***IMPORTANT UPDATE*** Ignore me. Ignore this post, I mean. I could just delete it, but I want people who are searching for “homemade laundry detergent” to know that I WAS WRONG. I stopped using this soap years ago because it simply didn’t get my clothes as clean as the “real” stuff. I’m still all about saving money, and very much all about baby steps toward natural products, but I want clean clothes, too. Why you should STOP Using homemade laundry detergent. Read it.
Many months ago, during some afternoon blog-hopping, I happened upon a recipe for homemade laundry detergent. Now, I’m all about homemade food, but laundry detergent? That was a new one to this frugal-minded mama.
Feeling adventurous, and inspired by the pennies-per-load cost, I added the few ingredients to my grocery list.
You know if you keep doing the same thing in the same way you’ll continue to get the same results, right? I couldn’t find Arm & Hammer Washing Soda. Could not. Anywhere! (in the same places that I kept looking over and over) Guess what happened when I glanced at the other end of the detergent aisle in the store? The end that I had not bothered with for six months because I just knew where that washing soda should be located?
Uh-huh. I’ve got my soda. And my stubbornness is still intact, minus my pride.
Homemade Liquid Laundry Detergent (done mostly like Nissa, thanks!)
1. Grate Fels-Naptha bar. I cut it into chunks (very easy to cut – almost shredded) and then pulsed it in my food chopper.
2. Melt Fels-Naptha in 1 quart hot water. When I saw how powdery my bar soap had become with the food chopper, I almost decided to just make powdered laundry detergent. Maybe next time.
3. Add Borax, Oxi-Clean, and Washing soda. Combine. This gets very frothy!
4. Pour into a 5 gallon bucket. Add 2 1/2 gallons water. Stir. (I didn’t have a 5 gallon bucket. I found two different ice cream-size buckets and am just using those with less water.)
** As it sits, soap gets very lumpy and gel-like. I’ve been told that this is exactly how it’s supposed to look.
5. For each load, measure out 1/4 to 1/2 cup of detergent. I’m shooting for 1/4 cup since mine is more concentrated, with less water.
- Super easy to make.
- Smells so… clean, I guess. That’s a good thing!
- The gel will have to be stirred each time I want to use it. Seems like a hassle to me. I like easy, and I’m thinking it would be easier to just combine the soap ingredients into a dry laundry powder and skip the water. Donielle does it that way and then uses 2 Tbsp. powder for each load.
- I’ve only washed sheets in this concoction so far. Can’t wait to see what it does with my kids’ play clothes!
- I’ve not done my own cost analysis yet, but Phoebe says it’s about a penny per load!
So, tell me. Do you make your own laundry detergent? Am I doing it right? What do you think of it? Will I like the liquid? Should I try powdered? I’m so curious!