Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Homemade Laundry Detergent

I have been making our laundry detergent for about 10 months now. I have hesitated sharing the recipe until I was sure that we really liked it. Granted we still have about 6 bottles of All/Tide left, I thought I would make up another batch and share the recipe.

I have made a few batches of powered detergent, and a large 5 gallon batch of liquid detergent, and I think I like that best.

The ingredients you will want to make sure you have on hand before you get started are:

Washing Soda - This is not baking soda. It must be washing soda. I have had the best luck finding it at Kroger or Meijer. Normally under $3 a box, it is almost always on the top shelf in the laundry isle.

Borax - I have been able to find this at Target, Kroger, and Meijer, all in the laundry isle, normally on the top shelf. This normally runs around $4 a box.

Water - I can normally find this in the faucet of my sink :)

Bar of Soap - I have used Ivory, Fels Naptha, and Irish Springs. Depends on what we have in the pantry. For this batch I used a bar of Johnson and Johnson baby soap that needed to be used up, I won't use it on their skin so they need to be used up somehow! I would love to use Dr. Bronners instead but I have so much free stuff so I am going to be frugal until it is gone.

Oxygen Cleaner - I am adding this for the first time. After a few loads with my previous recipes I felt like some of the kids clothes looked a little dingy. I have read that added Oxy Clean or a similar product will take care of that issue. I use SUN brand because it's around $2 a Walmart and this is all that I use it for.

1 Cup Washing Soda
1/2 Cup Borax
1/2 Cup Oxygen Cleaner
1 Bar of Soap (grated)

Bring a quart of water to a boil. While waiting for the water to boil, grate the bard of soap. I use a had grater for this but you could also use a food processor. Once the water is boiling, stir in the soap a little at a time until it is all in and melted. Fill a 5 gallon bucket with 3 gallons of water. Mix in Washing Soda, Borax, and Oxygen Cleaner. Add boiling water/soap mixture and stir. Add in another gallon or two of water and mix together in the bucket.

Don't make the mistake I did of mixing all the ingredients in the boiling water after the soap melted. All was well for about 30 seconds, then I had a big foamy mess that was all over the stove, kitchen floor, and sink. Make sure they go in the 5 gallon bucket.

Cover the bucket and let it sit overnight. Next day the laundry detergent will be done. It will be a silly texture. Somewhere between clumpy slime, jello, and egg drop soup. This is normal. Just stir it all up, or mix with an immersion blender. Now you can put it in smaller buckets, jars, or empty detergent bottles. Just add 1/4-1/2 a cup to a load of laundry.

This saves a ton of money! We go back and forth using homemade detergent, and bottles that I "purchased" near free last year. Once those are gone, we'll be strictly using homemade.

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