Thursday, April 8, 2010

Homemade Laundry Detergent

I've been making our laundry detergent for a while and thought it would be nice to share it on the ol' blog. Besides...my paper with the recipe on it is starting to smudge and smear with repeated soap and water mishaps. It seems wise to have a copy that's easy to access and won't get soggy.

My good friend, Jill, discovered this recipe by Crystal at The Family Homestead. Jill and I got together to make it the first time, and it was fun and interesting. The cost savings compared to buying laundry detergent is just amazing! We've both made our own ever since!

Homemade Laundry Detergent

You will need:
1/3 bar of Fels-Naptha laundry soap
1/2 to 1 cup Washing soda (not baking soda)
1/2 to 1 cup Borax powder
bucket (about 2 gallon size)

Notes: 
~I usually add more than 1/2 cup washing soda and borax when making the detergent. They're boosters. I have 3 kids. I need all the boosting I can get. 
~When washing a heavily soiled load, I'll add some oxi-clean to that load as well.
~The finished detergent will be slightly gelled. Just give it a little shake or stir before each use.

~This is a low-sudsing detergent and will not produce many bubbles. That's okay! The bubbles don't clean our dirty clothes. This detergent works. Honest.

~This has worked wonderfully in both my HE machine and my mom's HE machine. From what I understand, you want low-sudsing detergent for these machines, so it's perfect!

~CRAZY COST CALCULATION: It costs me about $1 to make a batch of this detergent. That's a whole batch...64 loads. That's about 2 cents a load!

1.  Grate the soap.

2.  Put it in a sauce pan. Add 6 cups water and heat until the soap melts. Add the washing soda and the borax and stir until it is dissolved. 

3.  Remove from heat. Pour 4 cups hot water into the bucket. Add the soap mixture and stir. Now add 1 gallon plus 6 cups water and stir. 
(I like to use my handy assistant for the stirring. She loves making laundry detergent!)

4.  Optional: You could add 1/2 to 1 ounce of essential oil or fragrance oil to your detergent at this point. The scent doesn't seem to stick around with the laundry, so I don't always use it.

5.  After mixing, I pour my detergent through a funnel into an old large detergent dispenser from Costco. If you don't have something like this, you could just store your detergent in your bucket.

6.  Use 1/2 cup per load.
I poured 1/2 cup of liquid into this cap and traced the water level with a sharpie for easy detergent measuring.

And that's all there is to it! Hello Kitty socks are completely optional.



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5 comments:

Jessica Hills said...

I SO want to make this! Is it cheaper than buying liquid detergent?

Marie said...

It comes out to be about $1 per batch of detergent! That does 64 loads! 2 pennies a load is just amazing to me! Let me know how it goes if you make it :)

Anonymous said...

Could you use this in HE washers?

Marie said...

Yes. That's what I have. I think one of the main things to look for in detergent for HE washers is "low sudsing". Actually, I should have mentioned that in the post...this produces very little suds/bubbles. I'll update the post...thanks, guys, for those great questions!

Jessica Hills said...

Thanks so much for posting this on Favorite Things Friday!

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