One day I was watching 17 and counting (or 18, 19, 20...IDK where they were at at this point...lol) and they were making their own detergent...AWESOME! They mentioned that for 5 gallons of it, the cost was mere PENNIES per load. I thought to myself "and why isn't EVERYONE doing this?" You can't get any better than that! So the next time I went to the store, I picked up all the ingredients. I have adapted their recipe just a tad for a little more laundry POWER and slight scent and I think I like it more than the original. So here is goes!
DIY LAUNDRY DETERGENT:
1 bar of soap*
2c. Arm and Hammer Washing Soda
Tea Tree Essential Oil (optional)
Lavender Essential Oil (optional)
5 gallon bucket with lid water kitchen gloves (optional)
Paint Stir Stick or Long Handled Spoon
*Fels Naptha is my favorite, but Ivory or Kiss My Face works as well
1. Grate the whole bar of your chosen soap. You can use a cheese grater, but I use my Microplane because it is SO MUCH FASTER!!!! Sorry I don't have a picture of this step :(
2. In a medium saucepan, fill about halfway with water. Add your grated soap and set to low heat. Heat, stirring occasionally, until all the soap has melted. Try not to stir too vigorously or you will cause bubbles.
3. While you are waiting for your soap to melt in the saucepan, run your tap water as hot as it will go and fill your 5 gallon bucket half way. Add both your Borax and Washing Soda to the water and stir. I use and old long handled spoon to stir (you wouldn't want to use it while cooking again after making this soap BTW) or you can use a paint stir stick.
4. Once the Washing Soda and Borax have dissolved and your soap has melted, add the soap mixture to the bucket and stir.
5. Once again run your tap water as hot as it will go and fill your bucket up the rest of the way.
6. Add 30 drops of Tea Tree Essential Oil and 50 drops of Lavender Essential Oil. This step is optional, but I enjoy the smell overall smell of the laundry soap when done!
7. Stir everything well and walk away!!!! Your pretty much done at this point...
8. There is no set time here, but every so often you'll want to mix your soap as it cools down. As it cools, it is going to thicken up considerably and the more often that you mix it, the smoother it will be. However, even if you forget to stir, you can always break up the clumps later. I normally make mine early evening and by the time I go to bed it's about 80% cooled and I just give it one more stir when I wake up in the morning and then your good to go!
You now have FIVE GALLONS of laundry soap!!!! Woo-hoo!!!!! With my family of five, that normally lasts us about 6ish months, so for what you spent to make it....it is DEFINITELY worth it!
I have a pitcher that I keep some in by my washer and dryer, so that you don't have to dip into the bucket each time...or keep that big ole' thing in your laundry room taking up space. When I wash I use roughly 1/4c. and that works great. It cleans wonderfully too because of the Borax (since it's a laundry booster).
If you have any questions, please feel free to ask...thanks for stopping by. Make sure to check back often for more simple DIY solutions, recipes, and health inspiration!