Saturday, January 22, 2011

Making Your Own Laundry Detergant

I have made my own detergent in the past. The powder in THIS post is a huge bucket of Costco brand detergent. Here are a few ways to make your own. It costs less and really isn't that hard to make.

Dry Detergent:

1 cup Borax powder
1 cup washing soda powder
2 cups Fels Naptha Soap, grated (the best stain remover EVER. I speak from experience)

Using a clean and dry cheese grater, grate the Fels Naptha soap. Put the powders and grated soap into a screw top mason jar. Put the lid on, and shake the contents vigourously to blend them. The resultant mix looks like sunshine in a bottle.
When you get ready to use the soap powder, use ONE tablespoon for a small/medium load, and TWO tablespoons for a large load. I know that this sounds insane, but you really, REALLY don't need any more than that. No, it won't hurt your clothes. It ALSO won't hurt the environment.

The above recipe will NOT make suds in your washer so don't be alarmed. Fels Naptha Soap is a pure soap and typically makes little or no suds in the water. This makes it perfect for use in the new HE washers as well as traditional washers.
You will also notice the need to either reduce your laundry softener or in most cases you can even eliminate the use of softener completely.
I haven't figured out how much money you save yet, but if any of you know I would love to hear.

Liquid Detergent

*Box of Borax Natural Laundry Boost (this can be found in the laundry soap aisle)
*Box of Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (baking soda will NOT work as a substitute)
*1 bar of Fels-Naptha soap, a stain removing laundry soap (ANY bar of soap like Ivory, Dove, et. will work, but we like the extra stain-fighting in this one)
*Scented oil of your choice (optional)
*Five gallon bucket
*Empty laundry detergent bottles or milk jugs

Instructions for 5-gallons of liquid detergent:

1. Grate your bar of soap with a cheese grater. Careful, the Fels-Naptha soap really looks like cheddar cheese--kids will want to eat it!

2. Put the grated soap in a sauce pan with 6 cups water. Heat soap and water until the soap melts.

3. Add 1 cup washing soda and 1 cup Borax and stir until dissolved. Remove from heat.

4. Pour 1 gallon hot water into your 5-gallon bucket. Add your soap mixture and stir well. Add about 3 1/2 more gallons of hot water to the bucket and stir again. Add your scented oil now if you choose to. We used about 2 tsp. honeysuckle essential oil. Just add enough until it smells good to you.

5. Pour the liquid mixture into your empty bottles (you might want to try a funnel). Or, leave it in the 5-gallon bucket--it will just be a little more difficult to use. Let the mixture sit for about 24 hours. It will thicken almost to a gel.

6. Shake your bottle well before each use. Use 1/2 cup of detergent for large loads.

The Arm & Hammer Washing Soda was about $3 to $4, and the Borax about the same price. The Fels-Naptha bar ran us about $1.25. You will get about four 5-gallon buckets of laundry detergent from one box of each. With tax, we figure that works out to be about $2.50 for 5 gallons. Sweet! That could cover about 160 loads of wash! You can't get a better deal than that.


Stacy said...

Where did you buy the washing soda powder for the dry soap?

Toucan Scraps said...

we just use the washing soda by itself - works wonderfully well, even on nappies

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