colour', then I will use a scoop more of crystals, some borax substitute or the safest whitener I can find.

  3. Tesco now do washing soda at 99p pack - i hope they don't stop as I use that with a teeny amount of Ecover for washing

    1. I think I might get some extra in just in case!

  4. I keep thinking about making my own so maybe I will soon.


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