In which I do laundry (and math)

A lot of us have families and laundry is one of
those bitter pills we must swallow daily, lest we be swallowed up by
the mountain of clothes that always seems to linger in a corner of our
homes. Like it or not, laundry is something none of us can escape, even
if we have to figure out how to get someone else to do it (when you
figure that out, please let me know how).

At my house, the laundry
load is insane. I am married and have two small children who love to
play outside, we have two dogs, and I do a lot of cooking and cleaning
at home. If I don't do at least one load a day (wash and dry!) things
get majorly, horribly out of control fast. And it's not the doing of the laundry that's necessarily the problem, it's the expense.
You see? For many years I have been a Tide Girl. Oh you guys, I am such
a snob when it comes to laundry detergent. I don't know what happened!
But if my sheets and towels (and everything else) weren't washed in Tide
and dried with Bounce dryer sheets I didn't like it!! I made an
exception for baby clothes (enter Dreft! Also NOT CHEAP!) but otherwise I
very happily spent $20 every other week on a Costco-sized container of

That's $40 a month at least. That's $480 a year,
not including dryer sheets, bleach, stain spray … DUDE. Do you know
what I could do with an extra $40 a month? That's a lot of Starbucks!
And so last year I set out to find the silver bullet that would cut down
my laundry expenses. I tried making my own detergent.
And it was definitely way more cost-effective, but making up a batch of
laundry detergent in my food processor every other month was kind of a
messy pain. I liked that I was using a lot less detergent, but after I
paid $8 for three bars of Fels-Naptha on Amazon one day I went crawling
back to Tide (and sometimes Gain).

Not long ago my friend and fellow Style Lush writer A'Dell mentioned that she'd bought a 32-pound bucket of Charlie's Laundry Soap on Amazon for a hundred bucks. There was talk of how it has lasted our other friend Lauren
almost TWO YEARS. I read the reviews on Amazon and they were all
stellar. And so one day, with laundry detergent on my list and it being
generally known that I will copy anything A'Dell does, I went for it.

Charlie's Soap Powder Bucket, 1000 Loads, 32 Pounds


had the bucket for about a week and you guys? It's awesome. You use
literally one tablespoon of dry laundry detergent for a large load and
everything comes out bright and clean! It isn't scented like Evil Tide,
but I still have some dryer sheets left over and that helps with the
pain. And while math isn't my strong suit, stick with me here: The tub
ran me about $103. If it only lasts us a year, that means we will have
paid $8.58/month for detergent, which is a savings of more than
SEVENTY-FIVE PERCENT (and that's not even accounting for the months when
I would need to buy a third bottle of detergent!). I still have $31.42
left over per month! That's $377.04 extra in my yearly budget people!
And if it lasts me longer than a year? *I just passed out*

Other benefits include that this is a "green" detergent,
hypoallergenic and safe for everyone's clothes – be it Mama's nasty and yet technical workout clothes or Sydney's caked-in-something preschool duds – and you're not tossing a plastic
container several times a month.

Have you tried Charlie's yet? What's your best practice when it comes to saving money in the laundry department?

(This is not a sponsored post, by the way. I just love this stuff and I think you will too.)


4 thoughts on “In which I do laundry (and math)

  1. emily says:

    Ok – so here’s what I want to know – does it get out orange tomato stains? You know, spaghetti, lasagna, EVERY SINGLE variety of ever lovin’ baby food jarred on the shelf? How about set in stains?

    I have a jillion deliciously adorable outfits ranging from 6mo – 18mo that are hopelessly stained with this foul foul substance. Assuming we have another kid and it’s a girl, I’d like to reuse these clothes (but I feel bad for putting hypothetical child in stains that she didn’t have a hand in making). Assuming we don’t have another child (or our hypothetical child is male), I’d like to sell them and get as much cash as possible to buy more clothes that will get stained.

    Sorry for my ramblings, you get the picture. I have tried all variety of detergents & stain ‘removers’ and the only thing that really works so far is bleach… I am always on the hunt for a detergent that actually works. (even tide didn’t cut it – booooooo)

  2. Jesabes says:

    I LOVE Charlie’s. Right now, I get one of the little tubs ($11!!) every other month from Amazon. I should just go ahead and buy the huge one, but our laundry room is in the basement and super humid – even the little tub starts caking up and becoming hard to use before I finish it.

    And Emily, it does get out spaghetti sauce stains for me. Just fresh ones, though, not previously washed/set in stains.

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