I did it…. homemade laundry detergent!

by - 8/27/2012 09:13:00 PM

I have been seeing so many posts on Pinterest about making homemade laundry detergent!
I finally realized this was something I must do...
#1) to save money
#2) to be better for the environment
#3) to have cleaner clothes without the residue

And sure enough I did it! And I wonder why the heck I waited so long to do. I want to share my version of it here with you.
I would put this detergent into the running water in the washer prior to putting in the dirty laundry. It does suds up, but only a tiny bit.

It doesn't take much, {just 5 ingredients} and a few minutes of your time!
And you may even feel a bit like "little house on the prairie" livin'.. 
My gramma would be so proud!

1  - 4 lb 12oz  box of  Washing Soda (I used Arm & Hammer)
1 - 4 lb box of Baking Soda (I used Arm & Hammer)
1 - 4 lb box of Borax (I used 20 Mule Team )
1 container of Oxy Clean (about 3 lbs will do and this is optional)
3 bars of Ivory soap (grated or shredded)
(you can use Fels Naptha, Zote, or another bar soap of your choice (Avoid heavily perfumed)
*note: I cut the recipe in half (you will see why I had to later)

First thing I did, I grated the Ivory soap very easily with a small hand held grater. I cut the bar of soap in quarters first so that the grated pieces were small. I do this because I almost always wash my 
laundry in cold water.

I used a small trash can, the kind with a little flip lid and a removable inside bucket (picture below). Because my container was smaller than a 4 or so gallon container,  I cut the recipe in half to fit in this trash can.

Then I lined the trash can with a trash liner so I can keep the from getting too clumped together. It has been real hot here, so I give the top of the bag a good twist and this does well for me.

Now, once my bucket was ready
I started by measuring out half of each ingredient: (remember I am using half because of the size bucket I have)
38.5 oz  of  the borax
32 oz of the Baking Soda 
32 box of the washing soda
24 oz of the Oxy Clean 
1 and 1/2 bars of the grated Ivory soap  

Then into the bucket it all goes.

Then I used a long handled old plastic spoon to stick down into the mixture and swirled it around for a few minutes, I repeated the spoon thing several times to mix the ingredients up pretty well.

I found an old 2 tablespoon coffee measure (this used to be my mom's). She would like the idea I used it for something good, since I don't drink coffee.

Then the last thing I did was write down the measurements and taped it on the bucket so I won't forget just how much fits in this container.

And there you have it.

There are many other's that have different ideas of how homemade laundry detergent works for them.And some may not use these exact ingredients or the same ratio of ingredients.  For me, this works great! You can use a little more washing soda if you have harder to clean laundry and that would be a good reason to start with only have the ingredients to test it, then add more washing soda as you see fit.

*Some other notes about this detergent.

  • Where can I find these ingredients?You can usually find all the ingredients at your local grocery store. The Fels Naptha is usually in the laundry soap aisle along with the washing soda (again I used Arm & Hammer, which was in the laundry aisle at my store).

  • Can this be used in a HE (high efficiency) washer? I personally do not have one, but I was told by several people that do have them, it does just fine in them.

  •  Can this be used in hot water? Sure it can. I use it in cold and it works well.

  • Can I still use bleach? Yes, you can. I have not heard of any adverse reactions when using this along with bleach. I have added bleach to my whites and had no issues.

If you have any other questions, just leave me a note and I will do my best to find out the answers.

Next on my agenda is make my own dish soap. Stay tuned!


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