Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Homemade Laundry Detergent

Right before our youngest was born (three years ago), I started hearing talk about making my own laundry detergent. I didn't think much of it really. It wasn't until about a year ago, I began to give it considerable thought. I was paying $17 a MONTH for detergent for our family of 5...eeek...I wanted to change that, but I really liked the eco-friendly version I was using. A good friend of mine started making hers; I decided to give it a go. All of the ingredients needed cost me around $10. I figured I wasn't out much if I hated it.

We have been using it for about 6 months and I just bought the ingredients for only the second time- WOW! That is great savings.

It takes me MAYBE 15 minutes to make.

Recipes abound all over the Internet. I adapted mine from one I found on Pinterest.

So, now for the recipe...complete with pictures for you.

1/2 cup borax
1/2 cup washing soda
1/3 bar Fels Naphta soap- finely grated

Note: all of the ingredients can be found together in the laundry aisle of Wal-Mart

Heat 6 cups water on the stove as you grate the bar soap. Heat to boiling, add the soap and reduce heat to medium. Stir until all the soap is melted. Don't let the soap boil.

Add the washing soda and the borax and stir until completely dissolved. Stir for a few minutes longer until it thickens slightly (kind of like cooked pudding before it is cooked.) Remove from heat.

Add 4 cups hot water to the soap mixture and stir. (You can add essential oil here if you like- sometimes I do, sometimes I don't.) Add 6 more cups water. Allow to cool

Most recipes, tell you to let it sit overnight; I do not let mine sit...I am a get-it-done-check-it-off-the-list kind of I let it cool enough to pour it into my old detergent containers. Leave room at the top to give it a good shake when you use it. (Someday, I might get pretty containers, but for now...these are FREE!)

Use 1/4 to 1/2 cup of detergent per load (Michelle likes to use 1/2 cup). The detergent I make is more concentrated than a lot of the other recipes you will find- why store water? It is necessary to shake this up before using as it will settle into "layers." A good shake and you are all set, though!

Yield - 1 gallon of detergent

Recipe courtesy: our very own blogger Michelle R from Ohio

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