Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Homemade Laundry Detergent

We used this laundry detergent exclusively for about 2 years. Anna had a sensitivity to it though as a newborn so we switched to All Free & Clear for everything. Now that she's a little bit older, I think I'm going to try switching back to this detergent for all of the "grownups" laundry and towels and stuff, and keep using the Free & Clear for her baby stuff. Laundry detergent is something that adds up ridiculously fast, and this recipe is a slam-dunk if you want to save some money. You might laugh, because this particular recipe is from the Duggar family (you know...300 kids and counting or whatever number they're up to?). I've tried a couple of different recipes but like this one the best.

Also, we use vinegar as a fabric softener and it works like a charm.

If you decide to try the liquid detergent out, make sure to note that it needs to sit overnight, and then whenever you use it, it needs to be shaken up. Save your current liquid laundry detergent  container and wash it out really well when it's used up - it will be perfect for this stuff. I wrote the amounts on my container with a sharpie so I didn't have to remember.

I was able to find all the stuff for it at Kroger and I believe I've also seen all of it at Publix. It's all on the top shelf in the laundry section. If I'm remembering correctly, it cost around $10- $15 to buy all the stuff, and the borax and washing soda lasts for several batches.

Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap- Front or top load machine
4  Cups - hot tap water
1  Fels-Naptha soap bar
1 Cup - Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
½ Cup Borax

- Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.
-Fill a clean 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. Add once soap has cooled. Ideas: lavender, rosemary, tea tree oil.
-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)

Powdered Laundry Detergent - Top load machine
1   Fels-Naptha soap bar
1  Cup - Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
½  Cup Borax
-Grate soap or break into pieces and process in a food processor until powdered. Mix all ingredients. For light load, use 1 Tablespoon. For heavy or heavily soiled load, use 2 Tablespoons. Yields: 3 Cups detergent. (Approx. 40 loads) 

**Note- you can also add some OxiClean if you want some brighteners, especially for your whites!**

3 comments:

Kathryn said...

Thanks!

Sarah said...

no problem!

Nicole said...

Can I just say that I love how you have 5/8 cups per load listed as a measurement? Not 1/2, not 3/4...no...you have to use 5/8 cups per load. You math people =)