Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Homemade Laundry Detergent.

Okay ladies :)
here is my recipe i used.
5 gallon bucket with a lid
2 cups Borax
2 cups Washing Soda
1 Bar washing laundry soap - Walmart only had the Fels Naptha so that is what I used.
Examples of laundry soap include Fels-Naptha, Ivory, Sunlight, Kirks Castile Bar Soap, or Zote.

Started with grating the bar of soap - if you have a regular food processor you can use that. You definitely want it shaved.
Add about 3-4 cups of water to a pot, bring to a boil, place half of your shavings in, melt, add the rest, melt.

While you are melting fill your 5 gallon bucket half way up with HOT water, some say boiling some say hot tap water, i think it kinda would depend on how your tap water is. I have my water up pretty hot for the sink. so I just used the tap water.
Pour 1 cup at a time the 2 cups borax and 2 cups washing soda. Stir and let each cup dissolve before adding the next.
You will know its dissolved when you can no longer hear the gritty sand sound.

Once the soap is melted pour mixture into your five gallon bucket. Stir and then fill bucket almost full (about two inches or so to the top). Give it a final stir and place the lid on it. This mixture is fairly heavy. Move the bucket to a place to sit over night.

When you open your bucket you will find a thick almost jello like substance. Use your stirrer and start mixing it up. You are going to get a funky texture. It will be a little chunky... after about five minutes of mixing you will get a fairly decent consistency.
At this point you can put the stuff in your bottles --- use old detergent bottles, milk jugs, juice containers....

So this makes 5 gallons of detergent. I spent about 8 bucks on my supplies (minus the five gallon bucket which is about 4 bucks). Next time I mix it up I will only have to buy a bar of soap. You will have enough borax and washing soda for at least 5 batches.

I used 3/4 cup of the solution in my wash. I poured some in my "tide" lid to see how it compared... and Im gonna guess Tide and other detergents use about 2/3 cup. I have heard 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup will do the trick.

I tested my first load out on towels. I couldn't tell one difference in how it cleaned. Only difference is your stuff will not have a heavy laundry smell --- which is VERY hard to get used too. I've used the Hypo allergenic soaps before and always miss the smell, but seriously i want my clothes clean I shouldn't care about the scent.
I use downy dryer sheets, I cant use the liquid cause we are on septic and was informed that downy will coat your septic tank and make you have to clean it out more often. (OUCH on the pocketbook)

For those that want a smell, which is always nice. Here are some ideas from a website on essential oils to add.
  • Flowery sweet blend: 2 parts lavender essential oil, 1 part vanilla essential oil
  • Flowery savory blend: 2 parts lavender essential oil, 1 part rosemary essential oil
  • Flowery fruity blend: Equal parts geranium and sweet orange essential oils
  • Romantic blend # 1: Equal parts rose and geranium essential oils
  • Romantic blend # 2: Equal parts jasmine and ylang ylang essential oils
  • Herbal lemon blend: 2 parts lemon essential oil, 1 part lemongrass essential oil, 1 part chamomile essential oil
  • Fresh citrus blend: Equal parts lemon, lemongrass, and tea tree essential oil
  • Citrusy blend: Equal parts lemon and sweet orange oils
  • Minty blend: Equal parts peppermint and eucalyptus oils
You will need to mix/shake each time you use it.
The Duggers actually dilute theirs  by when they add their stuff to their jugs they put half soap half water. Which probably will help in the shaking/mixing process. Which would make 10 gallons. But I think ill just use the 5 gallons and put my soap in a minute before i load the clothes.
THIS IS LOW SUDS. in fact I didn't even see suds. I was warned about this and was told suds do not mean clean lol so i didn't fret about it.
You can use this in your front loaders.

I think your water has alot to do with the whole thing. I hear that if you have hard water the washing soda will help it. That is why I used the 2 cup.  Some recipe's will be 1/2 cup to 1 cup.
So, there are 128 ounces in 1 gallon, so I made 640 ounces. 8 ounces is a cup and I use 1/2 to 3/4 a cup --- so im gonna guess I'm gonna get around 106 to 160 loads.
My small container of Era is 32 loads which is incorrect cause i use the #3 line so im assuming that means i  get basically 10 to 15 loads of clothes. so at 33 cents a load.

Now lets say I can get 5 batches out of the stuff I bought. I use 2.50 basically each time i make a 5 gallon bucket.
so 2.50 and 160 loads :) equals 2 cents a large load.

If i was buying scent free detergent I wouldn't hesitate at making this detergent. Everything came out with no smells at all... which is odd right.... and kinda comforting lol ....
I enjoy my clothes smelling good so I might add the essential oils.
If you want the oils add it after it cools. I would just had like 4 drops per  bottle.  Essential oils are more expensive and will make your costs go up.

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