Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Save $ with Homemade Laundry Detergent
The above photos are a few I took earlier today as I was whipping up a batch of Homemade Laundry Detergent . . . I will share the recipe near the end of this post but first I wish to do some explaining . . .
This is one of the best money saving ideas I've ever tried and it is also great for those who suffer from allergies. This recipe will produce about 10 gallons of liquid laundry detergent. The smell is mild and clean. If you wish, you can add a few drops of essential oils (available at most every health food store) in a fragrance of your choice. I choose to leave that out.
There are many recipes for liquid laundry detergent but this is one of the easiest and most frugal. For a batch of about 10 gallons, you find that you have generated enough for about 320 average loads of laundry for the grand total of under $3.00 and about an hour of your time.
A few tips before you start include obtaining 5 gallon bucket. The deli/bakery area of most larger supermarkets have them. A few will give them to you but some (including WalMart) will charge you for them. Check around. Be sure to get one with a lid. Some of the buckets are only about 4 gallons but you can adjust with another container.
Another tip is to save your liquid laundry detergent containers. You don't even have to wash them out! You may begin with only one, but I use between 8 and 10 on a regular basis. Of course, when I did purchase them, I got them on a sale . . . a friend may save them for you also.
Here is the recipe:
4 cups hot tap water
1 - bar of Fels Naptha soap (10 - 12 ounces)
(or Ivory, Sunlight, Kirk's Hardwater Castile, Zote bars or Octagon)
(If you use Octagon - which I did - you will need 2 bars since they are smaller)
You will need between 10 and 14 ounces of bar soap!!!
1 cup Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
*Baking Soda nor Arm & Hammer Detergent will work - it must be sodium carbonate
3/4 cup Borax (20 Mule Team brand is readily available)
2 Tbs. glycerin (this is optional but will make it smoother) - it is available at any
drugstore/WalMart *(Oops! Walmart no longer stocks it!)
Grate or finely chop/shave the bar of soap. I find that using a big knife on a cutting board works best. The finer you make it the quicker it will dissolve. Add the hot tap water and the grated soap to a pan over medium heat. Stir occasionally prevent it from sticking or lumping up. When the soap is completely melted, fill the 5 gallon bucket half full of hot tap water. Add the melted soap, washing soda and Borax. Stir well until the powder is all dissolved. Stir in the glycerine if desired. If you wish to use essential oil for fragrance, stir that in now as well (20-30 drops). Fill the bucket with more water, stir and let sit overnight to thicken.
Stir and then fill your laundry container half full with the soap. Fill the rest of the way with water. Shake before each use as it will gel. You can leave it in the bucket, stirring well before each use and use a measuring cup to transfer it to your washing machine. If you choose this method, you may divide the detergent between two five gallon buckets and fill each with water, stirring well.
When the detergent is fully diluted (making a total of 10 gallons), here are instructions for use:
Top load machine - 1/2 cup per load
Front load machine - 1/4 cup per load
This detergent WILL thicken so be sure to shake or stir well before each use.
It will leave your clothes smelling fresh and clean and just think of all the money you are saving. What will you do with it? It is my hope that you will use it to stock up on food and other necessities for hard times are just around the corner.
Comments are welcome!