Monday, November 14, 2011

Make Your Own: Laundry Detergent

I came across a method to make your own detergent.  There are probably hundreds of posts on how to do this  but I liked the method of dispensing this blog used and her picture directions.

I am not doing a full explanation here since you can click on the link and see it in full but I will give the general instructions and my opinion of the outcome.

Ingredients & Materials Needed.

Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (find it in the laundry soap aisle)
1 bar of Fels-Naptha (or Zote)
1 large pot
1 large container (holds at least 2 gallons with room to stir)
A lot of water

1) grate 1/3 of the soap bar with a cheese grater
2) put that in a pot with 6 cups of water.  DO NOT BOIL but stir and check until the flakes are melted in.
3) Add the borax and Soda and stir to dissolve.  Keep stirring frequently until it is thicker (almost honey)
4) remove from heat.  (At this point the other post uses a big plastic bucket.  I just kept going in my pot.)
Add 4 cups hot tap water and stir. add a few drops of essential oil if you want (I don't).
5) add 1 gallon + 6 more cups of hot tap water and stir.  At this point I transferred the mix to my drink dispensing container that I use to dispense my detergent.
6) Let it sit overnight (or 8ish hours).  Then take an immersion blender and get it good and mixed.  This step is not needed if you use a plain bucket or a wide mouth container to pour it but it IS necessary if you use a drink dispenser like the one shown.
7) If the detergent separates while sitting, shake prior to use then use 1/2 cup per load of wash.

I've read that this is safe to use on HE machines as well.

What I like about this is that it costs under a dollar for 2 gallons of detergent, which is 64 loads worth.  Compared to store bought detergent you are saving anywhere from 5-$15 or more depending on the brand you buy.  I wish it had that "detergent smell" after you are done washing.  It smells great in the container, but leaves no scent on the clothes unless you add your own in the process, which is probably better being that there isn't a lot of fragrance added.  Also, the separation that occurs when the container sits can be frustrating especially when it is full.  I get a good arm workout shaking up 16 pounds of liquid before a load. :)  In general, it seems to work well and I still use pre-treaters or stains.

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