Monday, September 16, 2013

My Favorite Homemade Laundry Detergent

My apologies for my absence.  We lost our Internet service for a while and it took some talking to the service reps several times, lots of troubleshooting and eventually replacement of the modem.  Throughout all this, I discovered that the system we have is, indeed, quite remarkable according to a T-Mobile rep (fast internet service in the middle of nowhere) and the price we're paying is actually quite reasonable.  For that, I was happy to hear!

Anyhoo, back to the subject at hand... laundry detergent!

If you're like me then you enjoy laundry day.  What?  You don't enjoy doing laundry?  OK, so you're not like me!  Most people aren't but that's OK.  I don't exactly know why I enjoy doing laundry so much but since laundry is a necessary chore whether you enjoy doing it or not the least one could do is make the chore easier and more affordable if possible.

I have made and used a liquid detergent in the past.  It was fairly simple to make and worked well but it became lumpy once it cooled.

I did not want to even attempt making a batch of it while on the road due to storage space.

I was about out of my supply of detergent that came with a water system we bought for the house when I came across the following recipe (sadly I can't remember where I found it to give the credit).  I hesitated using a powder detergent because I wasn't sure if it would dissolve well enough but I decided to give it go and boy am I glad I did!

Here's the recipe:

Ingredients -

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 OxiClean- found in the detergent aisle. (This is optional but is recommended)

2 (14.1 oz) Bars of Zote or Fels Naptha Soap- found in the detergent aisle

1 (4 lb) Box of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda- found in the cooking aisle

1-2 (55 oz) Bottle of Purex Crystals Fabric Softener- or use 3-4 bottles of Scentsy Washer Whiffs - found in the detergent aisle  (I found one bottle of Purex to be sufficient)

Grate the bars of soap by using a Microplane Zester/Grater.  This is the most time-consuming part of the process but since one batch will last you a long time you won't have to do it very often.

The recipe also said you could use a food processor or microwave the soap before hand. First, cut the bar into chunks or slices. Pop it into the microwave for about a minute. It will expand… a lot…but then it is dry and just crumbles into tiny bits!  Please note, I did not try either of those methods so I do not know how well they work.

Now that the hardest part is over all that’s left to do is to mix everything together.

Use a very large bucket and take a layering approach to mix it easier. (I used a small Rubbermaid tote.)  Take a small amount of each ingredient and layer it on top of each other.  Do this about 5 times then take a large spoon and mix it all together.  This is so much easier than dumping all the ingredients in at once and then trying to mix it well.

One batch will make a lot!  

Now for probably the best part…you only need 1-2 Tablespoons per load depending on the size. And the stroke of genius... if you opted to put the Purex Crystals in your batch, you can scoop the detergent right into your bottle and use the cap as your measuring spoon. There are 3 lines on the side and the middle one is approximately 2 Tablespoons…genius right?

I opted for a large glass container and a coffee scoop...

that fits nicely in my little cabinet above the washer/dryer in the fifth wheel.  The extra detergent is stored in the Rubbermaid tote.  And, one of these days, I'll make a cute label for the jar.

What I like about this detergent is the fact that I can use one scoop (or less) and I'm done.  The OxiClean and the fabric softener are already in the detergent making it quick and easy to get a load started.

My clothes are clean, fresh and soft even when line-dried which is my favorite part of doing laundry even in triple digit weather!

And the best part?  The money you will save!  The original recipe stated that the cost is about $28 a year! Not bad considering the price of one bottle of laundry detergent these days.  It also states that it works in HE washers and with cold water too.

I urge you to give it a try.  If you do, let me know what you think!

Happy laundry day!

Till next time,


Gail Dixon said...

I'm in your camp: I love doing laundry. The recipe sounds like a worthwhile endeavor since the price of my favorite detergent is so expensive these days. Don't know if I'm brave enough to try this, but I'll let you know if I do. :)

Debbie Linkous said...

Welcome back!! I was going through withdrawls... :P

I'll have to show this to the Mr. since he does most of the laundry. He's famous for saving a dime, so it may appeal! :)

Chris said...

Hi there, just stopping by to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris

Flat Creek Farm said...

Glad to see you back!! Yes.. love this recipe. I've tweaked it a couple times but this is my current favorite too! -Tammy

Flat Creek Farm said...

ps - thanks again for the redbubble advice. I finally joined up, and am following you. Best wishes!! Love your work!! -T

Heather @ Simple Wives said...

I love homemade laundry detergent. Hope you are doing well. :)

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