On my to do list for today – making my own laundry detergent. Yes, I make my own laundry detergent instead of buying it at the store, and you know what, I like it more than the name brand that I grew up using.
I started making my own laundry detergent about four years ago, and haven’t had any regrets! In fact, on the rare occasion that something is washed in regular store bought detergent, I notice a difference in the scent (my husband said his shirt smelled like Pez) and in how clean the clothes look. I have 2 young children, and a husband who works on the cars and does yard work, plus I do a ton of cooking and get all sorts of stains, and the homemade detergent works out just as well, if not better, than the stuff in the bottle from the market.
As for the price breakdown … a bar of soap is about $1 each, Borax is $3.50, and Washing Soda is $2.75. The entire 5 gal batch costs under $2 to make since you use so little of the Borax & Washing Soda. It works out to about 2-4 cents a load vs 18 cents a load or more for the inexpensive store bought stuff.
:: Homemade Liquid Laundry Detergent
1 bar of Ivory Soap – grated (use a food processor or box grater)
4 cups hot water
1/2 cup Borax
1 cup Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (this is sodium carbonate not baking soda or laundry detergent)
Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with the 4 cups of hot water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted. Don’t stir it too much or you will have a bubbly mess!
Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of hot tap water. Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax. Stir well until all of the powder is dissolved. Fill bucket to top with more hot water. Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken. This will be the consistency of loose jell-o the following day.
Stir before using to break up the gel.
Optional: You can add 10-15 drops of essential oil per 2 gallons. Add the essential oils once soap has cooled. Ideas: lavender, rosemary, tea tree oil.
Yield: Liquid soap recipe makes 5 gallons.
I use about 1/4 cup per load, a little more if the clothes are particularly dirty.
Since this is a low suds detergent, you can use it in a traditional or front loading washing/HE washing machine.