Homemade Laundry Detergent: It works!!
By WilsonLite on March 23, 2011
A couple days ago I started reading about making my own laundry detergent and fabric softener. So I decided, after some research, that this would be a really good way to save some money around the house.... provided that it actually works.
I got the idea originally from an awesome website I stumbled upon called Hillbilly Houseiwfe and since I've been called a hillbilly my whole life (you'd just have to know where I grew up!) I figured this site would have some great ideas for people like me =) And I was right! As I was reading some of the comments that people had left on the Hillbilly Houseiwfe site, it lead me to another--just as awesome!--site: Tipnut, which is where I got the recipe that I used to make both my laundry detergent and my fabric softener.
The items that go into the recipes are simple to find, I found everything I needed at my local Kroger. And everything is very inexpensive too. Here's an idea of what my total Kroger bill was when I bought everything I needed:
Fels-Naptha bar soap - $1.38 (I bought 4 so I would have them handy for the next time)
Two gallons of white vinegar - $2.49 each (bought extra for other cleaning projects)
1 box of Arm & Hammer Washing Soda - $3.09
1 box of 20 Mule Borax - $3.09
Grand total - $18.67
Now, I've been told that the three gallons of laundry detergent I just made will last approximately 5 months, depending on how often I do laundry because you only use about 1/4 cup at a time. So my intial purchase should last me a year or more, I'm assuming. Not too shabby... if that's how it actually goes! The total cost for one completed detergent recipe? $3.16!
One thing I did notice, however, is the detergent seperates a bit after sitting for a while. It gets this layer of soapy gel on top, but that it easily overcome by giving your bucket a quick stir. My husband bought me a paint stirrer attachment (a whopping $5.82) for his drill just so I could easily stir the detergent. What a good man =) And I must say, that if you have access to one of these handy devices, I highly recommend it!! It makes child's play out of stirring the bucket! It's so fun!!!
Tonight was my maiden voyage in homemade laundry supplies. I ran a load of towels first, just to make sure everything would come out fine...and it did. The washer had a slight odor of vinegar, but I smelled the towels before and after drying and they did not smell anything like vinegar, in fact they were fragrance free. The detergent did just fine too and I just ran a load of jeans (dirty husband jeans!!) and looks like all is well and the dirt is gone!
So, my opinion? Why waste your money on commercial laundry products when you can make your own that works just as well for a third of the cost!
The first time checking the detergent after it sat overnight... it's got some tapioca on top
The new stirrer my hubby bought me
Stirring in progress!!
All mixed back up and ready to rumble =)
The first ever use in the machine
1 quart boiling Water
2 cups grated Bar soap --I used Fels-Naptha
2 cups Borax
2 cups Washing Soda
(you can add a bit of fragrance if you'd like and you can also add in some Oxyclean for some extra umph)
■Add finely grated bar soap to the boiling water and stir until soap is melted. You can keep on low heat until soap is melted.
■Pour the soap water into a large, clean pail and add the Borax and Washing Soda. Stir well until all is dissolved.
■Add 2 gallons of water, stir until well mixed.
■Cover pail and use 1/4 cup for each load of laundry. Stir the soap each time you use it (will gel).
Total recipe cost - $1.42
1 box Baking Soda
4 cups Hot Water
■Place a pail large enough to hold double the amount of ingredients in the kitchen sink or bathtub. Mix the baking soda and water in the pail, stir till the powder is dissolved. Then add the vinegar.
■Remember that baking soda and vinegar reacts with fizzing, so use a big pail to account for this. Once it’s stopped fizzing, pour into clean bottles, cap, then use 1/4 cup per rinse cycle.
■Updated Info: The baking soda won’t be completely dissolved, just shake the bottle to mix the batch up before adding to the rinse cycle.
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