June 6, 2010

Want to do something Green, Frugal, and Efficient?

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)

IMG_72071. 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.IMG_71852. Pour your grated soap into a saucepan with 4 cups of tap water. Turn on medium-low heat.IMG_71903. Heat the soap in the water until the soap has dissolved. Stir occasionally.IMG_71924. Fill 5 gallon bucket half-way full with hot tap water.IMG_72115. Pour in your cup of washing soda.IMG_72136. Pour in your 1/2 cup of Borax.IMG_72177. Pour in the melted soap/water mixture. Stir well until the powders are dissolved.IMG_72218. 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.IMG_72259. The next day, your detergent will be ready to use. You’re going for an albino vomit kind of look.IMG_728010. 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. IMG_7285Shake 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.


Mom2One said...

Cool! I have never seen this recipe before. =) I like the fact that you can use scented oil with this recipe. If you read the back of the borax box you'll find that it has TONS of uses. Which is nice. Thanks for commenting on my post, and yes, I started watching Food, Inc., but I got sick to my stomach and turned it off. I couldn't believe how bad chickens were treated!! Crazy!

Lindsay said...

WOW! I love this. I hate paying lots of money for laundry detergent, but with 2 kids there's no way around it. I'm going to try it!

maren said...

While we're on the topic of CLEAN, I love the clean look of your blog--I usually read from google but stopped over to comment. I've been using this recipe for a little bit and had the hardest time finding Fels-Naptha...but good ole' Kroger had it! I tried the bigger stores like Walmart and Target with no luck. It works well for most everything! Thanks for sharing--great tutorial!

Stephanie said...

does it work well on your husbands things? With mine working outside all the time he's constantly coming home with grease all over him. Not to mention the boys and their baseball stuff. I love this idea though especially if it saves money!

Bernadette said...

I'm going to make some this weekend..
..at a minimum of 2 wash loads a day, we go through at least a big bottle of laundry detergent a week. lol, we couldn't afford Tide unless we gave up a car!
you are my budget's new best friend ;)

Monica said...

I was just google searching this last night! I am going to make the powder kind though I think. It seems a little easier, and since I'm so lazy, it's the one I'm gonna go with. LOL

Tiffany said...

I know quite a few people who make their own laundry detergent, looks like it'd work well. :)

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