Sunday, August 05, 2012

Making our own laundry detergent.

I've been intrigued the last few months by the number of people I see online making their own cleaning supplies, especially laundry detergent. I kicked the idea around for a few months, not sure it was worth the hassle. Then I realized several people I know were doing it and were happy with the results, so I figured I'd give it a try. Plus it sounded like a good project to do with Noah.

I looked at several different recipes and finally decided on Being Creative to Keep my Sanity's recipe, with a couple of adjustments.

  • 1 - 4 lb 12 oz box Borax (2.15 kg or 76 oz) found in the detergent isle
  • 1 - 4 lb box Arm & Hammer Baking Soda (1.81 kg) found in the cooking isle
  • 1  box Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda 55 oz (3 lb 7 oz) found in the detergent isle
  • 3 bars of Fels-Naptha soap, found in the detergent isle (if you use Zote bars use 2 bars instead, Zote can be found at Home Depot)
  • 2 small containers of Oxy Clean or store brand Oxy Clean (try to get about 3.5 lbs total (1.58 kg)) found in the detergent isle. (This is optional, I added it into mine because I have pretty messy kids and the cleaner the better.)
 Because I wasn't completely convinced this was going to work I decided to make a half batch of the recipe. I used Zote laundry soap instead of FelsNaptha. I also didn't include the OxyClean since I forgot to buy it. I figure I can add it later if I need it. 

Here are my supplies, including my morning cup of chai.
Noah grated the bar of Zote. It has a wonderful lemon smell to it.
We dumped everything into a large trash bag set inside a five gallon tote.
Since we did a half recipe I made Noah do the math and measuring.
and the stirring.
Noah showing off the final result.
Labeled and ready to go!

This is our final recipe:
  • 1/2 box of Borax (38 oz)
  • 2lb of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda
  • 1/2  box Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda 27.5 oz
  • 1 bar Zote laundry soap (shredded)better)
Next time I will shred the Zote so it is finer. I think it will distribute better if the pieces are smaller. 

I have been using this in our HFE front load washer. I put it right in with the clothes. I am using about a tablespoonful per load, with slight adjustments depending on the size of the load. The clothes come out of the washer with a nice fresh clean scent.

So far it seems to be working great. This is the first weekend I'm doing all of the laundry with it, so I'll know more later when I fold everything. 

If you make your own laundry detergent leave a comment and tell me what you use to make it.

Tomorrow I'll post our dishwasher soap recipe.

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  1. FYI, you will find that with the dry detergent your whites will start getting a bit gray. I just made sure to bleach a load every month or so. We used this recipe for a year or so and I liked it.

    I prefer the small liquid batch that I have been making for a few months. It only makes about a 2 gallon batch instead of the giant batch the regular recipe liquid recipe makes. I have a video on it if you are interested. :)

  2. Good tip, thanks Sheri!

    Please do share the link to the video!

  3. I recently started making my own laundry detergent. We are just about out of the fist full batch I made and so looks like I will be making more. These are the ingredietns that I used:

    1 (4 lb 12 oz) Box of Borax- Found in the detergent aisle

    1 (3 lb 7 oz) Box of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda- Found in the detergent aisle

    1 (3 lb) Container of OxyClean- Found in the detergent aisle. (This is optional but I highly recommend adding it)

    2 (14.1 oz) Bars of Zote Soap- Found in the detergent aisle (we chose to do pink for the scent but the white would be just fine.

    2 (2 lb) Boxes of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda- Found in the cooking aisle

    1-2 (55 oz) Bottle of Purex Crystals Fabric Softener- Found in the detergent aisle (This is 100% optional but I like my laundry detergent to smell good and I really like soft towels)

    I took some photos and shared via my blog.

    Since I have to make more laundry soap, I am going to make dish washer soap at the same time and see how it works for us!

    Thanks for sharing!