Tuesday, April 28, 2009

a different type of recipe...homemade laundry detergent

over the past few years, i've played around with making different homemade and natural cleaners, for both environmental and money saving reasons. I recently met someone who had made a recipe for homemade laundry detergent, and I was really curious to know how it would do. Well, when she brought me a sample to try, I was really happy with the results and knew I wanted to try it.

homemade laundry detergent is so easy to make (it took under 30 minutes, and that was only because the grated soap has to dissolve), smells nice, and you will not believe how cheap it is! my friend used the duggar family recipe here for detergent, so I did as well.

I did not keep my receipts to calculate the cost, but the recipe costs approximately $2 to make, and makes 10 gallons. The recipe makes 5 gallons of concentrated detergent, but you'll store it in a big container and just pour a batch of it into a leftover detergent container for everyday use and use half the recipe, half detergent. The recipe equals out to about 180 loads for top load machines and 640 loads for front load machines. I have a top load machine, which means that each load will be just around 1 cent! How's that for frugal!?!

i found all the ingredients at the grocery store (kroger has all of them and they can be found in the laundry detergent isle). i first looked at wal-mart and target, but they did not have them, so don't waste your time like i did! I did get my storage container at target, though.

i just made the detergent and am waiting for it to cool, but once it is cooled I will add some lavendar essential oil. You don't have to because the detergent has a pleasant and clean scent on its own, but the sample I tried had lavendar oil in it and it was a nice addition.

If you use essential oil, it is measured out by drops. My oil doesn't have a dropper (most small bottles do but mine is larger, so try to find one with a dropper...you can essential oils at health food stores), but from some places I've read, about 100 drops equals 1 tsp (some people estimate less, depending on the website). a little essential oil goes a long way! just add 10-15 drops of oil into the smaller container that you fill with half concentrated detergent and half water-the container you'll use when you are doing laundry, rather than the big container you keep the concentrated detergent in. You may be able to add it straight to the concentrated solution, but I think it is better to add it to the refill bottle.

Also, the recipe says to use a bucket, but I decided to use a plastic storage container with a lid so that I can store it up high. I have a leftover detergent bottle of free and clear detergent that I'll wash out and use to keep on hand. As I said earlier, the recipe says to fill one halfway with the concentrated detergent recipe and then fill the rest of it with water and just shake before each use.

For those of you who use cloth diapers, the cd experts don't recommend using borax, so you may want to continue to use another detergent on them.

Here is the recipe, which is taken directly from the duggar family website .

"TIPS FOR LAUNDRY SOAP: We use Fels-Naptha bar soap in the homemade soap recipes, but you can use Ivory, Sunlight, Kirk's Hardwater Castile or Zote bars. Don't use heavily perfumed soaps. We buy Fels-Naptha by the case from our local grocer or online. Washing Soda and Borax can normally be found on the laundry or cleaning aisle. Recipe cost approx. $2."

Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap- Front or top load machine- best value

I N G R E D I E N T S :

4 Cups hot tap water
1 Fels-Naptha soap bar
1 Cup Washing Soda
½ Cup Borax

D I R E C T I O N S :

- Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.

-Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of hot tap water. Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax. Stir well until all powder is dissolved. Fill bucket to top with more hot water. Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken.

-Stir and fill a used, clean, laundry soap dispenser half full with soap and then fill rest of way with water. Shake before each use. (will gel)

-Optional: You can add 10-15 drops of essential oil per 2 gallons detergent*.
ideas: lavender, rosemary, tea tree oil.
*( I have been told that It is best to add this to the smaller container you refill with half concentrated detergent and half water, rather than the large container of concentrated detergent).

-Yield: Liquid soap recipe makes 10 gallons.

-Top Load Machine- 5/8 Cup per load (Approx. 180 loads)

-Front Load Machines- ¼ Cup per load (Approx. 640 loads) *(I have been using 1/2 cup per large load)


anna j said...

Bless You! After an allergic reaction that threw me for a loop [leading to dermatologist appts, prescription meds, and unwanted bills :-)], I've been in need of a cost-conscious alternative to the pricey natural brands . . . you rock :-)

Travis and Amber said...

you are little miss martha aren't you??? =)

MLS said...

My Dad just gave me a clear, rubbermaid container to use...guess what is going inside!?! Detergent!! Yippee! (It really is the little things in life...)