I have said before, in previous posts, that I make my own laundry detergent. It is simple, easy, and WAY cheaper than buying it at the store. I have been making it myself for a little over two years, I had a little break while I was pregnant because Wonderful Husband decided he wanted to go back to using Tide. He still does buy a small bottle to travel with him and will give me the left overs, but it is a luxury to use it.
There are a billion different recipes online for homemade detergent, and I am just going to add to it by posting my own. Most recipes call for some type of laundry bar (Fels Naptha, Zote, Castille, etc), Washing Soda, and Borax. I have played with my recipe and use the following breakdown:
1/2 bar Fels Naptha
1/2 cup Washing Soda
1/2 cup Borax
5 Gallon bucket
Larger Stock Pot
Using your big stock pot, put about 4 cups of water in it and turn it on to boil. While it is heating up, grate up your Fels Naptha (I seriously use my old cheese grater). When the water is at a rolling boil, add in the Fels Naptha and stir it gently until it is dissolved. Don’t whisk it or anything intense because it will get super bubbly. Once the soap is incorporated, stir in your Borax and Washing Soda. Stir it all together for a minute or two and then turn off the heat.
Get your faucet running hot water, the hotter the better, and fill up your 5 gallon bucket about halfway. Then add in your pot of soap mix. Stir it all together for a minute, and then add some more hot water into your bucket. I don’t really measure, but I would guess I end up with about 4 gallons when I am finished. Now, let your mixture set over night.
The next morning, it will be like a giant bucket of jello. Very carefully mix it up. I use Wonderful Husband’s paint stir attachment on his power drill. Once it is all stirred up and smooth it will really look like laundry detergent!
I saved old Tide bottles and fill them up so it is easier to dispense, but it is also fine to leave it in the bucket, put it in old milk jugs, pretty beverage containers, whatever you feel like doing!
It is a huge money saver for us. Fels Naptha is about 75 cents a bar, Washing soda is $2, and Borax is $2.50. You can get all of the ingredients to make a years worth of detergent for less than $10! Compared to $17 for only 50 loads with Tide. It gets the clothes very clean, and doesn’t smell unpleasant at all. I suppose if you wanted add essential oils to make it smell prettier you could do that too.
I also make our own fabric softener, but that’s for another day!