I know this isn’t a typical post for this blog, but I really think this is worth sharing with you. In September 2012 I decided to try my hand at making my own laundry detergent. Prior to this I was a liquid Tide girl all the way. I was a little skeptical about making a powder detergent, but didn’t want all the mess of melting soap for a homemade liquid detergent.
So I began my search for the perfect detergent. I scoured Pinterest for different ideas and recipes. After reading many different ones I chose the one that fit my needs–smells good, easy on the budget, easy to make.
This recipe met all my qualifications. It smells really good (and you can change that by choosing different Purex Crystals to fit your preference). It is really easy to make. And best of all, here is the cost breakdown:
Arm & Hammer Pure Baking Soda $2.24
Purex Crystals $4.76 x 2
Fels-Naptha $0.97 x 4
Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda $3.24
Total purchase $29.78
BUT, here is the kicker…It lasts 14 months for our family of 4!!
So, if you’ve been sold, follow along with me as I take you through the (easy) steps to make it!
All your ingredients are easy to find on the laundry aisle at Wal-Mart. A detailed list of sizes of ingredients can be found at the end of this post.
5 gallon bucket
Large mixing spoon
2 Large bowls
Large knife and cutting board to cut soap (if you choose to microwave it)
Food processor or Grater
Face mask (if you are sensitive to the smells)
Laundry ingredients in picture above
1)Start by cutting your four bars of Fels-Naptha in smaller chunks. This makes it easier to melt (if you choose to microwave it–continue reading for other option).
2) Place all the Fels-Naptha in a large, microwave-safe mixing bowl. Heat until soft and fluffy. This took about 10-12 minutes in my microwave.
**Words of wisdom:
Last year when I made this same recipe, I grated all the soap. I hate using a grater, got lots of cuts, and was very frustrated in the end. I also didn’t think I got it as fine as it could be. This spurred me on to research different ways to get the soap broken down, which led me to combine a few methods. The microwave method works well, but is VERY–I repeat–VERY fragrant. So much that I opened all my windows and found my eyes watering and started coughing. I do recommend you open your windows or use a ventilated space if you choose to microwave the soap. I also kept my microwave door open all night to let it air out.
But if you and your grater have a better relationship, then by all means, go for the less smelly version.
This is what it will look like when you get it out of the microwave. Notice I have it cooling outside. I told you it was fragrant! (Also, it takes a long time to cool in order for you to handle it, so I sped up the process by placing it outside in the cool air.)
3) Place the fluffy soap in the food processor to break it down into a fine powder.
4) Now start adding all the ingredients together. This is easiest by combining small amounts of each product at a time, mixing them together in a large mixing bowl, then adding to your 5 gallon bucket. If you place the entire boxes of the ingredients in the bucket at the same time you will spend a lot of muscle and time trying to mix those powders together. I think using the bowl allows for a more even mixture.
5)Save your Purex containers to use for easy dispensing and store the rest in your bucket.
Each load requires only 1-2 Tablespoons per load. On the side of your Purex cap you will find three lines. The 2nd line is approximately 2 Tablespoons. Genius!
A question that many asked when I was reading other blogs is “How does this work in a High Efficiency Washer? I wouldn’t know because I don’t have one, but here is the answer I came across…
“It actually works really well! This is mostly because it doesn’t create any suds. It took me some time to get used to that but it is actually better for the washer.”
So, there you have it. I hope this spurs you to go out and make your own detergent and save a ton of money! You’ll love the way it smells, too!
1 (4 lb 12 oz) Box of Borax– Found in the detergent aisle
1 (3 lb 7 oz) Box of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda– Found in the detergent aisle
1 (3 lb) Container of OxyClean– Found in the detergent aisle. (This is optional but I highly recommend adding it)
4 (5.50z) Bars of Fels-Naptha Soap (You can also use 2 bars of Zote Soap, but I can never find it at Wal-Mart)
1 (4 lb) Box of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda– Found in the cooking aisle if not in the laundry aisle
1-2 (55 oz) Bottle of Purex Crystals Fabric Softener
1. Grate zote soap with cheese grater or food processor.
2. Mix all ingredients together in a large bucket.
3. Use 1-2Tablespoons per laundry load.
Jabón de Lavandería
1 (4 libras 12 onzas) Caja de bórax, que se encuentra en el pasillo de detergentes
1 (3 libras 7 oz) Caja de Arm & Hammer Súper Lavado Soda-Se encuentra en el pasillo de detergentes
1 (3 lb) Envase de Oxyclean-que se encuentra en el pasillo de detergente. (Esto es opcional, pero le recomiendo agregarlo)
2 (14,1 oz) Pastillas de jabón Zote-encontrados en el pasillo detergente (elegimos hacer rosado para el perfume, pero el blanco estaría bien. También puede utilizar Fels Nafta)
1 (4 lb) Caja de Arm & Hammer Baking Soda-Se encuentra en el pasillo de la cocina (También puede conseguir dos caja de 2 libras, no pudimos encontrar la caja 4 libras más grande cuando nos fuimos)
1-2 (55 oz) Botella de Purex Crystals Suavizante
1. Rallar zote jabón con rallador de queso o procesador de alimentos.
2. Mezclar todos los ingredientes juntos en un cubo grande.
3. Use 2 cucharadas de -4 por cada carga de ropa.