Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Homemade Laundry Detergent

Well, I'm sad to say this is my last of homemade home stuff.  Still on my list, however, is dish soap, toothpaste (we'll see if Trent partakes), candles and chapstick.  

I started making laundry detergent when my friend Gaylene told me that she makes it. I was immediately attracted to the idea and when I found out it was WAY cheaper (I mean way cheaper), I was all in.  I don't have record of the specifics, but the initial cost is about $8 and the ingredients last a while. Plus, it's natural.

I googled it (this was before I knew what pinterest was) and this was and is the recipe I follow.

You'll need:

  • 1/2 cup Borax
  • 1/2 cup Washing Soda 
  • 1/3 bar Fels-Naptha soap (some recipes say you can use Ivory, but Fels smells swell).  (Did you like that)?
  • 2 gal. container (I used an empty 64-load detergent container)
  • Essential oil of your choice (optional) -- I have used Lavender in the past

P.S.  Did you notice that Borax and Washing Suds are also in the homemade dish detergent?  Score.

Disclaimer:  Your clothes won't smell like Tide.  Or Gain.  Or flowers.  They really won't smell at all.  To be completely honest, I kinda miss that smell.  But, I like that I'm saying "NO" to "the man" and making my own for WAY cheaper and way more natural.  We all have our soap boxes, don't we?  (Pun intended).

Grate the 1/3 bar of soap and put in sauce pan.  Doesn't it look like confetti?  So pretty.
Add 6 cups water and heat until the soap melts.  I do this @ med-low heat. (Please disregard our 1972 stove).
Add washing suds and borax and stir until dissolved. Remove from heat.
Add 4 cups HOT WATER to your container.
Then add your soap mixture and stir (or shake).
Then add 1 gallon and 6 cups of water to the mixture and stir (or shake).
Let sit 24 hrs. and it will gel.  I use 1/2 cup per load.  The final product won't be a gel.  It will look more watery and won't produce a lot of suds in the wash. That's okay...don't be alarmed. 
(I also add a little more Borax in with the wash when I start it).  

Now, my friend Gaylene doesn't do the water addition or melting part.  She uses (I think) the same measurements, but keeps it in it's original state and uses a tablespoon or so, per load.  I haven't tried that yet, but if you're a mom with limited time, that might be a better option for you!

Happy soap making and cheers to saving money!

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