Homemade Laundry Detergent- Part 3 of the Spring Cleaning Series
Spring is also the time of year that I start washing things that don't necessarily get washed as often as they should. Extra laundry means extra laundry detergent, and the cost can really add up! I have not purchased laundry detergent in years and here's everything you need to know so that you can stop too!
As a builder, Patrick is incredibly hard on his clothing. Anytime they do demo on an old building he gets absolutely filthy. What I am trying to say is that I have very high expectations for the effectiveness of my laundry detergent. When I started making homemade laundry detergent I must have tried 15 different "recipes". My results varied with each new batch but I learned a lot from the experience. In the end, I created a whole new recipe that met each of my requirements.
1. Impressive Cleaning Power - Unsurprisingly, some simply didn't clean well enough. There were also a few that seemed to leave a residue behind.
2. Cost Effective- a couple of them were nearly as expensive as simply buying Tide.
3. Easy to Assemble- This ended up being a bigger point than I expected. I found a liquid detergent that I really liked but I swear every time I went to do laundry I had run out and needed to make more... again! It was relatively easy to make but not easy enough to justify how frequently I needed more.
Like I said, in the end I created my own, and I have been so pleased with it. It smells fantastic, it works well, even on my husband's gross work clothes, it is super inexpensive, and I only have to make it ONCE A YEAR!
Here's the recipe:
*1 box of Borax- 76oz. -$3.99
*1 box of Washing Soda- 55oz- $3.99
*4 containers of the Dollar Store version of Oxyclean - 16oz each- $1.00 each (or 3lb container of OxyClean for $5.99)
*3 bars Fels Naptha - $1.00 each
*1 container of Purex fabric softener crystals - 28oz- $5.99
*1 box baking soda - 2lb - $1.49
There are only 3 steps.
1. Grate the Fels Naptha. I used my food processor and was amazed at how well that worked. I fed one bar at a time into the feed spout.
2. Add some Borax. Once the Fels Naptha is all grated, add a few scoops of Borax.
Adding that helped the blades break up the pieces of Fels Naptha even more.
Just make sure that you clean you food processor REALLY well, because you sure don't want to end up tasting Fels Naptha or Borax that next time you make food.
3. Mix it up. You can go ahead and use a giant bowl if you have one around but honestly the easiest thing to do is simply empty each container into a garbage bag and then shake it up.
Okay, I don't know if you can really call it "shaking". The bag is heavy at this point and you need to be careful not to accidentally poke any holes, but you just sort of jostle it around until it is mixed up.
Pour it into your container of choice and you are good to go.
These are 1/2 Gallon Ball Jars so this makes 2 Gallons of detergent.
What you need to know:
*Add 2 Tbsp to each load of laundry. The fake Oxyclean comes with a little scoop that just so happens to be exactly 2 Tbsp so don't throw those away!
*This is a low sudsing detergent, so it is safe to use in HE washers.
*If you don't get the Fels Naptha broken up enough, it may not dissolve as well in cold water loads.
*Prices will vary. I have seen similar recipes that list prices and they often seem to be higher. Mine technically was less than $25 but I rounded up. :-)
Looking for more Spring Cleaning Tips? You're in luck!
Part One: The Secret to Cleaning Microfiber