Friday, June 19, 2009

Homemade Laundry Detergent

Okay, so I am officially sold on homemade laundry detergent! I've been thinking for months of trying it after reading about different bloggers who love the stuff. But see, we have really hard water and from what I was reading, people weren't really happy with the results of the stuff when they used it in hard water. I mean, I didn't feel like making a 5 gallon bucketful of detergent only not to be able to use it! So, I kept putting it off. But every time I used my store bought detergent I would feel almost guilty thinking of the money that was literally washing down the drain.

Enter my friend Jewel. She was "bragging" about how she loves this new detergent she made and how simple it is to make and how it is sooo cheap and how it just smells so nice. Well, I got brave and asked her if I could try a little and she was of course more than happy to give me a quart. The next day, with a bit of reservation, I loaded my washer, added the homemade detergent and shut the lid. "Here goes," I thought and waited eagerly to see what the results would be. And guess came out clean and smelling fresh! So I tried it on towels; same story. Logan's soiled clothes; same story. And now today I gave it the real, true, see what it's made of test: I washed my husband's very dirty work clothes with it. I'm talking he-works-in-construction dirty.

I put the detergent in and decided to add just a little bit extra for good measure, then closed the lid and anxiously waited for the load to finish. In fact I checked twice to see if it was done yet. Well, my sister-in-law is staying with us right now and she actually took the clothes and hung them outside before I did since I was taking care of Logan. Well, as soon as I could I dashed out and eagerly fingered the different pants and shirts. I was so excited to see that they were clean- very clean in fact.

And so I'm sold. I will definitely be buying the ingredients for this detergent and making it. Sounds simple enough to make and according to Jewel it is. And of course, I am all for the fact that it is going to save me LOTS in my budget!

Here is the recipe, originally from the Duggar's website:

TIPS FOR LAUNDRY SOAP: We use Fels-Naptha bar soap in the homemade soap recipes, but you can use Ivory, Sunlight, Kirk's Hardwater Castile or Zote bars. Don't use heavily perfumed soaps. We buy Fels-Naptha by the case from our local grocer or online. Washing Soda and Borax can normally be found on the laundry or cleaning aisle. Recipe cost approx. $2.

Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap- Front or top load machine- best value

4 Cups hot tap water
1 Fels-Naptha soap bar
1 Cup Arm and Hammer Washing Soda
½ Cup Borax

- Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.

-Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of hot tap water. Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax. Stir well until all powder is dissolved. Fill bucket to top with more hot water. Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken.

-Stir and fill a used, clean, laundry soap dispenser half full with soap and then fill rest of way with water. Shake before each use. (will gel)

-Optional: You can add 10-15 drops of essential oil per 2 gallons. Add once soap has cooled. Ideas: lavender, rosemary, tea tree oil.

-Yield: Liquid soap recipe makes 10 gallons.

-Top Load Machine- 5/8 Cup per load (Approx. 180 loads)

-Front Load Machines- ¼ Cup per load (Approx. 640 loads)

I'm curious, have any of you tried homemade laundry detergent? If so, have you liked it and what recipe did you use?


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