Thursday, March 18, 2010

Homemade Laundry Detergent

I haven't bought laundry detergent for a year and it's been wonderful - not shelling out cash for the expensive store bought laundry detergent that doesn't last long or having to wash our clothes in the chemical wash that is suppose to smell like something but instead makes me nauseous.  Instead we've been making our own detergent.  We got the recipe at The Simple Dollar and haven't looked back.  I love it because it's way cheaper then buying the store bought stuff - they figure about $0.03 a load - and because you control what goes in it.  After using our own stuff for a year now, I highly recommend it.


• 1 bar of soap
• Borax
• Washing Soda (I use Arm & Hammer)
• 5 gallon bucket
• 3 gallons of water plus 4 cups
• Cheese grater

1.  Shave your bar of soap with the cheese grater until you have a nice pile of soap.  You can use any soap - we've used left over bars from the tub, Zote's Laundry Soap, Levers 2000, and many more - they all work great, however I tend to like Zote's Soap because it's the best bang for your buck.  It's nice to be able to make your own detergent because you can choose to use soaps that are made from goats milk or soap that has little additives like sent and color.

2.  Boil 4 cups of water in a large pan.

3.  Add your soap shavings to the pan and stir them until they melt.

4.  Turn your heat off and add 1 cup of washing soda to the water and 1/2 cup of borax.  Stir.

5.  Add 3 gallons of hot water to your 5 gallon bucket.

6.  Add your pan of soapy water to the five gallon bucket and give it a stir.

7.  Cover and let sit for 48 hours.

8.  Your soapy water will turn into a gel of sorts and this is your new detergent!  I use 1 cup for every load of laundry.

It's better for your wallet, the water, the environment, and your clothes.  Combined with our own detergent we also use Nellie's PVC Free Dryer Balls instead of dryer sheets.  They last two years and cut down on drying time when I can't dry clothes outside.   They also don't add chemicals to your freshly cleaned clothes. Making your own laundry detergent is fun!


doggybloggy said...

sounds like a lot to do - cant you just send me some.....

Danielle said...

Ha! It's really not too bad. It takes about 15 minutes from shredding the soap to adding your soap mix to the 5 gallon bucket. I think of it like a neat science project!

Joanne said...

I make my own laundry soap too! I also make the "bar of soap" that goes into it. I use 100% lard, lye and sweet orange essential oil. It is definitely way cheaper. I use vinegar instead of fabric softener.

Danielle said...

I love making our laundry detergent! It is much cheaper. I've also been using vinegar. It seems to help with getting rid of cat hair too.