08 July 2013

Homemade Laundry Detergent - You can so do this!

 I do a lot of laundry. Three messy kids, 7-month-old twins with reflux, giant dog, regular life...I do a lot of laundry. Right now we're paying about $0.17 per load - I usually do about two loads a day, so I'm paying about $130 a year for detergent. I also add oxygen cleaner to each load, so that's another $70 a year, plus dryer sheets or softeners and stain treaters, so I estimate I pay about $300 a year for "laundry chemicals."

Not bad, but I have to buy food, too, you know?

I started researching making my own laundry detergent, but it felt like I had to do a lot of searching for some of the ingredients, and I'm lazy. So I put it off. UNTIL TODAY.

I use powdered detergent. It cleans and rinses better and you have the option to put some back easily if you "over-scoop." I hate wasting detergent. I have to buy food, too! So I meandered around the internet for like a year and finally decided to create my own. I just sort of took the "main ingredients" from everyone else's recipes and made one that included everything. The optional items that I added to mine were baking soda (odor control) and epsom salts (for softening - seeya later, softeners!)

The bigger one in the laundry aisle - $3.00 at Walmart.

$3.00 at Walmart

So if you really don't feel like adding those two, just go with what you see from here. 

I used an entire box of Borax - the smaller of the two you see in this picture. $3.98 at Walmart.

One bar of this. $1.50 at Walmart

40 ounces (or so) of this.  $10 for 96oz at Walmart.

One box of this. $3.30 at Walmart.

Two bars of this. $.99 at Walmart. But if you're not going to use baking soda and epsom salts, just use one. I'm actually not sure if they sell this across the entire country, as the website on the back is a Mexican domain. We Texas folk are lucky like that. If you can't find this, any bar of laundry soap will work. A second bar of Fels Naptha would be fine, too. 

Here's what you do: 

1) Grate your soap bars with a cheese grater. It's just soap. You use soap to wash your cheese grater, so it's all good. Just rinse it well when you're done. 

2) Puree your grated soap in your food processer. You want it itty bitty and grainy. I added a few tablespoons of the oxy cleaner to my batches of soap in the food processor to help it dry up a little and get powdery. This was SUPER helpful. 

3) Find a big tub and dump your processed soap, Borax, Oxy cleaner and washing soda in there all together and stir it up well. If you're using the baking soda and epsom salts as well, throw that in too. Mix it up like crazy and you're done! You can also add 30-40 drops of essential oils, but whatevs. I wasn't that motivated. I don't necessarily need everyone to smell delicious. I just don't want them to stink.

One tablespoon for regular loads, two tablespoons for large loads! I'm storing mine in old formula containers because they have a handy scoop and are manageable sizes that I can sit on my laundry table. 

And yeah, I'm saving a ton of money. Fifty bucks for a year's worth of detergent? That's $250 for the bank! 

"Hey Mom, remember when we were so poor you made laundry soap in the kitchen?" 

"Hey kids, remember when I taught you to stick it to the corporate man?"

Homemade detergent. It works on so many levels.

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