Monday, February 7, 2011

Homemade Laundry Detergent

 I've been making this homemade laundry detergent for about 8 months now, and using my mom's detergent (while we were living with her) before that. I decided to continue this tradition after we found out my daughter has eczema. This recipe is super easy, eczema-friendly, and your wallet will love it.

Ingredients:
  • 1/3 bar Fels Naptha soap. (I have never found this, so I use a full bar of Lever 2000, or whatever is on sale. I was recently informed that this can be found at Macey's.)
  • 1/2 cup washing soda. (Haven't found this at Wal-Mart either. Substitute 1/2 cup baking soda. Also heard that this can be found at Macey's as well.)
  • 1/2 cup borax powder. (This you CAN find at Wal-Mart with their other laundry supplies.)
  • 2-gallon bucket. I use a 3 gallon BYU Creamery ice cream bucket.
Instructions:
  • Grate the soap and put it in a stock pot or large sauce pan. Add 6 cups of water and heat it until the soap melts. (The original instructions tell you to add the washing/baking soda and the borax powder here. From experience, I'm telling you not to. The mixture will boil and rise over the top of your pot, leaving more mess for you to clean up.)
  • Pour 4 cups hot water into your bucket.
  • Remove soap/water mixture from heat, and add to your bucket.
  • Add washing/baking soda and borax powder, and mix until dissolved.
  • Once dissolved, fill your bucket to the 2-gallon mark (or your best estimation) with hot water and stir.
  • After your solution is mixed, let it sit for about 24 hours (it takes mine 36-48) and it will gel. Use 1/2 cup detergent per load.
(This recipe was originally taken from http://www.thefamilyhomestead.com)

Just for fun, I'm going to add up your expenses, and you can compare this to buying 60-load or whatever Tide or Gain however often you need to from the store :-)

8-pack Irish Spring bar soap:~$4.50
borax powder:~$4.50
baking soda (16 oz):~$2.00

I didn't have to purchase my bucket, my mom gave it to me for free, but any food storage bucket will do that you can get from Macey's or somewhere cheap. Some places, like the creamery, may give them to you free. Now, I do on average a load of laundry a day, with my child who spills and makes messes on everything. I bought each of these things when we moved into our apartment at the beginning of last June, and I haven't had to go buy more of anything. Today I made my 3rd batch, and I'll need to get more baking soda for the next time. So, $13.00 a year on laundry detergent? I'm ok with that.

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