Thursday, October 11, 2012

Homemade Laundry Detergent

A few weeks ago I stated I am not a granola person. With my new found love of cleaning with vinegar, and now making my own laundry detergent, I feel it's getting a little crunchy up in here. 

I still like to believe it's not because I'm granola, it's because I'm cheap. I mean how can you not at least be a little interested it a laundry detergent recipe that works out to be less than a penny a load? See now I have your attention. 

Since I have started using Pinterest I have seen pin after pin about this laundry detergent recipe. So I figured I would give it a shot. Here is the Pin that I followed, there are many more that all have the same recipe. You can see their recipe post here.
The laundry detergent recipe is good for both top and front loader washing machines. This recipe will yield 10 gallons of detergent, but you will only have to store 5 gallons.

Step By Step Directions for Homemade Laundry Detergent:

Materials you will need to purchase -
- Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (Different than Baking Soda) - $3.24 at Wal-mart
- Borax - $3.38 at Wal-mart
- Fels-Naptha Soap Bar - $0.97 at Wal-mart
- 5 Gallon Bucket with Lid - $4.05 at Lowe's
- [Optional] Essential Oil

The first step is to use a cheese grater and grate the entire bar of Fels-Naptha Soap into a saucepan.
Then add 4 cups of hot tap water into the saucepan, stirring continuously over medium-low heat until the entire bar of soap is melted.
Next, fill the 5 gallon bucket up halfway with hot tap water. Then add in the melted soap, and 1 cup of the Arm & Hammer Washing Soda and 1/2 cup of Borax. Once all the ingredients are in the bucket, mix until all the powders are dissolved. I have this handy tool mixer, but a long stick or mixing spoon would work too.
Once it is thoroughly mixed, fill the rest of the bucket with hot tap water and mix again. Once complete, place the lid on and store somewhere out of the way overnight so the mixture can gel.

The next day or when you are ready to use it, stir up the bucket and then take the detergent and fill up a used laundry detergent container half way (these containers are heavier plastics than say a milk jug, which will break down over time). Then fill up the remaining half with water. [This is also when you would add the essential oil: 5 - 7 drops of oil per gallon.]
Now you are ready to do laundry! You will want to shake the mixture every time before you use it, it will be a gel\slushy mixture when you use it. [Note: the detergent won't suds up when you use it like regular detergent]

The recipe yields 10 gallons.
A Top Load Machine will use about 5/8 cup to 1 cup per load (Approx. 180 loads, about $0.01 a load)
A Front Load Machine will use about 1/4 cup per load (Approx. 640 loads, about $0.0025 a load)

You use such a small amount of the washing soap and borax that you will have enough to make many more batches of this recipe. The biggest expense is the Fels-Naptha Soap Bar for $0.97 that you have to buy each time you make a new batch.

I have to say after doing a few loads of laundry with this detergent I am sold. My whites are whiter, and even though I didn't add essential oil, my clothes smell very clean. This is definitely a Pinterest Success, I would say another life success!

1 comment:

  1. Love this post. You can also melt 2-3 Tbsp. of Downy Unstopables in-wash scent booster per gallon of detergent during the soap melting process. This will scent your clothes better than the essential oils, I use the "lush" scent and it smells like lavender vanilla. So yummy! Thanks for sharing.