As a mother, wife and soon to be grandmother I am always looking at ways to cut corners and save money. I have had a couple of family members and friends talk about making their own laundry detergent and to be honest I thought the idea was ridiculous. While I am trying to figure out ways to go back to the basics I just didn’t have the confidence that a homemade laundry detergent would clean they way my store-bought detergent did. However, when trying to decide how I would contribute to the natural money-saving cycle I thought why not give it a chance.
I asked my family and friends who had already converted to homemade detergent for advice on making any changes or modifications to the current recipe I found on You Tube. I also wanted to know if it really worked for them.
I have men in my family and we all know those clothes need a little extra love. Surprisingly, what I learned is all of them loved it and made no changes to the recipe. So with that advice I decided to give it a try.
Here is the recipe I used:
- 1 bar of Fels-Naptha Soap (0.97)
- 1 cup Borax (3.48/ box)
- 1/2 cup of Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (3.24/per box)
- 3 scoops Oxi clean powder ($.3.86/box)
- 2 5 Gallon buckets with lids (2.89 each)
Take the Fels-Naphta Soap and grate it like you would a block of cheese. Once grated you will need to melt the soap into a liquid by placing it in a sauce pan with about a cup of water (you will be using a lot of water so an exact measurement here isn’t important). Once melted completely pour the mixture into one of the 5 gallon buckets. Add to that the borax, washing soda and Oxi Clean. Once this is done fill the 5 gallon bucket up with hot water and let it sit covered overnight.
The next day you will need to break down the soap by stirring is or using your hand because it will gel up overnight. I used my hand because it was kind of fun and relaxing. After you have broken down the big clumps you will pour half the mixture into the other 5 gallon bucket and fill both buckets up with hot water. This recipe makes 10 gallons of liquid detergent. Then with a funnel I filled up old laundry detergent bottles I have been saving with the solution.
I usually purchase my laundry soap once a month from a warehouse store to get the largest amount possible. Spending an average of about $11 a month on laundry detergent. With the 10 gallons of detergent I made I filled about 8 of those large detergent bottles essentially making 8 months worth of laundry detergent for my family of 4 adults. That gives me a savings of about $120 a year!!! I can’t describe how liberating it was to take an hour of my life to save $120 and I only spent $17.33 to make it. The even more exciting part of it is I still have plenty of the materials left over so it will be a while before I have to even spend the $17.33 again. But the final test is how well it cleans!!??? My answer is it does a wonderful job cleaning. It got out stains and the clothes smelled clean. I feel so excited that I liberated myself from having to purchase my detergent from the grocery store. Now I will be continuing the natural money-saving cycle with creating household cleaners next!