Perfectly Practical #36 - Make Your Own Laundry Detergent
My friend Do-It-Yourself Mom is amazing! She will roll her sleeves up and tackle anything she feels would make life for her family better - she's not afraid of a little work.
Besides her $5 meals (she feeds 5 people, 3 of which are hungry males, for a total sum of $5, not per person) her lye soap endeavor, and her cheese making, she also has learned to make laundry detergent. She let me try some and I really liked it. She thinks her clothes are softer even without fabric softener due to the soda involved. Also, the ingredients are gentler on your skin than most other laundry detergents - no dyes and no perfumes.
It's very easy to make and makes A TON of soap. We are talking 10 gallons all told. That's over 600 loads of laundry worth if you have a front loader and about half of that if you have a top loader. And the cost of said 10 gallons of laundry detergent? A whopping $2! Now the initial outlay is about $10 but you are only using $2 worth of the products; then you have tons of Borax & Washing Soda leftover with which to make other detergents.
Do-It-Yourself Mom came over the other day and oversaw my first time at making the detergent. So now I have a 5 gallon bucket of laundry soap at the ready to mix up as I please. I didn't take pictures step by step (what was I thinking?!) but I can give you the recipe and urge you to try this at home:
Homemade Laundry Detergent
4c. Hot tap water
1 Fels-Naptha or Zote soap bar (found in your grocers laundry section) or even 2 Ivory soap bars
1 c. Washing soda (NOT baking soda)
1 c. Borax
A long handled spoon
Grate the soap bar & add to the saucepan with water. *NOTE* You want the soap bits small or else they will take forever to melt in the pot of water...ask me how I know...
Stir continually over medium heat until soap dissolves.
Meanwhile, fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of hot tap water. Add soda & Borax and stir until dissolved. Add melted soap and stir well. Fill the bucket to the top with more hot tap water. Stir, cover, and let sit overnight to thicken.
This is the cool part: the next morning, the detergent should be a somewhat solid gelatinous goo so give it a good stir and if you want to add about 20-30 drops of essential oil to the soap, feel free to do so.
After adding the essential oil, stir well.
Put equal amounts of detergent and water in a container and shake well before each use.
For front load machines, use 1/4 c.
For top load machines, use 1/2 c.
I have a top loader and what I do is fill an old detergent bottle 1/2 and 1/2 with homemade laundry soap and water. I give it a good shake before each time I use it, fill the cap with the mixture, and pour it over the laundry in the machine.
That's it. Super easy, super fast (takes about 35 minutes) and economical.