Monday, February 21, 2011

Look What I Made: Homemade Laundry Detergent

After about a year of hearing other friends making their own laundry soap, and after doing some research on the subject, I finally decided to make my own. Most of my friends make the liquid form, but I decided to make the powdered form because most sites said to use powdered for top load washing machines, and liquid for front load washers. The recipe I used was from the Duggar family famous for the show 19 Kids and Counting, but most sites use the same recipe. It was so simple to do, and although I haven't done the math, I think we are going to be saving quite a bit of money. I have done 4 loads of laundry so far, including whites, and they all came out great. I even washed a new silk sweater with no problems. So far, I'm loving it and it was so easy to make. The kids enjoyed helping make it also. It was our home economics part of school on Friday.

The first ingredient is a bar of soap. Fels-Naptha is recommended, but sites said Ivory could be used, as well as other brands which I can't remember the names of right now.
You are instructed to either grate the soap, or cut it into pieces and put into a food processor. We decided to take the grating approach. It looks like we're grating a block of cheese, huh?
 After grating for a few minutes, we decided to go ahead and try to cut the soap into pieces and put it into the food processor. I soon learned that this soap was hard to cut with a knife, but I got a few pieces cut.
We put on the food processor grating blade and added the soap.
Did not like the results. Pieces were getting stuck between the blade and lid. Maybe we need to try the regular blade, or our processor is old?
So, we went back to grating our soap. Still looks like cheese, huh?
After that, we put it in the food processor with the regular blade to grind into powder.
 Now it looks like cornmeal, huh?
Once that is done, I put it into a ziploc tub and added a 1/2 cup Borax and
 1 cup Arm and Hammer Washing Soda. Mix it all up.
 I'm keeping a tablespoon in the tub and only have to add 1 tbs for a load of laundry, or 2 tbs for more soiled laundry (like towels).

I think the recipe said this amount would do 40 loads of laundry. It would be very easy to double or triple the recipe and just keep in a bigger tub. Roger bought the ingredients, so I'm not sure the exact price of the Fels-Naptha, but I'm pretty sure the Borax was less than $3, and the Washing Soda less than $5. They are large boxes and considering I am only using 1/2 to 1 cup of these products at a time, right there is a savings in money. It'll only cost me money to buy a new soap bar each time I need to make more. I think I'm really going to like this and am wondering why I didn't do this sooner. Try it and see for yourself.

1 comment:

  1. You are amazing! I still have not tried it. Maybe now I will :)