Monday, October 29, 2012

Homemade Laundry Detergent

Since moving to Florida, our grocery bill has gone up significantly, so I have been looking for ways to save a few pennies where we can.   One of my neighbors in Missouri made her own detergent and gave me some to try and I thought it worked very well.  Another friend of mine made the liquid kind and is also happy with the results.

Homemade laundry detergent is all over blogs and Pinterest at the moment.  I read quite a few "recipes" and lots of comments and decided on this powder version.  I decided against liquid, because the powder seemed easier to store.   Everything I needed was all in one spot in the laundry aisle at my local Walmart.

1 - 4 lb 12 oz box of Borax
1 - 4 lb box of Pure Baking Soda
1 - 3 lb 7 oz box of Washing Soda
1 - 3 lb box of Oxi Clean
3 - 5.5 oz bars of Fels Naptha Soap
1 - 13.2 oz container Downy Unstoppables

 I used one of my empty storage tubs to mix everything in.  It was way bigger than I needed but worked out just fine.  First I threw everything except the Fels Naptha soap in.  My six year old had fun mixing it with a wooden spoon.

Then I grated the Fels Naptha Soap,  Cause I'm lazy, I threw it into the food processor.  (Then I cautioned my six year old that this was NOT grated cheese and she couldn't eat it!)

Add this to your mix and give it a stir.  And that's it!   Place it in the container of your choice and place in your laundry room.  You'll need 1-2 tablespoons per load.

The oxy clean that I bought had a little scooper in it, so I marked it with a sharpie (I am using two tablespoons in my High Efficiancy washing machine) 

All the "ingredients" cost about $25.  If you wanted to cut your cost even further, you could leave out the Unstoppables.

So far it is working out just great.  I have a top loader High Efficiency washing machine.  I wash most everything on the "Tap Cold" setting.  UPDATE:  I am almost out of my laundry detergent.  I have enough left for a few loads.  And I have to say, we do a LOT of laundry around here - I do at least one load a day and on many days, more than one.  And I'm kinda sloppy with the measuring.  So, it lasted us about five months!

This detergent has a nice fresh, clean scent but it is not very strong.  As far as scent goes, you will not get that strong fragrance like you do with traditional detergents like Tide or Gain.   I use traditional dryer sheets so I am still getting plenty of that fresh laundry scent.  (I have heard that some people add essential oils to their mixture which would seem easier if you are making the liquid kind.)

This is not a "sudsy" detergent.  If you need to see lots of bubbles to get a warm fuzzy that your clothes are clean, than this detergent is probably not for you.

If you let one of your kiddos help you with this, make sure they do not stir the mixture too vigorously.  You don't want them to stir up all that fine powder and inhale it down into their lungs.

Happy Laundering!

If you would like to try the liquid variety, this is the recipe that my friend used:

They also have a few ideas for inexpensive Fabric Softener.