Monday, September 17, 2012

Homemade Laundry Detergent!

Sweet Renee sews, and does all kinds of other stuff.

This summer I started making my own laundry detergent.  It's so incredibly easy and quick to make.  It's thrifty.  And by not purchasing a bottle of laundry detergent, I'm not throwing plastic into a recycle bin.

There are a lot of recipes online.  Do a search and you can find plenty.  I tried several and this is the one that I like the most.  I found all the ingredients in the laundry aisle at the grocery store.  

1/2 bar Fels-Naptha soap (or Ivory, it works well too)
1/2 cup washing soda (NOT baking soda!)
1/2 cup Borax
2 gallons water


Grate the soap.  I just use my regular grater and throw it in the dishwasher when I'm done.

It rather looks like cheese.

Place your soap shavings and 6 cups of water in a good sized pot.  (Here too, I use something right out of the kitchen cabinet and run it through the dishwasher.  As of yet we have not suffered soap poisoning or any ill effects, but have a lovely, super-clean pot.)  

Put it over medium-high heat, and stir until all the shavings melt.  Things will get a little bubbly.  

While that's melting, heat 4 cups of water in the microwave.

Once the shavings are melted, add 1/2 cup Borax and 1/2 cup washing soda. The mixture will thicken up a bit. Stir until it's dissolved, and remove from heat.

Pour the 4 cups of hot water from the microwave into a big bucket.  (I use a 3-gallon bucket with a lid.)  Then pour in the soap mixture from the pot.  Stir.

Next, add 1 gallon plus 6 cups of water (22 cups total) and stir again.

Let the mixture sit overnight before using it.  It'll thicken up considerably, turning to a gloopy, good-smelling gel.  

I keep the lid loosely on the bucket, but don't snap it closed.  Before using the detergent, I give it a good stir, and then scoop out 1 cup.  

It's a gloopy, sludgy mess with some chunks and some runny bits, and it does a fantastic job!!

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