Friday, August 12, 2011

Make Your Own Laundry Detergent

Laundry detergent is expensive! Especially with kids, who can dirty 5 shirts in a single day. You can easily go through a bottle a month. So, to make things cheaper I make my own detergent. I've used it for months now and I cannot tell the difference in cleaning between the brand names and my own. Although I always keep a bottle of Shout nearby, just in case! ;)

You can find many recipes online for powdered and even liquid laundry soap, but I find using the powered much easier since I don't have room to store a 5 gallon bucket anywhere for the amount the recipes call for. This is the recipe I use to make my detergent. You can find all these items in the same laundry aisle as the big boys!

1 bar of Fels Naptha
1 1/2 cup of Borax
1 1/2 cups of Washing Soda

Grate the bar of Fels Naptha, it should look like the picture below (although you will get much more out of the bar, I just took this picture after I started the batch)
Now you can do 1 of two things here. I like to grind everything together to make a fine powder, but if you don't feel like dirtying anymore appliances you can leave the the Fels Naptha as is and just add the Borax and Washing Soda and POOF! You're done!

But if you are feeling up to it or just OCD like me, then lets GRIND!

Mix the Borax and Fels Naptha together in your grinder. I find mixing the fels naptha with the boarx while grinding makes less mess and the soap grinds up more finely instead of becoming a big goop.
Once you're happy with the powder, just add the Washing Soda and you're finished!

The end result of the grinding should look something like this. 

For the laundry, use 1 Tablespoon for a small load and 2 Tablespoons for a large load. You can always mess around with the amounts of each ingredient depending on how you like the mix.

So what is the cost break down of this cheap soap??

1 bar Fels Naptha - .99 cents
1 box 55oz washing soda - $2.50 
1 box 76oz Borax - $4.00 

With my math it breaks down to less than $2 a batch. Depending on the prices you find the items at. Remember this is a homemade recipe and it is low sudsing, but your clothes will still come out clean!

Happy Laundry day!

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