Here and There

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Homemade Laundry Detergent

I've read a lot of recipes for homemade laundry detergent.  I've been wanting to make one, because it seems very frugal, but some of the recipes sounded too involved.  Boiling a pot of soap on the stove sounds gross. Another annoying thing is the measurements all seemed so arbitrary.  One cup of Borax (even though you have to buy a 4 lb. box?) 2 bars of soap, etc.

I decided I wanted to try a simple, large batch of powder-type detergent.  So I went for the basic 3 part recipe, but in the easiest quantities:  1 large box of borax, 1 large box of washing soda (which is different from baking soda in that is is sodium carbonate NOT sodium bicarbonate...interesting.)
and a bar of laundry-type soap.

I did this outside, I grated a bar of soap and combined all three ingredients in a garbage bag.  It was powdery.  It looked suspect.  Very "Breaking Bad".  I filled an old container I had sitting around and labeled it "Laundry Soap".  About half my batch fit in this container, I have the rest in the garbage bag waiting to refill the container. 

Here's the kicker.  You only use 1 TB of soap per load.  This batch of detergent could last me months and months! 

I used it to wash a regular load of clothes and it was great.  I used it to wash a sheet and mattress protector that had been in an accident, a pee accident.  There was no pee smell lingering after I washed with the detergent.  So, thumbs up so far!  I will say the smell of the soap bar is a little weird to me.  The clothes don't smell like it, but when I open the container to use the detergent, it's not my favorite smell.  Next time I would use a bar of Zote (another laundry soap) and see if I like that better. 

You can get Borax at Target, and I got the Fels-Naptha at CVS, but the Washing Soda was hard to find.  They had it at Berkeley Bowl West.  All the ingredients together cost me about $8.


Erin said...

nice job, sis!

Kim said...

Impressive. I'll buy some off of you if you want to sell it. :)

Dana Lundblad said...

Not surprisingly, I love this!

Little Ashies said...

I love this too! Just made it. Jill, did you have any trouble getting this to mix together well? I can tell the grated soap (not as fine and yellow) didn't mix perfectly with the other 2 (white powder).

jillyg said...

yes, i usually give it a stir with my tablespoon, just to make sure i get a good number of the grated soap pieces in the scoop each time i use it.