May 29, 2010

Homemade Laundry Detergent

I've been making homemade laundry detergent for several months now, experimenting with different recipes. Tried a new one today and think I'm gong to like it. It goes without saying making your own is much more cost effective and better for the environment. I'm tired of the overly perfumed stuff in this society polluting our planet! Recently, someone told me they hated the smell of clothes hanging on a clothes line. What? You hate the smell of fresh air? I guess in a country where we have a deodorant for every orifice this should not have surprised me. Here's the recipe:

Home Made Laundry Soap

1 quart Water (boiling)
2 cups Bar soap (grated) (I use Ivory or Fels Naptha. After researching different recipes these two seem to pop up over and over. Purest beware! Fels Naptha is pink so contains some kind of dye)
2 cups Borax (local grocery stores have it. I see it at Wal-Mart in the laundry soap section)
2 cups Washing Soda (NO! Not baking soda. YES! Everyone makes this mistake. Harder to find. Ace hardware will order it for you or you can order on line.)

  • Add finely grated bar soap to the boiling water and stir until soap is melted. You can keep on low heat while stirring.
  • Pour the soapy water into a large, clean pail and add the Borax and Washing Soda. Stir. Stir. Keep stirring. I use a 5 gallon, clean bucket. Be sure you get one with a lid so you can leave it and come back to it later if you get distracted. Around here distractions are plentiful. 5 gallon buckets can be found at Home Depot, Lowe's or any similar stores. Stir well until all soap is dissolved.
  • Add 2 gallons of warm tap water, stir until well mixed.
  • Pour well stirred mixture using funnel, into old laundry detergent bottles. These make great recycled containers and are easy to shake before each load (yes, this laundry soap does glop and gel when sitting on the shelf and MUST be shaken each time you use it).The lid/measuring cup is equal to 3/4 of a cup. This recipe calls for 1/4 cup but I am one of those people who likes suds so I use a whole cap full.
I quit using fabric softener and dryer sheets about a year ago. When I can remember if I put 1/2 cup white vinegar in the rinse cycle the clothes are noticeably softer. No, they do not smell like vinegar.

Have fun! Now that the boy and I have made several gallons of this we are off to make brownies in the solar oven. We'll let you know how they turn out!


Diane said...

How did we become friends??!! The only thing I *make* is the bed....and even that is getting done less and less lately : )

Essie the Accidental Mommy said...

Hmm, I am one of those people who likes the smell of "clean laundry fragrance"- the fake stuff. I really really love it though. If it helps I never buy fragrance sprays or plug ins even though my house reeks of pee!
Nice pic by the way!

Michelle said...

I don't like the smell of clothes hanging outside. It makes me sneeze. But I also don't like the perfumed smell either. I prefer zero smell. Go figure. :)

I use vinegar in my fabric softener compartment every time. Not only does it reduce static and soften clothes, it does a great job of "helping" remove leftover pet fur off the bedspreads!

Kim said...

Thanks for the recipe. Gonna give this a try.