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Saturday, January 10, 2009

Homemade Laundry Detergent

Over the holidays, we were at a relative's house, and there was an accident where one of our children's clothes needed to be washed. It turned out this certain relative makes her own laundry soap, and I was pleasantly surprised at the results. So I thought I would share the recipe with all of you!

With step by step directions, complete with pictures. Because I love you THAT much. (and as always, you know the drill, click each picture to see bigger if it strikes your fancy)

Cast of characters:

-a 5.5 oz bar of Fels Naptha laundry soap (I searched high and low and found this at Publix)
-washing soda (NOT baking soda!)
-essential oil (optional)
-2 clean gallon vinegar jugs

Cut the soap bar into thirds. Put the rest away for the next time you make a batch.

Grate the soap into a pot

Add 6 cups water

Stop and fix your son a cup of juice so he'll quit whining at you

Heat the mixture until the soap melts

Now is a good time to fix yourself a drink too. Something fruity with alcohol preferred.

Add 1/2 cup washing soda

And 1/2 cup borax

And 1 Tablespoon of essential oil if you want

Stir constantly till everything is dissolved, and then keep it on the heat for an additional 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes.

Divide mixture evenly between the two vinegar jugs. A funnel is a smart move.

Fill each jug to halfway with hot water. . .

And shake well

Then fill each jug the rest of the way with hot water, shake some more. The original recipe I got said it wouldn't foam much, but it lied. Although the fact that I was using the sprayer on the kitchen sink to fill them *may* have had something to do with that.

Let sit for 24 hours, and then it's ready to use. It'll be an egg white consistency. Use 1/2 to 2/3 cup for a load. You can add extra washing soda and/or vinegar to the load if you're feeling spunky.

This isn't too much work, and the cost benefits are ginormous. I spent less than $8 on all the ingredients (minus the essential oil, which I already had), and it's enough to make 3 batches, or 6 gallons of detergent. Plus I'll have washing soda and borax left for more.


Carolyn said...

Thank you SO MUCH for posting this. I love it. You've inspired me to try it myself.

Margaret said...

Thank you for posting the recipe! I made it a while back and I'm really happy with how it gets my diapers clean. I use about a teaspoon for each load in my front loader.

Margaret said...

Oh, I forgot to add... for all the Canadians out there, I used a Linda laundry soap bar from Loblaws/Independent Grocer and grated it all, then measured out 1.8 ounces on my kitchen scale and saved the rest for the next batch.

Jaimee said...

you're awesome chicky. Will prob follow the steps excactly, minus the alcoholic drink ;-)

Michelle said...

That's awesome! Thank you for posting it, plus the distractions in between ;). I've been wanting to do this for a while and now I have a step by step illustration to help me!