Thursday, November 4, 2010

Make It Monday: Laundry Detergent

I must admit, Make It Monday was more for me than the kids this week. I've been needing to make laundry detergent, since I've been using my $0.50 backup store-bought detergent for a while now. (Gotta love a good deal!) I finally remember to add Borax to the grocery list, so we were all set to go. We've been making this for 7 months or so now. It is very cost effective. On average, Tide costs about 58¢ per load.  I've figured out that it costs 3-5¢ per load of homemade detergent, depending on which version you make. Not bad. It is also very simple to make. This time, I tried the powdered version.

Powdered Laundry Detergent
2 cups Fels Naptha Soap, finely grated  (You can use any soap that lists sodium palmate, sodium cocoate, sodium tallowate, etc. We use Lever 2000.)
1 cup Washing Soda
1 cup Borax

1. Mix well and store in an airtight plastic container.
2. Use 2 tablespoons per full load.

We use a spice grinder to shred the soap.

We use an old ice cream bucket to store the detergent. Talk about economical!

We have also made the liquid version. It works just as well, but takes much longer to make.

Liquid Laundry Detergent
1 quart Water (boiling)
2 cups Bar soap (grated)
2 cups Borax
2 cups Washing Soda
2 gallons Water

1. Add finely grated bar soap to the boiling water and stir until soap is melted. Keep on low heat until soap is melted.
2. Pour the soap water into a large, clean pail and add the Borax and Washing Soda. Stir well until all is dissolved.
3. Add 2 gallons of water, stirring until well mixed.
4. Cover pail and use 1/4 cup for each load of laundry. Stir the soap each time you use it because it will gel and be goopy.

Melted soap

Finished detergent

The hardest part of making the detergent is shredding the soap. That's why I make Leighton do it! It's not difficult, just tedious. Other than that, it's very easy and quick. Not to mention fun. And cheap. Go ahead and try it and let us know what you think.
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  1. just bought the stuff myself to make my own laundry detergent and household cleaners

  2. i use my meat grinder attachment for my kitchen aid to shred the soap. i don't have to do the work at all. :) I wish i could make the powdered soap cause it is so much quicker, but craig doesn't like powdered detergent :( -paula

  3. Do you know if you can you use the powdered mix in a HE machine?

  4. I can't say for certain because I don't have an HE machine, but everything I've read (from many, many sites) say that it works just fine. I LOVE this detergent! It works better than any commercial soap.

  5. This is great, Erika! I also love your Make it Monday. What a fun way to start the week! To answer Starr's question, I make my own detergent very similar to Erika's and I use a HE washer. It works beautifully. :)

    Thanks for sharing, Erika!