Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Laundry Detergent...why buy when you can DIY???

Why buy when you can DIY???  I am home today from work and realized that I have a lot of dirty laundry and am almost out of my detergent.  Believe it or not but at the time of this blog post, I have not bought any prepared laundry detergent in the past 9 months.  I had found instructions for homemade gel/liquid laundry detergent and have made some modifications.  The original instructions produced a very thick clumpy product that worked fine but would occasionally leave a white residue on my laundry.  Through trial and error, I have come up with a concoction that works great for me.  It leaves my clothes very fresh smelling and clean!  It is low sudsing and should work well in HE machines as it does not leave any residue behind.  It will have some separation in the finished product but just give it a good shake and it is just fine.  To make 6.21 L or 210oz follow the instructions below.  Adjust amounts for other size bottles.

See my pretty flowers from my sweetheart for Valentine's Day?

What you will need:

1 empty repurposed large liquid laundry detergent plastic container (Mine is a see through plastic and holds 6.21 L or 210 oz.)

1/3 of a 5 ½ bar of Fels-Naptha Laundry Bar Soap (in the laundry isle)

1/3 cup Borax Laundry Booster

1/3 cup Super Washing Soda (NOT baking soda!!)

6.21 Liters of very hot water

A grater that you will designate just for shredding up the bar soap

A funnel is nice and will make the job much easier but not necessary

This is how you do it….

  1. Grate 1/3 of the bar of Fels-Naptha bar soap into a large sauce pan.
  2. Add approx. 6 cups of hot water to the pan and heat and stir until all of the soap is dissolved.
  3. While the water is heating up you can remove the easy pour insert in the neck of the laundry bottle by sticking your finger into the opening and hooking under the lip with your finger pull straight up.  It is a tight fit but you should be able to pull the insert out.  It will get easier each time.
  4. Add 1/3 cup of the Super Washing Soda and mix until dissolved.
  5. Add 1/3 cup of the Borax Laundry Booster and mix until dissolved.

  6. Pour the mixture into the laundry bottle.  Push the insert back into the opening of the bottle making sure you line it up in the right direction and fill the bottle with the hot tap water up to the top.
  7. Replace the cap and shake up the bottle. 

You can use the detergent right away while it is still hot but it will be very liquidy.  Once the detergent has cooled (usually 6-12 hours) it will thicken up.  Make sure the shake the bottle well before each use.  You only need one capful of detergent for each load of laundry.  It will not suds up but does not need to in order to clean your clothes.  I add about 20 drops of Patchouli Essential Oil to the hot mixture and mix well.  However, the scent of the Fels-Naptha soap is so clean and fresh it is great without any additional fragrance.

I store my supplies for making my detergent in an emplty cat litter container.  I am still using the first box of borax and washing soap that I bought 8 months ago.   

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