Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Simple Life: Homemade Laundry Detergent

I've had a few friends ask for my homemade laundry detergent recipe so I thought I'd post it here to share with everyone. It's just another small step to being frugal, healthy, and self-sufficient. It's fun to make with kids too. They like to watch the soap melt and then see it gel as it sits.

I've used this recipe for about 6 months now and it's been great. Clothes come out clean and smelling fresh. And it's so cheap--it calculates to less than $.01 a load! You also know that it's free from the chemicals and toxins that are store-brand detergents, even the supposed "free and clear" kinds.

Homemade Laundry Soap

1/3 bar Fels Naptha or other type of pure soap, such as Ivory.

½ cup washing soda

½ cup borax powder

~You will also need a small bucket, about 2 gallon size~

Grate the soap and put it in a sauce pan. Add 6 cups water and heat it until the soap melts. Add the washing soda and the borax and stir until it is dissolved. Remove from heat. Pour 4 cups hot water into the bucket. Now add your soap mixture and stir. Now add 1 gallon plus 6 cups of water and stir. Let the soap sit for about 24 hours and it will gel. You use ½ cup per load.

I found the original recipe with detailed directions, pictures and tips at the bottom. I used an Ivory Soap bar and my hand blender to mix it all up after it had gelled. I mix it and keep it in 5 gallon paint bucket with a lid.

Let me know if you have any other questions or if you give it a try!

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