Saturday, December 26, 2009

I made my own Laundry Detergent

Looks like strawberry milkshake!
I've been making my own laundry detergent since March, 2009. Since I've heard of this, I have found that many people do it. There are quite a few variations out there, and how-to's on youtube, so you just have to try it and find your own preference.
The recipe below makes a five-gallon bucketful (in the pictures, I make 1/3 of a batch).
[And here is a version for powdered laundry detergent.  I like the microwave part!]
  • 1 bar of soap, grated (I used Zote)
  • 1 cup washing soda (Church and Dwight Co., 1-800-524-1328 to order or find a vendor near you.)
  • ½ cup baking soda (optional)
  • ½ cup borax
►Heat 4 cups water over medium heat, stirring in grated soap. Some people have used their food processor. Bethany just used a hand grater because we only used 1/3 of a bar today. Stir occasionally until soap is melted. This part takes the longest.  About 8 - 10 minutes, depending on which soap you buy.
►Remove from heat and add powdered ingredients, stirring with whisk until dissolved.
►Add some very hot water in the bottom of the bucket.
►Now pour the mixture into bucket, and add cold water to the top, stirring with whisk.
►Fill detergent bottle halfway with water, then finish filling with detergent.
Add the water first so that it won't suds over.
You will need to shake well each time.
I use 3/4 a cup for my laundry.
It takes me about 15 minutes to make it now since I'm used to doing this.
There is not any scent, but I've read that you can add essential oils during the process of making it. Or you can use store-bought liquid fabric softener.  This can give your laundry a nice scent.
(the extra large pot in the picture was used because I was trying a recipe using vinegar (for a fabric softener) as well as the other ingredients and I knew it would bubble over when combined w/ the baking soda! The difference was that the laundry detergent didn't gel that time.)

Here's an additional video link that explains it a little better. There are many recipes, and the one I use is like the way I heard it from the Duggar family.

Added Notes:
The Duggars use Fels-Naptha.
►Since the soap we use isn't hard,  we've just continued to use the hand grater.  Easier to clean than a food processor.
►It takes me about 15-20 minutes to make it now since I'm used to doing this.
►If you make a partial batch, keep your leftover bar of soap in a Ziploc baggie, or it will be hard to grate the next time.
►For extra stinky laundry, I use about 1/4 - 1/3 c. ammonia, and let it soak in the washer for a few hours.  I had some towels that were used to wipe up milk, then got left in a bucket for 2 days! For those towels, I used 1 cup!!!  I was not taking any chances. 
►When getting the gelled detergent from the bucket, I whisk it a little at the top of the bucket so it will go thru the funnel, then dip it out w/ my measuring cup and pour it into my detergent bottle. 
This is so EASY!
ETA:  I now just dip straight from the bucket.  I don't dilute, but just get out about 1/3 cup.


Mamaw Norman said...

I love your blog!

I hope we can all give tips to put in our family recipe book, and this would be a great non-food "recipe" and tip!

Marty said...

Yes, and I need to get to working on those recipes! =)