Monday, August 22, 2011

Homemade Laundry Detergent (Bulk Recipe)

Making my own laundry soap has been one of the biggest money saving moves I've ever made. After seeing how long it has lasted & how well it works, I bout kick myself at how long I've gone without doing this. So for my family of 5, this recipe has lasted us for little over 6 months. I've not changed or reduced the amount of detergent I use in any way to make this supply last longer, so the savings are even more awesome.  This recipe is adapted from a recipe I found online. I scoured the internet to find a powder recipe because frankly I really didn't want to deal with liquid detergent, and a dump & mix way of making the detergent is much more my style.

What you'll need:  (Double click on the photos to see a close up view)
6 Bars Fels Naptha Soap
1 3lbs. Box Washing Soda (approx. 6 cups)
1 4 lbs. Box Borax (approx. 9 cups)
6 cups Baking Soda
Lg. Food Processor with a grating disk and a chopping blade. or a simple Cheese Grater (not pictured)
Lg. sealable storage container approx. 2 gallons.

*All ingredients can be easily found in the laundry section of your grocery store. If you can't find the Fels Naptha they sell them online @Amazon or use your favorite bar soap like Ivory. Fels Naptha is specifically a laundry soap that targets stains.

1. Cut the bars of soap into smaller bars so they'll fit through the feeder tube of your food processor.
If you don't have a machine, a simple cheese grater will work just fine.

2. Grate your bars of soap. I used my grater attachment for this step.
The grater will produce shaved pieces.
3. Using your blade attachment, process the soap to a finer consistency.
This is how the soap will look like after using the blade attachment.
The hard part is on to the dumping...
4. Dump all the ingredients into your sealable storage container.
(An empty 3 gallon plastic icecream container would work very well, you know those tubs you buy from Sam's or Costco)
 I only had to measure out the Baking Soda because I bought a bulk package size from Sam's Club.
5. MIX

6. Clean...I only needed a damp rag to clean off my machine.

The machine parts went into the dishwasher.
The amount I use for a normal wash is a little under 1/4 cup. For a really stinky or soiled load I use a heaping spoonful.
 I have no idea how many loads I have washed in the past six months to compare with store bought detergent, but I know I spent roughly $15.00 for all my ingredients. I think it's just ridiculous not to at least try making & using it. It is hypoallergenic. I've used this laundry detergent on the baby's clothes since my baby was born (has cleaned baby stains well), and on a child who has eczema. If the grating is just not for you, try using the mix (without the soap) to extend your store bought powder laundry detergent. All those ingredients are already in the pre made stuff anyway & will serve to boost the cleaning power of your detergent.

Let me know what y'all think.