I guarantee you that I am not the first one to blog about making homemade laundry detergent. However up until recently no one I knew personally had ever convinced me about why it was worth it. Never in a million years did I think that I would make my own laundry detergent. I assumed that it was too much work and would turn my clothes some kind of crazy yellow.
Those who make their own laundry detergent are probably laughing right now...I know, I know.
I'm just being honest.
My friend Anna was kind enough to pass on her recipe to me and one fine day last summer I gathered up the courage and the supplies I needed and decided that I would secretly attempt at least one batch of homemade laundry detergent. I have now been making my own laundry detergent for six months...and I'm not sure that I will ever go back to buying the store bought kind. Sorry, Tide...I wouldn't be a good spokeswoman for you.
3 Reasons Why I'm All For
Making My Own Laundry Detergent...
Little Effort - It takes me about 20 mins. to whip up a 4 gal. batch that lasts our family of seven TWO MONTHS. Before it took me way more effort to track down coupons and go to various stores to buy laundry detergent even if it was for a fraction of the normal price...extreme couponing anyone? This homemade method really is much simpler.
Little Cost - I spent $15.67 on enough ingredients to keep making detergent for 16 months! For our family of seven that comes to about $.98 per month! Even with coupons and shopping sales I still spent way more than that to buy store bought detergent.
Clothes Are Clean - I didn't notice any difference once we started using the homemade stuff and most importantly...our clothes haven't turned any crazy kinds of yellow. :-)
Here is what you need...
Fels-Naptha (Usually found in the aisle where bars of soap are sold)
Washing Soda (Usually found in the laundry detergent section)
Borax (Usually found in the laundry detergent section)
Because I make a double batch, I also purchased a 5-gal bucket & lid from Home Depot for $5.26 to store our detergent in.
I usually double the following recipe to almost fill my 5-gal pail
and create enough soap for two months at about 7-8 loads per week for our family of seven.
(Here you can check out our non-glamorous, yet super efficient laundry system.)
Liquid Laundry Soap Recipe
1/3 bar fels-naptha
1/2 cup washing soda
1/2 cup borax
Grate 1/3 bar fels-naptha in a pot and add 6 cups of water. Heat until soap melts. Add washing soda & borax and heat until it melts. Add 4 cups of hot water. Remove from heat and add 1 gallon plus 6 cups of water and stir. While it is setting up (usually over the next 12-24 hours) whisk every so often so it doesn't get lumpy. Use 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup per load. Note: Add to washer and begin cycle before adding clothes. (Basically, don't put the soap directly on top of your clothes.)
Note: I keep a whisk near the 5-gallon pail to stir it every so often (it tends to separate a little.) I've also heard of others storing their finished product in gallon jugs and then shaking it before using.
I'm a visual learner so this is a glimpse of what the process looks like.
I'm a terrible blogger because I didn't take a picture of the finished product once I added the majority of the water (!). However, just picture a bucket three fourths of the way full and a happy momma who knows that she is all set for two months and has cash in her pocket! :-)
So tell me, have you been making your own detergent for years? Know a friend who does? Thought of trying it? Wash any clothes? ;-)