Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Homemade Laundry Detergent

My cousin, Brenda posted her laundry detergent "recipe" on her blog, and I thought I would share. It is such a money saver! Maybe I will get brave enough to try it some day soon!

From Brenda:

I've been making my own laundry soap for a couple of years now. I have tried lots of different recipes, both dry and wet. I like the wet ones the best and I have come up with my own recipe through trial and error. It is actually pretty similar to a lot of recipes out there; I just add an extra bar of soap. It takes me about 20 minutes to make and it lasts me 4-6 weeks, depending on how much laundry I do. The best part is that it only costs about $3 per batch! (about 390 cups, 3 1/4 gallons, or $0.01 per cup!)

Here are the ingredients that you need:

You can find all this stuff at your local grocery store. The Fels Naptha soap and borax are in the laundry isle, the washing soda in the dishwashing isle and ivory soap in the bath isle. Fels Naptha is the BEST spot remover I have ever found. To pre-spot my clothes I wet the stain, and then rub the soap over it. I let it sit for at least 1/2 hour or more for better results. Fels Naptha soap has a distinct smell to it and I found that adding the Ivory soap tempers that smell.

Laundry Detergent Instructions:

Chop both bars of soap to smaller pieces and place in a pot with 5 Cups of water. Heat pot to just below boiling, stirring slowly with a wire wisk, until all the soap is dissolved. (This is the longest part of the whole process.) **Boiling will cause the liquid soap to foam.Fill a 5 Gallon bucket with 3 Gallons of hot water.Add one cup each, one at a time, of the borax and washing soda and stir until each is dissolved.Add the liquid soap mixture and stir.Let the container sit until it is cool, mixing it occasionally, and then put into containers.

This yields just over three gallons of light yellow slime that looks like this:

I have a large capacity washer and hard water and I use a heaping cup, as shown. It takes a bit of trial and error to figure out how much to use in your own machine. This is a low sudsing detergent so it can be used in front-end loading washers, but you probably do not need to use as much.

Fill your storage containers leaving about four inches at the top. The detergent will solidify a bit and you need room to shake it up so that you can pour it out. This bottle shows the maximum amount you should fill the container.

It is not as fragrant as many laundry detergents so if you want more fragrance, you can buy your favorite liquid fabric softener and add it to the rinse cycle.

Thanks, Brenda! Does anyone else make their own soaps, cleaners etc?

Here's another laundry detergent variation from Laura:

I also make my own laundry soap with these ingredients, but use a powderform. Here is what I do:
Let fels-naptha dry out and then grate it (if it is dry it will be powdery,instead of chuncked)

  • 1 c grated fels-naptha
  • 1 c borax
  • 1 c washing soda

  • Use 2-3 TBSP per load

Someday I will get BRAVE (or smart) like you ladies!


Brenda said...

Deanna, I'm glad you copied this!! It is so easy and so very cheap! I also make an all-purpose kitchen and bath cleaner, disinfectant spray, and I've even done my own bath soap. I think it is really fun and a good skill to know. It also saves a lot of money and is a LOT LESS toxic. Let me know if you'd like those recipes as well.

Anonymous said...

I shall have to try this. I tried a while back... a powder. It didn't make much though and I'd forget to make it so gave up. This looks like it will last longer. I still have everything... except the Ivory. I should have bought some when it was on sale.

I would like instructions of other cleaners

Connie said...

Do you know if this kind of recipe will work on an HE w/d? Or just on the old school style?

Sarah said...

Since it does not suds up, it is perfect for HE washers.