Saturday, January 28, 2012

Laundry Detergent

Several people have asked how I made our laundry detergent. I found a pin on pinterest (oh, my you pin???). Trust me, I would not have tried it if it didn't look super easy and CHEAP. I wasn't willing to invest a bunch of time or money in case I didn't like the detergent. My total investment was about $5. I spent a about $10 buying everything I needed, but I've got PLENTY of Borax * and Super Washing Soda * to make more or to use for other things.
The original recipe is from WellnessMama. You can see her post here.
1 cup Borax
1 cup Super Washing Soda
5 gallons water
1. Put 2 quarts water in a pot. Shred the castille bar soap and melt it down in the pot.
2. Pour borax and super washing soda in a 5 gallon bucket with 2 quarts hot water from sink. Stir until dissolved. (Now you've used 1 gallon water)
3. Slowly add water and stir. (I did this until I had 4 gallons in the big bucket. I knew I'd need a little extra stirring room when I added the melted bar soap/water.)
4. When soap is completely melted, add to borax/superwashing soda mixture. STIR well.
5. Finish adding water until you've got 5 gallons water.
6. Let detergent sit overnight. The soap mixture will sort of congeal in the middle of the borax/super washing soda mixture. Stir it well. It will be a bit lumpy and glumpy (I just made that word up). That's okay.
7. Pour into 1 gallon milk jugs to store.
Use 1/4 cup detergent for each load of laundry. Make sure you shake up the detergent before you use it --the soap will continue to separate a little.
Meryt and I did an experiment with the detergent. We used one of Dwayne's old t-shirts and smeared all kinds of staining matter on it. (I should have taken a "before the stains" picture because I'm almost positive that the one stain that is left was already on there.)
(Sorry the picture is upside down)
1. Strawberry syrup
2. Chocolate syrup
3. chocolate ice cream
4. dirt from outside
5. Coffee grounds
6. Ketchup

As you can see, most of the stains washed out pretty good. I did not pretreat the stains...just tossed it in the wash. I did wash it by itself with 1/4 cup detergent, so I suppose someone might claim that it is a bit more concentrated because there was no other laundry in the load.

Overall, we are very pleased with the homemade detergent. I might try to use the Fels naptha * next time because I've heard it's excellent for removing stains. I'm excited that the detergent will last FOREVER. I'm guessing about a year based on how much laundry I average and how much detergent I made.

If you want to make powder detergent, WellnessMama also has a recipe for that at the link above.

*I only provided these links so you can see the actual product. I did not purchase my supplies on line--they were available at my local supermarket in the laundry section. Dr. Bronner's castille soap was available in the health food/organic section.


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