Thursday, October 27, 2011

Homemade Laundry Detergent

**UPDATE** 
I have now tried a powder recipe which I love even more than this one! Check it out:
New Homemade Laundry Detergent Recipe
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OK, so this is a little bit different than my last post about Burt's pumpkin farm. If you know me, you know I am always looking for ways to save on money being a 1 income household. It can be hard at times, but we chose that because we believed it was more important for me to stay home and raise our children (rather than let someone else raise them these first few years.) God has always provided for us and blesses us immensely. I still try to do my part in finding good deals, using coupons, cloth diapering, exclusive breastfeeding, making my own stuff, etc. 

One of the ways I recently have cut back on costs is making my own laundry detergent. I recently got so frustrated shopping for detergent, how ridiculously expensive it is, and upon trying the cheaper detergents, food was literally still left on some of Landon's clothes. So I did some research online, looked back at some recipes a friend has sent me a few years ago, and began making my own detergent. I can honestly say, that once you start doing this, you will NEVER go back to buying any. It smells SO good, cleans well, and lasts SO long. It cost me less than $5 to almost fill a 5 gallon bucket which should last me anywhere from 6 months to a year (depending on how many loads of laundry).

There are powder recipes as well as a gel type recipe-which is the one I decided to try. I borrowed it from a wonderful lady at our church who has been making it for over 20 years.

Here's the recipe:


2 bars Fels Naptha bar soap (laundry section at Publix or Walmart 97 or 99 cents/bar)
2 cups Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda ($3-4 for 3-4 lb box) (preferred) (NOT BAKING SODA!)
  OR 2 cups Twenty Mule Team Borax ($3-4 for almost 5 lb box)
(Optional) Essential oil of your choice-many people like lavender
4 cups water
3 1/2 gallons of HOT water
grater (or blender if you don't have the patience like me)
Large plastic bucket with lid (I used a 5-gallon bucket from the paint section at Walmart for a few bucks)
(FYI I use a little of both washing soda and Borax-I like my stuff really clean with these kids)



Grate two bars of soap
Add 4 cups water to a  pan,
Pour grated soap in water and disolve over medium heat, stirring constantly
DO NOT LET IT COME TO A BOIL
It get's real lumpy.. take's some patience... it's OK to leave a few smaller lumps
Fill large bucket with 3 1/2 gallons of hot water
Add melted soap
Add Washing soda
Add a few drops of essential oil (if desired)
Stir, cover, and let sit for about 8 hours
The detergent will gel
Stir before measuring into washer...using a bit more for heavily soiled item's
1/3 cup per large washing cycle
PS... I also use straight plain white vineger instead of fabric softener...
no, you can't smell it...
clothes come out without a film...
the fabric looks new much longer...
and towels absorb like you won't believe!

Thank you, Suzy!!

This is what it looked like all gelled up...you just stir it a little before you use it.

Doing laundry has always been my LEAST favorite thing to do around the house...Now I can honestly say I am a little more excited to do it...it's almost fun now knowing I made it..but not quite ;)

There are billions of recipes online if you just google homemade laundry detergent. I know I have tons saved so if you are interested in any more please let me know! They are some many different variations. I am thinking about trying a homemade dish washing detergent next and will share about it if I do.

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