I recently gave up on a long standing money saver- homemade laundry soap. For a couple years, I’ve been increasingly less satisfied with the state of my laundry and kind of wishing for better (store bought) detergents. This discontentment helped me (slowly, I was a die-hard) warm up to the idea of spending money on laundry soap again. My husband really fought it though; he just loves when I spend less money. The real clincher was the state of our towels. They just never smelled really clean, especially the kitchen towels. All of our household towels had stopped being absorbent though we never used fabric softener -usually the culprit- on them. As a result I was always washing things on hot, and heavy duty as well as going through a box of borax each week. This was not saving us money!
My husband & I knew that our washing machine wasn’t great and to some degree thought it was responsible for our dingy laundry. Being in very tight financial circumstances we didn’t attempt to replace it, though. My husband limped it along with repairs and replacement parts for years before we gave in and bought a newer, better model. For a while I told myself that we were saving a lot of money by not buying laundry soap so the lackluster results were acceptable.
After several years of washing with the homemade stuff, I made one last attempt to improve my formula. Thus trying a different amount of borax, washing soda, brand of bar soap, and even adding a little real laundry soap to my mix before finally quitting altogether. When nothing we tried improved the state of our laundry I finally had to admit that my detergent making days were done.
So, resigned to start buying laundry soap again, and longing for good smelling really clean clothes my husband turned to the professionals for detergent advice. Which was the best bang for our buck? What was best for our machine? Because my new washer needed to be treated well and last us at least another decade. He works for a company that services appliances and asked the technicians what laundry soap they recommended. The answer was to chose between, Tide, Whisk, and Kirkland Signature. These were, in their opinion, the best performers and recommended by the manufacturers for best performance in our HD machines.
We chose the Kirkland Signature (Costco brand) which was surprisingly affordable at about $15 a jug. There’s some buzz that the Costco brand is made by Tide. I’m inclined to believe it but can’t confirm it. Since we use much less than previously needed with the DIY stuff the giant jug lasts about 2 months. Not bad. We also don’t have to wash on heavy duty/hot anymore. Our clothes are clean on the “normal” setting without any added boosters or stain-fighters. Also the towels smell nice and fresh and are absorbent again. And so I’ve have fallen off the DIY laundry soap bandwagon and our laundry is better off for it.