Saturday, August 16, 2008

Homemade Laundry Detergent

I have been wanting to do this project for a while now and today it finally happened. I usually prefer liquid laundry detergent but since I had the makings to do both I made both. These are the only three ingredients you need.
costs $1.09/bar

costs approximately $3.00/box

costs approximately $3.00/box

Dry Laundry Detergent:

Grate 1 bar of Fels Naptha soap (I used my food processor)
Mix 1 cup of grated soap with 1/2 cup of borax and 1/2 cup of washing soap
Store in plastic container. Use 1Tablespoon for a light load and 2 Tablespoons for a heavy load.

Liquid Laundry Detergent:

There were a few more steps involved in this process but it only took a few more minutes to make.
1/3 bar of grated Fels Naptha soap ( I used what I had left from making recipe above, it was close enough)
1/2 cup of washing soda
1/2 cup of borax

Heat 6 cups water in sauce pan, add grated bar soap. After soap is melted add remaining ingredients. In a pail pour 4 cups of hot water then add soap mixture followed by 1 gallon & 6 cups of water. Stir and let sit for 24 hours.
The end results are a watery gel. Use 1/2 cup per load.
(I have read that some people double the amount of washing soda and borax and I did that on my second batch. I have also read that this recipe can be used in a front loader, it is not sudsy.)

The dry soap recipe I came across on several sites but the below liquid recipe I found on this site

The author suggests adding 1/2 - 1 oz of essential oil if you want it scented. I may pick some up this week and add to because I do like smelly stuff. On the site there is a breakdown of costs for the soap, she estimates the cost at 0.1 cent/load. A bit cheaper then Tide.
I'll let you know how it works and which I like better!
Happy Weekend to All!


citygirl said...

I am a fan of the homemade mix...only I used Ivory bar soap because it was all that I had. I have now made 4 batches of laundry detergent with the original ingredients and I STILL have stuff left over!

I have seen homemade soaps at Uncle Deans' Good Groceries...scented lavendar...if you find bulk lavendar I will happily split the cost with you!

Amy said...

This is very interesting and very tempting. The smell is important to me. I got some Era on sale last week and washed our sheets, then line dried them. I marvelled at how WONDERFUL they smelled! Do let us know how happy you are with the results. If it's cheap and it works, I'll give it a try.

Erica said...

I've heard of a lot of people using this. I can't wait to see how it turns out for you. I've never tried it, because I'm not sure how compatable it is for my cloth diapers?

Anonymous said...

How neat!

Don said...

I like the idea of making our own stuff. Thanks for all of the creative ideas you give us.

Where do you find all that energy. Are you forgetting you work really hard as a nurse?

citygirl said...

Where did you find the bar soap?

Country Girl said...

City Girl, 4 batches wow! It is much cheaper and it does work good. We do need to figure out a way to scent with soap or something because the essential oils are WAY too expensive and too hard to make.

Amy, I hear you on the smell thing. The homemade stuff works good but it is scentless.

Erica, I think it would clean the cloth diapers. If you look at the ingredient they are all specifically for laundry, tough stains etc..

Amy, I thought it was pretty cool too. I would have never thought to make homemade laundry detergent.

Don, I know I must be nuts! The great thing about my job is that I only work 2-3 shifts/week and I take no work home. When I walk away I'm done.

City Girl, Hannaford has the soap right next to the washing soda in the cleaning isle.

Anonymous said...

We made some of this but my wife insisted that it wasn't really cleaning the clothes. It just didn't feel right she said. I suspect the different sudsing pattern made it seem too different. Anyhow, anyone do any comparison in how it actually cleans? I always felt like it worked for us. but...I am not the boss!

Anonymous said...

I love making my own laundry detergent and love that you do it too!

Right on!


frugalmom said...

I did this for awhile. My reaction was not very positive. I just didnt think that it cleaned my clothes as well as the Era that I normally use. I did, however, love the way that it smelled. Very fresh. I only made the dry recipe.

Anonymous said...

I just made the dry mix, though the recipe I used was a little different; 1 bar fels naptha, 1 cup of each: borax, washing soda and baking soda. I had a few stains that I intentionally did not pre-treat to see how it works and it took them out. The mix had a very strong scent before I used it, I didn't want it to be strong and the clothes smelled very fresh when it they was done. I'm going to continue using this since it only took me 5 minutes to make and it's a lot cheaper even if you use 2 tablespoons per load. I gave my family "sample packs" of it to try for themselves and see how they like it.

Anonymous said...

I'm so gad you posted on this as since I finally found washing soda the other day, I've got all the ingredients to make my own.

Knowing that you find it works is great, since you know what gardening does to clothing!

My intent was to save money and avoid the weird scents that detergents are coming out with --I mean, I live in Maine, not atop the "Mountain Rain Forest" (scent name I saw recently!)
Ali in Maine

Welcome To Wilmoth Farms said...

By the waythis book, it will really help you out and its a cant live without book soap makers, its called The Soap Makers Companion, by Susan Miller, or the everything soapmaking book by Alicia Grosso, it has a lot of other resouces in it as well...happy soap making