Thursday, June 5, 2014

Homemade Laundry Detergent

For the past year, I have made our laundry detergent. I have to say, I really enjoy doing so and have not had any "laundry weirdness" or mishaps as a result. Our clothes are clean. They smell fresh, and stains are successfully removed.  Making the detergent myself saves us a good bit of money every month on store-bought brands.Plus, the whole house smells fresh and citrus-y when I make it, an unexpected but appreciated bonus.

One of the reasons homemade detergent appeals to me is that it I'm responsible for making a product used often in my home. In our increasingly technological and at-your-fingertips world, we are so removed from the process of manufacturing/growing/raising the goods we use. Requiring myself to get the elbow grease out of the cabinet and make what I need gives me a sense of accomplishment. It's also the reason I enjoy having my own garden. I like to know that we are at least partly self-sufficient, that I can make what I need if I have to.

Making detergent is easier than you think. Here are the simple steps I follow. You can follow these or look up another recipe online. From what I can gather, the steps are pretty uniform recipe-to-recipe.

Homemade Laundry Detergent:

What you need:
Large box of baking soda
2 bars of Fels-Naptha soap
Large bowl or a 5 gallon bucket

What to do: 
1. Grate the Fels Naptha soap. Yes, it does look shockingly similar to cheddar cheese. Now that would be a shock! "Want some cheese on your burrito? Heh heh heh..." (That was my evil, diabolical life, by the way.)
2. Add the Borax, Oxyclean, and baking soda. Mix thoroughly.
3. Pour the mixture into your container.

Yep, it is really that easy.

I store my detergent in a glass container in our utility room and use  1-2 tablespoons when I wash, depending on the size of the load. In case you're wondering, I have a front-load washer, and the detergent still works fine. The last batch I made lasted 11 months. Let's see how long this one lasts!

If you try this recipe, let me know what you think.

Do you make any products or cleaners for your home?

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