Thursday, February 9, 2012

Make Your Own Laundry Detergent

I decided to try making my own laundry detergent this past fall.  I had heard how much money you can save and how great the detergent works.  I went to the store and purchased my items, which cost me roughly $20, and I used the empty bucket from my store bought detergent (it says 32.5 lbs on the bucket).  I honestly do not remember where I found the "recipe" for this detergent, it was a long time ago.

  • 12 c. Borax
  • 8 c. baking soda
  • 8 c. washing soda
  • 8 c. Fels Naptha soap, grated
This is a hard water mixture, for soft water you leave out the baking soda.  You can also add a few drops of essential oil for scent, but I found that the Fels Naptha has a very pleasant scent that I enjoy.  So, as you know, I am NOT about measuring anything!  Here is how I made my detergent.  I went to the laundry aisle at Wal-Mart and bought the supplies, you can get big boxes of baking soda there instead of buying a hundred little ones!  I mixed 2 boxes of Borax, 2 boxes of washing soda, 1 1/2 boxes of baking soda and 4 bars of grated Fels Naptha.

To use this detergent you only need 2 tablespoons per load!!  That is A LOT less than the huge scoop that my old detergent called for!

To wrap up this story, that bucket of store bought detergent supposedly washed 200 loads.  I filled the empty bucket with my homemade detergent, it was approximately as full as it was when I originally bought it.  I have been using that ONE recipe of detergent for FIVE MONTHS and it is still about half full!  I average one load of laundry per day, there are only 4 of us so I can get away with that.  Five months is approximately 150 days, which means approximately 150 + loads of laundry (some days I do two or three loads).  If I got 150 + loads out of half the bucket ... I will get over 300 loads out of $20 worth of detergent!  Wow!!  Previously I was spending $10-$20 per month on detergent, this is averaging out (so far) to just over $20 per year!!
If you have a larger family or go through more laundry than us, it will not work out quiet the same, but I bet you could still save quiet a bit of money!

Some extra info:  I use warm/cold setting and it works just fine; my hubby's clothes were always very tough to get odors out because of the smoke, sawdust, grease, etc. smells and this works great!!  I think the baking soda makes a huge difference there.

Oh, and mix as you go ... do not try to dump it all in and then mix.  That's what I did, and it was very difficult!

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