Wednesday, January 12, 2011

How to Make Your Own Laundry Detergent

Have you ever wanted to make your own laundry detergent? I have two thrifty friends, well okay, I have alot of thrifty friends, but two who are a little more into making things themselves and we were discussing no poo, shampooing your hair without shampoo and the topic turned to laundry detergent. I decided to give it a go and see how it turned out.

They were both kind to share their thoughts with me. The first used this link, http://www.thefamilyhomestead.com/laundrysoap.htm, as a guide and then tweaked it to her liking. I used a mixture of her tweaked version and the linked version to make ours this evening.

Here is what you will need -
3 gallon bucket
Washing Soda
Fels Naptha Soap
20 Mule Team Borax

First off, a bit about finding the items. The washing soda and borax weren't too hard to find. I bought the borax at Target, but they didn't have the washing soda. So went into Publix next door. They had the washing soda but were sold out of the Fels Naptha. We hit a Kroger a few days later and scored the soap! At both stores that carried this item it was found on the top shelf and was very hard to see! It was also pushed back and you had to reach super far to get it! So look hard or get someone tall to help you. All of these were down the laundry aisle, but not necessarily close to the laundry detergent.

I did find them on Amazon at a HUGE mark up though! I paid $.99 for the soap and about $3 each for the other two.

First order of business is to smell the soap! LOL! Dallas enjoyed making sure it was going to be a good fit for us!

Grate the soap. I used 1/2 the bar. I also found the grater for $.49 at Kroger! I was pleased to not have to worry about using my food grater (even though you clean it with soap I just had some issues with that thought).

Lin helped too!

After the soap is grated put it in a sauce pan with water and melt it. I stirred it while it was melting but this didn't take long at all. Once it was melted I added 1/2 cup borax and 1/2 cup of the washing soda to the hot water and stirred.

Then I took my bucket and added hot water. While the hot water was filling I poured in our mixture. Fill to the 3 gallon line (almost the top on what I would call a regular size car wash bucket).

We then used a funnel and poured the mixture into gallon milk jugs. This could be messy but with the two of us it was pretty painless! It says to let the mixture set overnight and it will kind of gel up a bit. I used ours after about two hours and so far am loving it. I washed a load of towels with a winter jacket and snow pants tossed in. The jacket had visible dirt on it and it all came off, no issues. I use 1/2 cup per load of laundry.

This entire process didn't take long at all. 30 minutes max and that was with a kid having fun grating the soap. I would say you could easily make it all in 10. I was surprised at how fast the soap melted.

So to sum up what I used -

1/2 bar fels naptha soap
1/2 cup borax
1/2 cup washing soda
3 gallons of water

Thanks Teresa and Tifani for your guidance in making my own laundry soap.

For comparison Teresa uses -

1 bar fels naptha
1/2 cup borax
1 cup washing soda

mixed in 5-6 gallon bucket (filled to top)
then fills her bottles with half water and half mixture

If you found this helpful please leave me a comment letting me know! Also if you have a question I'll be happy to try and answer it. I am by no means expert, just trying new things out!

5 comments:

The Mason said...

Have you used it yet? If so, how is it?

Jessica with Magical*Memories*by*Jessica said...

Yes, my first load just finished drying and so far it has been great. It smells clean. I know that is an odd way of describing it but a big hang up I had was that my clothes weren't going to smell like something. But they just smell clean! All the dirt came off the two items that had some showing. I'll update after using it more.

teresajoy said...

I feel famous now! I told you it was fast to make!

Heathersue said...

Thank you for the pictures and everything, Jessica! They were great! This has me really wanting to use all of the ingredients I bought for this soap (a long time ago)! I think I'm actually going to do it! I'll have to start saving milk jugs!

Alicia said...

Jessica, Teresa, or Tifani, What about stains? I worry that stains won't come out. Do you pretreat with something. And is it ok on baby skin, Tifani? - Alicia