I have been making changes left and right to the way my family eats and lives. With the information being provided about the effects of chemicals and additives in our food, and the horrible state of the economy, we really don’t have a choice.
Something I decided to try recently was to make my own laundry detergent. With a family of four, one member who works hard and gets his clothes filthy every day and another who changes her outfit multiple times daily, I do a lot of laundry. Decent detergent costs around $8 and $12 where I shop, and to me, spending that much every other week when I could make my own for a few bucks that would last for months is ridiculous.
I decided to use the Duggar family recipe for laundry detergent. I had read good reviews from those who had tried it, not to mention the Duggars always look pretty clean, right?
So here is what you need:
5 gallon bucket
1 gallon container made to hold liquids (if you don’t want to buy one, a milk or juice jug or an empty detergent container will work)
Borax (1/2 cup)
Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (1 cup)
Bar of Soap (they recommend Fels-Naptha, I had never seen or heard of that and couldn’t find it so I used Jergens. As long as it is plain, unscented regular soap, it should be fine)
1. Grate the bar of soap. Use a cheese grater, or if you lost yours during your move a year ago and still haven’t bought a replacement, use a handheld carrot and potato peeler.2. Pour your grated soap into a saucepan with 4 cups of tap water. Turn on medium-low heat.3. Heat the soap in the water until the soap has dissolved. Stir occasionally.4. Fill 5 gallon bucket half-way full with hot tap water.5. Pour in your cup of washing soda.6. Pour in your 1/2 cup of Borax.7. Pour in the melted soap/water mixture. Stir well until the powders are dissolved.8. After it is mixed well, fill the bucket the rest of the way up with hot water. Cover and let sit overnight to thicken. I used a pizza pan to cover it. Yes my pizza pan is covered in rust on the bottom. Just keeping it real.9. The next day, your detergent will be ready to use. You’re going for an albino vomit kind of look.10. Fill your gallon container half with water, and half with the soap. You can also add about 5-10 drops of essential oil for fragrance at this time. Shake well before each use, because it will gel more and settle.
For my top-loading machine, I use a little under a cup per regular load. For front loaders they recommend using 1/4 cup per load.
This recipe makes 10 gallons of detergent, since you only use half a gallon of it per gallon of the mixture. I store it in 10 different gallon containers ready to be used. Luckily I have a basement with a laundry room and space for storage. I know a lot of people don’t so you may want to halve this recipe.
From my experience, it gets clothes really clean! Let me know if you try it, or if you have any other homemade tips.