December 17, 2011

Homemade Laundry Detergent

I recently learned how to make my own Laundry Detergent, it might seem strange, that's what I thought at first, but it has it's appeal:
1. There are only 3 ingredients (4 if you want it scented)
2. The ingredients cost about $9 total, that's $9 for a bucket of laundry detergent
3. It makes a 5 gallon bucket of detergent, that's 320 loads for a front loader or 160 loads for a top loader. (320 loads will last my family 4-6 months!)
4. Two of the ingredients have enough to make several buckets before I have to buy more.  So in the end the cost of the detergent is less than $9.
5. It's so Easy to Make!  and a little bit fun too!
The initial purchase will cost just a little bit, because you will need a 5 gallon bucket with a lid ( I used a screw on lid, a little more expensive, but convenient.) And the scent, if you want it, can cost $4-9 but it lasts a long time.

Even with the extra cost at the beginning, when was the last time you bought laundry detergent for less than $6 that lasted your family 4-6 months?  I rest my case.

If you want to give it a try you'll need:

1 bar Fels-Naptha Soap
1 C. Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (not baking soda!)
1 C. 20 Mule Team Borax

(All the ingredients can be purchased at your local grocery or general store in the laundry aisle, you'll have to look for them.)

 You'll also need a 5 Gallon bucket with a lid (especially if you have children, get a lid with a good tight fit)
 Bring 16 cups of water to a simmer in a large pot.
Shred the bar of Fels-Naptha Soap using a cheese grater.

Add the soap to the simmering water and simmer for roughly 30 minutes until all the soap is dissolved.

In the meantime fill your bucket 1/2 full with hot tap water and add your cup of washing soda and borax.  Stir until completely dissolved.
 Once the soap is melted, add it to the bucket and let sit overnight.
In the morning it will be a thick goo.  Top off your bucket with hot tap water and add your fragrance (if you want to.)

This is the fun part: Using bare hands, or gloves if you wish, and mix the detergent well.  You'll have to smush the goo as smooth as you can get it, (you know you always wanted to play with goo!)
It should look like the picture here when you're done.

 My husband had a different idea how to mix it, once I had broken up most of the goo, he got his drill out and attached a wooden spoon to the end.
Need I say more?
It actually worked surprisingly well.
I guess playing with goo is fun for me and using his tools is fun for him!
Mark your bucket and seal it.

If you have a front loader you need 1/4 C per load
If you have a top loader you need 1/2 C per load

**To scent your detergent you need to use pure essential oil, add 10-15 drops of oil per 2 gallons of detergent.  I used Orange, but you could use just about any scent you like.**

Total, between the two days, this takes about an hour to make and it will save you a lot of money!

And just think, you'll be self sufficient, doesn't that just make you feel good?


1 comment:

Sheryl and Tom Nielsen said...

That is awesome Holli, thanks for sharing! Also congrats! Your other blog doesn't allow me to leave comments.

Now speaking of laundry and being self sufficent I have to dry my cloth diapers :)