Tuesday, September 14, 2010

You Make What?!

I make my own laundry detergent. Yes, you read that right. I make my own laundry detergent. I used to purchase a large bucket of laundry detergent from Sam's Club. Since we don't have a membership there anymore and I don't like spending money on name brand detergents I started making my own. It's so easy and so cheap! All you need is some water, washing soda, Borax, and a bar of Fels-Naptha soap. That's it! Easy right?

First you just need to grate your soap. I grate it right into the pot I am going to use. I have a pot, plastic spoon, and grater that I purchased from the Dollar General just for this project.

Once you have the bar shredded just add 4 cups of hot water and put it on the stove at a medium-low heat. Keep stirring until it's all melted. It will go from this.....

to this.

Oh, I should also add that you need a 5 gallon bucket. You can find one pretty cheap in the paint department of most home improvement stores. Fill the bucket up half way with hot water. Then add the soap you just melted, 1 cup of Washing Soda and 1/2 cup of Borax. (make sure it's WASHING soda...not baking soda). Then stir until it's all dissolved.

Once it's all dissolved finish filling up the bucket with hot water.

This bucket is what I used to buy my detergent in from Sam's club. I bought the screw top lid from Amazing Graze General Store. It makes it so easy to open/close the container and keep the soap safely out of Special K's reach.

Let it set overnight and it the morning it will become gel-like.

I will occasionally give the detergent a stir to break up the large pieces. I use about 1/8 c of detergent in my HE washer. For regular toploaders I think it's recommended to use 1/4 cup. Some people think it's easier to take an old detergent bottle, fill it half full with water, then fill the rest of the way with the soap. You shake it up (because it will gel) and then you would use 1/2 c. in a toploader and 1/4 c. in a front loader. You could even add tea tree oil or other essential oils to it if you like. I found that if you can smell the detergent on your clothes after they come out of the wash...then you have detergent build up. Your clothes shouldn't have a smell after coming out of the wash. (not much of one anyway.)

So...if you have any questions about making your own detergent feel free to ask. There are plenty of recipes on making your own (they are all pretty much the same) and recipes for powdered detergent as well.


kerry said...

Thanks for posting the detergent directions!! I can't wait until I have time to try it.

DeclutterLady said...

I've always wanted to try this - thanks for sharing!

Marci said...

Thanks for the link to the store. :)