Monday, February 4, 2013

Homemade Laundry Detergent

Homemade Laundry Detergent
  After reading somewhere that a household can spend close to $700 a year on various cleaning products, I decided I could do better. I am a huge Gain laundry detergent girl. Got it from my Mama. I've never used anything else. Well, since we're down to one income, I'm willing to put my brand-snob aside and give this a try. 
  I believe in giving credit where credit is due. This is not my recipe. I got the idea from I did, however, change somethings up. 
Here's how I made my first batch:
1 (4 lb 12 oz) Box of Borax
1 (3 lb 7 oz) Box of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
2 (14.1 oz) Bars of Fels Naptha
1 (4 lb) Box of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda
1 (13.2 oz) Bottle of Downy Unstoppables

Optional Ingredients that I did not use:
1 (3 lb) Container of OxyClean
1 more (13.2 oz) bottle of Downy Unstoppables
2 bars of Zote soap instead of Fels Naptha
All the ingredients I used were found in the Laundry Aisle at Wal-Mart. My grand total was close to $13 but mind you, I got my Downy Unstoppables on sale plus a Super Doubled coupon at Harris Teeter for only $2.

  First, I began the not-so-fun task of grating the Fels Naptha bars. I have to say it was a nice arm workout, though. If you can find Zote soap in the bags already grated, spend the few extra nickels and get it. If you have to go the route that I did, use a large bowl to collect all the wondrous shavings. Also, use the finest side to grate. I used the larger holes towards the end of the bar to avoid grating my fingernails, too.
This is Fels Naptha grated… NOT cheese!

   Next, I put half the bottle of Downy Unstoppables into my mini food processor. Gave it a quick whirl just to chop up the pieces a bit more. Since the noise was scaring my 7 month old and I couldn't do much with him on my hip, I didn't process the other half. I'm sure it'll be fine. Also, no picture. The screaming infant kind of made me lose track of what I was doing.

  After the kid calmed down and I got him to take a nap, I finally finished my detergent. Now, my goal is to SAVE money, all that I can even if that means pinching the snot out of a penny. So with that said, yes I did use a trash bag and a cardboard box to do my mixing and storing. Go buy an $8 Rubbermaid container if you want. I don't have that luxury. :)

  It's best to mix by layers. I did a layer of all then mixed well with a mixing spoon. Then I added all the rest and mixed again. Since I did this in a trash bag, I took it out and gave it a shake. 
Trash bag lining my sewing machine's cardboard box.

All mixed together.

  When I finished mixing it, I separated some into a Gain laundry detergent box that I had saved since I've had this bright idea for months now and am just now acting on it. The two marks on the scoop indicated one tablespoon and two tablespoons. The rest is in a smaller size cardboard box still in the trash bag stored in the laundry room.
Reduce, reuse, & recycle, y'all!

** I am posting this a little prematurely because I haven't washed any laundry with this yet. I'm posting because several people asked for my recipe on Facebook. Let me know how yours works and I'll be back to update in a few days!
     Update: I washed my first load with this concoction this weekend. Worked great! No residue left on my clothes. Smelled fine. I also used Gain fabric softener as I usually do and my Bounce dryer bar. Can't wait to wash more clothes… yes, I just said that.

UPDATE #2: I finished using this set of detergent. Started 2/9/13 and ended 12/23/13 and it ended up being 115+ loads! There were a few times that my husband forgot to mark the load on our scorekeeper. I just made another batch but this time I didn't get any of the fragrance enhancers such as Downy Unstoppables because I feel they didn't add much in the way of scent. I will be adding my Scentsy Washer Whiffs to each load as needed. 

1 comment:

  1. I loved using the unstoppables in mine! I have been making the homemade Laundry detergent for right at a year now.. and i love tweaking my recipe.. .. i use the exact same thing you have posted.. except i use one fels naptha and one zote.. and the blue unstoppables.