Monday, April 29, 2013

Homemade Laundry Detergent

So lately I have had some inquiries into how I go about making laundry detergent. I made my first batch awhile ago and went with a liquid version. It worked really well, but I thought I would try a powder version this time. If you are interested in the liquid version here is the recipe. The ONLY reason why I decided to try a dry version was to omit the cooking step.
Here is the recipe.
  1. Grate one bar of soap with cheese grater or food processor.
  2. Put grated soap in pan with 2 quarts water and gradually heat, stirring constantly until soap is completely dissolved.
  3. Put 4.5 gallons of really hot tap water in a 5-gallon bucket (available for free in bakeries at grocery stores, just ask them) and stir in 1 cup of borax and 1 cup of washing soda until completely dissolved.
  4. Pour soap mixture from pan into 5-gallon bucket. Stir well.
  5. Cover and leave overnight.
  6. Shake or stir until smooth and pour into gallon jugs or other containers.
  7. Use 1/2 to 1 cup per load.
  8. You could add a few drops of essential oils to each container and shake well, but that is completely optional.
Now if you want to go with the dry version here is what I did. 
I went and gathered my materials. 1 box Borax, 1 4lb. box Baking Soda, Washing Soda, FelsNaptha, Zote, and Essential Oil for scent.

Then I pulled out the trusty food processor.

Then I put on the grater attachment and grated up the felsnaptha and zote.

After grating, plop it into a bowl.

Then fit your standard blade onto the food processor.

Dump your gratings into the processor and whip it up till the gratings look like little bright pink and yellow pearls. You could probably make this with various soaps, but I REALLY like the color pink. And the pink Zote and yellow felnaptha were only 98 cents!
Then take a small portion of your baking soda and put it into a bowl.
 Then add a bunch of essential oil to your soda and mix well, breaking up any clumps as you go. You could also use Purex scented crystals if you wanted to bump up the scent a notch.
Next, grab a HUGE bucket and dump everything in (all the soap shavings, whole box of borax, whole boxes of baking and washing soda, essential oil mixture) and get mixing. Make sure you really scrape the bottom and get all those pretty soap colors distributed evenly throughout all the powder stuff.
 After its mixed well, put your mixture into a vessel of choice. I LOVE glass containers, so that's what I went with. There wasn't enough room in this container for all of my mixture, so I put the rest in a plastic bag to store for later. 
 If doing the liquid option you might want to choose old laundry soap containers or large juice containers. 
Hopefully this has inspired you to go make your own AWESOME and INEXPENSIVE homemade laundry detergent.
When you go to do your laundry you only need 2-4 tablespoons depending on your load size and it is safe for HE machines as well as septic systems. Pretty sweet, right?!

Note: You could add oxyclean to the mix, but I think that that stuff can be kind of harsh on sensitive skin so I opted out on that stuff, but you might want the extra boost.

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