Thursday, July 8, 2010

Homemade Laundry Detergent

One day a friend and I were talking and she mentioned that she makes her own laundry detergent. I was very interested in how well it worked and how she made it, so she gave me the recipe to try it out. I excitedly told Ray all about it. That day we went to the grocery store and bought all the needed ingredients: 1 bar soap, washing soda, borax, , and a 5 gallon bucket w/ a lid to mix and store the detergent in. We headed home and made it as follows...

1- Grind entire bar of soap with a box grater (any kind of soap, we have used Lever 2000 and Ivory)

2- Heat 4 cups water on high until it reaches its boiling point, then lower the heat to a simmer.

3- Begin throwing in and mixing the grated soap until it is all dissolved into a milky, soup-like mixture

4- Next add 3 gallons warm water to your bucket (it is handy to save an old gallon milk jug for this purpose)

5- To the water add 1 cup of the washing soda, 1/2 cup of the borax, and all of the soapy mixture. Stir well.

6- At this point the soap will be very watery, let it sit covered for the next 24 hours.
7- After 24 hours removed the lid and mix again. My first batch had a watery almost jello-like texture to it, but the texture can vary depending on the kind of soap/water you use.

(I broke up all the jello-y clumps with my hands and mixed it all up as well as I could)

8- Use 1 cup for a normal load of laundry (I use a 1/2 cup more for larger loads or towels).

I use this detergent for almost all our family's laundry. The only things I don't use it on are Wesley's diapers (I use a special cloth diaper detergent for those) and any heavily soiled loads (like Ray's greasy clothes after he's been working in the garage). I have zero complaints, this soap has worked excellent for us.

Think of how expensive laundry detergent can be, and how CHEAP it would be to make your own. A box of Borax (which contains enough for about 12 batches) costs under $3.00. A box of washing soda (which contains enough for about 6 batches) costs under $2.00. And you can by a bar of soap for less than a dollar. Each batch makes 52 loads. The cost savings was more than enough to convince me to give it a try, and I love it! If you would like to save a little more money yourself, why not give it a try too, I mean, what have you got to lose?

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