Cleaning With Food Stamps – Homemade Scented Purex Softening Laundry Crystals

Full disclosure: this post includes a handful of affiliate links, which I do benefit financially from. Thanks to those of you who opt to support me and this blog by buying through the links!

Last week: Homemade Washing Soda

This week’s homemade trick is inspired by a post by the good lady Karrie over at HappyMoneySaver.com. The recipe, if you can call it that, feels almost unfair in its simplicity – just two ingredients, one of which you can probably get away without:

[For those of you who can’t wait, the ratio is 15-20 drops per 1 c salts. You may use less if you find the scent too strong – I, however, like nice pungent socks! Wait, that didn’t come out right… anyway, use 2 Tbsp per load. 4 c salts will make 32 loads’ worth of crystals.]

Originally I thought that Purex crystals also had fabric-softening properties, but apparently they discontinued that and now it’s just a “laundry booster,” whatever that means. The original stuff had sodium chloride [table salt] in it as the softener, but the latest ingredient list does not include salt of any kind. Incidentally it does contain table *sugar* though… not sure what that’s about. But I don’t think it’s used for softening purposes, in any case. According to this page on the EWG site, basically all that stuff does now is make it smelly and… that’s it. All the other stuff is to get the smell from the bottle onto the clothes, with fillers, colors, moisture-absorbers and, randomly, sugar. But it just smells so darn GOOD!

But more important to me is softening, so back to the salts we go.

Karrie’s recipe calls for epsom salts and essential oils – which are awesome, make no mistake. They work amazingly; the epsom salts have a softening effect, and the essential oils double as aromatherapy and antibacterial/whatever amazing benefit your selection offers. [My current favorites are rose, jasmine, lemon, and lavender.] Plus, epsom salts are frequently MUCH cheaper than kosher or rock salt.

BUT. For those of us who are relegated to food stamps, however, neither of those ingredients are covered so we need alternatives. Fortunately kosher/course salt works great instead of the epsom salts, and is totally FS-friendly. In addition, the blogosphere claims that it will also stop fabric dyes from bleeding/fading, particularly blue jeans.

As for proper essential oils, there we are out of luck. Admittedly we can leave these out and just stick with the salt, but then we’d be left with just plain old, smells-like-water laundry. And who wants that? Amiright?

SO. What to do.

I’ve seen some people on these interwebs that claim you can use baking extracts in place of essential oils, especially if the extracts don’t contain sugar or anything sticky-like. They also might not have as many of the health benefits as pure essential oils, since it’s probably been diluted with a carrier oil or some other oil, but you can still enjoy the nice fresh scent you love.

To “assemble” your crystals, if you’re using oils:

  • Big lidded container.
  • Large bowl, if the container doesn’t have a wide mouth.
  • Salts and oils.
  • Large bowl >> 4 c salts, 60-80 drops of oils.[For me, that’s 30 rose, 25 lemon, 25 lavender.]
  • Stir until mixed thoroughly.
  • Store in lidded container.
  • Use 2 Tbsp, or 1/8 c per load.

4 c = 32 loads, more if you mix the “crystals” in with homemade detergent mix.

Has anybody tried/done this before? Successes? Suggestions? Share in the comments – I’d like to know what’s really working for people!

Two down…

  • Laundry Detergent, Liquid & Powdered – Brightens & Whitens WITHOUT Borax!
  • Mirror/Window Cleaner-&-Fabric Softener-In-One… WHAAAT!?
  • Powdered Better-Than-OxiClean Stain Fighting Laundry Booster [No Liquid Peroxide]
  • Homemade Washing Soda
  • Homemade Scented Purex Laundry Crystals
  • Dishwasher Detergent & Homemade Finish® Rinse [No Castile Soap]
  • Homemade LemiShine Dishwashing Booster
  • Hand Washing Dish Soap That Actually Works – No Residue!
  • Hand Soap [NON-Antibacterial]
  • Sanitizing Floor Cleaner, Reusable Mop Pads & A Swiffer Wet-Jet Hack
  • Cleaning “Stink-B-Gone” Toilet Fizzies
  • Homemade Clinging Toilet Bowl Cleaner
  • Lemon Dusting Spray & Reusable Cloths
  • Coconut Milk Shampoo & Conditioner [No Castile Soap, ACV or Baking Soda Here!]
  • Bonus week: How I Went Paper-Less & Saved Over $70 Per Month!

Next time: Mirror/Window Cleaner-&-Fabric Softener-In-One… WHAAAT!?

If you want to start from the beginning of the series, you totally can! Just click here. Oh, and don’t forget to subscribe – wouldn’t want to miss the rest of the series, would you? *wink wink* Thanks for reading!

signature 03

Welp, that was easy! One down…

  • Laundry Detergent, Liquid & Powdered – Brightens & Whitens WITHOUT Borax!
  • Mirror/Window Cleaner-&-Fabric Softener-In-One… WHAAAT!?
  • Powdered Better-Than-OxiClean Stain Fighting Laundry Booster [No Liquid Peroxide]
  • Homemade Washing Soda
  • Homemade Scented Purex Laundry Crystals
  • Dishwasher Detergent & Homemade Finish® Rinse [No Castile Soap]
  • Homemade LemiShine Dishwashing Booster
  • Hand Washing Dish Soap That Actually Works – No Residue!
  • Hand Soap [NON-Antibacterial]
  • Sanitizing Floor Cleaner, Reusable Mop Pads & A Swiffer Wet-Jet Hack
  • Cleaning “Stink-B-Gone” Toilet Fizzies
  • Homemade Clinging Toilet Bowl Cleaner
  • Lemon Dusting Spray & Reusable Cloths
  • Coconut Milk Shampoo & Conditioner [No Castile Soap, ACV or Baking Soda Here!]
  • Bonus week: How I Went Paper-Less & Saved Over $70 Per Month!

Next time: Homemade Scented Purex Laundry Crystals!

If you want to start from the beginning of the series, you totally can! Just click here. Thanks for reading!

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