So a couple of weeks ago I had HAD it!
I was FED UP!
I could not bring myself to buy ONE MORE bottle of over-priced, wastefully-packaged laundry detergent.
I just couldn’t do it!
Now, I’m no eco-nazi (far from it), but buying those big bottles of laundry detergent, lugging them home and then turning around and throwing them away was definitely starting to get to me. I mean seriously….what a monumental waste! Not to mention the COST! $15 for a bottle of Brand Name Laundry Detergent that’s smaller than my fountain Diet Coke?? I won’t do it!
It was about this same time that I just happened to come across a picture someone posted on Pinterest of their “Homemade” laundry detergent! Call me naive, but it had never even occurred to me that you could MAKE your own detergent! I did a little research online and decided to give it at try. It turns out it’s actually quite easy.
Liquid Laundry Soap-Family Sized Batch
- 1 bar grated Fels Naptha soap
- 5 gallon bucket
- 1 cup washing soda (Again, Arm and Hammer)
- 1 cup 20 Mule Team Borax
- 4 1/2 gallons water
Worked out great. I’ve been very happy with it! The main thing you have to get used to is it hardly make any suds at all. At first this is a bit unnerving (especially for my husband!)…but the more I read about it online…I realized that “suds” are not what gets our clothes CLEAN. As a matter of fact, as with dishwashing liquid, the suds are totally cosmetic and add no cleaning value. Less suds is actually better for our clothes. Today I realized we were getting close to the end of the first batch…so I decided to make some more. This time I followed a slightly different recipe I found online at Why Not Sew?
- 1 bar of soap (any kind you want)
- 1 cup of Borax
- 1 cup of washing soda
- a big pot ( that holds more than 2 gallons)
- a grater
- a funnel
- a long spoon
- 2 empty gallon jugs/containers
I use approximately 1/2 – 1 cup per large load (depending on how dirty the clothes are!) The main difference is that it makes a more manageable 2 gallons (instead of 5 gallons) and you can make it in one big pot on the stove, instead of having to use a 5 gallon bucket. Here are the two gallons I made today.
After months of making this laundry soap now….I have started dividing it into THREE gallon jugs instead of TWO. I was always adding water anyway because it gets very thick! So I just decided to add a 3rd jug and now it seems to be just about right. :-) Just an FYI! STILL LOVIN this stuff!
If you are a powdered detergent fan…you can also make a DRY version of the exact same soap. Here is a recipe I found at LittleHouseInTheSuburbs.com:
Powdered Laundry Soap:
- 2 cups finely grated soap (Ivory, Fels Naptha, Zote, homemade, or a combination)
- 1 cup borax
- 1 cup washing soda
Mix and store in a coffee can or what have you. Use 1-2 T per load.
Since there is no water added…it is very concentrated and you hardly use any per load!
So….if you have reached the end of your “soap rope” when it comes to the high price of laundry detergent…I would whole-heartedly suggest giving this a try! I’m no math wiz…but from everything I’ve read online…this homemade stuff costs roughly .01-.03 cents a load!
I think I’m safe in saying I will never go back to lugging those big plastic bottles home from the store again.