Laundry detergent usually says "Fill cap to line 1," but it's impossible to see line 1, so we just fill up the cap, right? This uses 4x as much soap as you need! Take a permanent marker and mark line 1 inside the cap (you'll need a bright light to find it). Only fill to that line -- even for extra-large loads. Your clothes will get just as clean, and you'll save tons of money!
For powdered detergents, mark the measuring scoop the same way -- or use an old 1/4 cup measure as a scoop.
For front-loading washers, use even less soap (about 2 T)!
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This is cheap and compares to Tide with Bleach Alternative. Use 2 Tablespoons per load. Mix equal parts: borax, washing soda, Oxygen Cleaner, and powdered SUN laundry detergent. This really gets the stains out and whitens and brightens! Any powdered laundry detergent can be used in the recipe and mix it in a ziploc bag that has been closed! You can use Oxyclean for the Oxygen cleaner, but I use the off brand
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