Thursday, August 06, 2009

Update: Homemade Laundry Detergent

A few weeks ago I invited you all to join me making laundry detergent. I had a few interested responses but in the end only one friend to help me out--Lisa. We had a great time! It was so easy and less than an hour from raw materials and water to finished product sealed in recycled Tide containers.

If you want to try it home the recipe is as follows:

Grate one bar of Fels Naptha soap. Place soap gratings into large pot with 8 cups of water over medium heat. Stir and heat until all soap is melted. Stir in 1 cup Borax and 1 cup Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda (not the same thing as Baking Soda!).

If your pot is big enough (and I mean 5 gallon big) add 72 more cups of warm water (4 1/2 gallons) and stir to combine.
If you have a regular size pot pour your soap mixture into a five gallon bucket and add 72 more cups of warm water (4 1/2 gallons) and stir to combine.

Now the best part, the last part: use a funnel and a bowl with pour spout (we used my Pampered Chef mini batter bowl) to carefully pour the warm liquid detergent into empty detergent containers you have saved from when you used to use the store-bought stuff {before you were enlightened? :) }

Screw on the caps tight, wipe around the bottles and rinse off, if necessary, any residual detergent that escaped down the sides. It will be warm at first, let it cool. As it cools it will thicken. Be sure to label your detergent with the proper "dose" required for your machine:
1/4 cup for HE machines
5/8 cup for top load machines

This recipe makes 5 gallons of detergent. To conveniently contain it all we used three old Tide 100 oz detergent bottles and 4 Purex 50 oz detergent bottles and had a bit extra that we put in a rinsed out gallon milk jug.

We found the ingredients at our local Fred Meyer store. Neither Walmart, Target, Albertsons, nor Safeway had the Fels Naptha bars nor Super Washing Soda.

The costs
Fels Naptha bar $1.30
Washing Soda $2.89 for the box but only used 1 cup= 50 cents
Borax $4.62 for the box but only used 1 cup = 50 cents
5 gallons of water/ 7 cents per gallon = 35 cents

For a grand total of $2.65
That's 53 cents per gallon!!!!!!!

I'll update you in a few weeks on it's performance.

1 comment:

  1. Cool, that sounds like a great idea!


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