I still can't believe I actually attempted this project, I thought people who made their own laundry detergent were way more domestic than me or lived in the boonies and beat their clothes on rocks down by the river or had 20 kids! YES I now know I was sadly mistaken!!! After seeing several people on pinterest who had tried making thier own and swore they would never go back I jumped in with both feet, tracked down the ingredients, grabbed my five gallon bucket and got to grating :) I too am now a convert, it was soooo worth the minimal effort! If your house is anything like mine, the only thing that works more than the washing machine is probably me.. and some days with my two little hurricanes the washing machine wins that contest too!!! Not only does this homemade detergent work great, it is going to save me tons of money and I'm kind of proud of myself ta boot :) Homemade laundry detergent merit badge... check!
To make this money saving mix, which I found online from the Duggar family website... yes the family with 900 children.. but that is not a requirement for this detergent! Basically you need Borax, Washing Soda and a Fels-Naptha soap bar, I found all these on the detergent aisle at Walmart. The bar is less than $1 and each of the boxes are less than $3 (you will have tons of those left over). You also need a five gallon bucket with a lid, I picked this one up in the paint section for $2.97 and some plastic containers to store your detergent. You can re-use milk jugs or old detergent containers. I didn't have any so I bought this plastic dispenser for about 6 bucks because I liked the easy spout and am saving up milk jugs for the rest.
To get started put four cups of warm water in a pot over medium low heat and add in all of your grated soap bar. I just grated mine right into the pot to save time and mess :)
Next, stir until all the flakes are dissolved. This only takes a few minutes.
When the soap is almost completely dissolved, grab your bucket and add one cup of the super washing soda and 1/2 a cup of Borax to the bottom then fill it half full with hot tap water. My sinks aren't very deep so I just I used my sprayer from the kitchen sink.
Now carefully pour the hot soap mix into the bucket.....
and give it a good stir with a long spoon or broom handle.
Next fill the bucket the rest of the way with more warm tap water.
Put the lid on and leave it overnight, in the morning this is what you should have. It will be a gloppy, gelled consistency. Give it another good stir...
...and then fill your containers half full with this mixture. I used a funnel and a plastic drink pitcher to make the filling a little easier.
Finally fill the other half of your container with water, screw on the lid, give it a good shake and you are done!
For a regular top load machine you will use 5/8 of a cup per load and for a front load HE machine use 1/4 of a cup. We normally use Tide Free and Clear or the Costco Brand Free and Clear because of sensitive skin and not only does this work just as good if not better.... we also haven't had any skin problems :)
This recipe makes 10 GALLONS of laundry detergent!!! The savings per load is AMAZING, but if you don't have enough children to field you own baseball team you may want to half the recipe or better yet share with you mom, a girlfriend or everyone on your block :) Because I still have concentrate in my 5 gallon bucket waiting to collect some more containers :)
This really was so quick and easy.... if only I could say the same for my ever growing pile of laundry!
Wash Away, Lindsey :)