Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Homemade Laundry Detergent

I mentioned on Facebook a while back that I went shopping for all the ingredients to make the homemade cleaners I had pinned on my Home Cleaning Pinterest Board. I went to Walmart  and picked up all that was needed to make Liquid Hand Soap, Tub & Shower Magic, Dishwashing Detergent, Laundry Detergent, and Carpet Stain Remover.


I want to make these homemade cleaners and see if they really are cheaper and work better. I started with the Homemade Laundry Detergent posted over at Being Creative blog.




And I LOVE it!!  Our clothes come out so much cleaner and whiter! I can’t believe I can notice a difference. And a tablespoon is all that is needed per load. I have a HE washer and I just put one tablespoon in the dispenser. This recipe makes a huge batch. This batch it going to last me a long time.




I am keeping track and will let you know when I run out and how many loads I was able to get from this one batch of homemade laundry detergent. But the blogger over at Being Creative said her batch lasted 9 months and she averages 8 loads a week. So we’ll see.


So here are the 5 ingredients needed with what they cost at Walmart:




Borax (76 oz) found in the detergent aisle: $3.49


Arm & Hammer Baking Soda (4 lbs): $2.16


Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (55 oz) found in the detergent aisle: $3.24


3 bars of Fels-Naptha soap found in the detergent isle: 97¢ each


Oxy Clean (4 lbs) found in the detergent isle: $7.52


Do note that upon further research of homemade laundry detergents, I found that Oxy Clean is optional, but I used it since Being Creative did. But if you left it out, it would be cheaper. Also I found many recipes that left out the Baking Soda too.  Check out this 3 ingredient laundry soap recipe. But I used all 5 ingredients listed and am so pleased with the results. Next time I may try just the 3 ingredients (anyone done this?).


So this batch costs just under $20 ($19.32). I will have to see how long it lasts, how many loads I get to see if it is cheaper than the Tide I buy with coupons (I need to see how many loads I get with the Tide).


Anyway, here’s how you make your own laundry soap. Very easy and quick.


First you grate your 3 bars of Fels-Naptha soap using a cheese grater.




Here’s David and Jonathan grating the soap. This was one of their chores, which they loved. I just had my boys grate the soap right into the bucket that was going to hold the laundry soap.




The soap looks like cheese.



Toss all ingredients in a 5 gallon bucket and stir well. This homemade laundry detergent smells so good, not strong at all.



As you see, I just used the 5 gallon bucket to hold the laundry soap. You could certainly store the soap differently. I have seen many out in blogland use a big glass cookie jar. . so pretty. . but my kids would break that (they do their own laundry). This 5 gallon bucket was only $4 at Walmart. I keep a tablespoon inside.




So are you gonna try it?  Do you already make your own laundry detergent? Do you use this recipe or a different one? Do tell. What other cleaners do you make? The next on my list is the Tub & Shower Magic. I will be sure to let you know how that turns out too. And then who knows, perhaps I'll move on to making my own bread?! (anyone do that and have a recipe they love?)


I am sharing this post at one of my favorite linky parties:


Weekend Bloggy Reading

21 comments:

  1. Oh my word! A neighbor friend and I just got done making this exact same recipe! I am off to try my first load with it now. It is ridiculous how excited I am!

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    1. my sister in law added downy boosters to it its amazing

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  2. I have been really curious about this so thank you for sharing your experience. I have a question - we currently use All Free and Clear because my hubby claims he is sensitive (I really have no idea what he is claiming as sensitivity). Do you consider this to be relatively dye free? Looking at the ingredients my guess is that most of the items are white so I'm thinking it might be okay but just wondering if you read anything in your research about this issue.

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    1. Being Creative where I found this recipe does say it is safe to use on sensitive skin. I wish I still had the boxes so I could look up the ingredients for you. Let me know if you try it out.

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  3. I have made my own liquid detergent in the past (with very similar ingredients, but mine used ivory soap bars). It lasted forever and I liked it's performance very much, also an HE washing machine. It was a little messier trying to store the liquid detergent so I might give this one a try. Oh, we always use tide free and clear for sensitive skin and we had no trouble with the homemade stuff.

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  4. I made the 3 ingredient one and just finished my first batch. I think it works great but I do miss the scent. The clothes are clean but have no real smell. I later added some essential oil and it helped.

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  5. I've been wanting to make my own laundry detergent for a little while now. I'm waiting to use up my current laundry detergent. So glad to hear your take on it. I can't wait to try this myself. Thanks!!!

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  6. I made this this past weekend minus the Oxy Clean. We love it and love saving money most of all!! I used Ivory Soap instead.

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  7. I've used the 3 ingredient recipe for a few years now. I LOVE it!! I use Zote bars (around $.50 less and a bit bigger. I mix smaller batches using a ratio of 1 cup grated soap to 1/2 cup washing soda and 1/2 cup borateam.

    My husband with sensitive skin doesn't have a problem using this; I just add some oxyclean or bleach when needed.

    I've used this on towels and blankets at the animal shelter with a bit of bleach and vinegar when needed. Works wonderfully!!!

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  8. I read that the bars of Fels-Naptha soap does not dissolve in cold water, I prefer the dry mixture over the liquid but since I usually wash all my laundry in cold water will this still work? Has anyone else have any problems with this mixture when doing loads of laundry in cold water?

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    1. Hi-

      I made this batch at the end of March. . it is now Oct. And I still have a ton left. . .all that to say I have been using this detergent for 6 months now. I wash my clothes in cold as well and I have not had a any problems with it not dissolving. Although, I did read that as well. I have a front loading washer. . if that makes a difference.

      Let me know if you give it a try.

      Su

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  9. I love making my own detergent. I made the 3 ingredient detergent and I like it a lot, but I'll have to compare to see how they differ. Anyway, I was looking for the recipe again and found your site! I'll bookmark you. Thank you! (I used one box washing soda, one bar fels-naptha, and a box of borax, and it lasted me 3 months of 2 people's everyday laundry.)

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  10. Here's the ingredient list, for those of you who are interested:

    Fels-Naptha (copied from http://www.felsnaptha.com/ and confirmed on the packaging): Soap (sodium tallowate*, sodium cocoate* (or) sodium palmate kernelate*, and sodium palmate*), water, talc, cocnut acid*, palm acid*, tallow acid*, PEG-6 methyl ether, glycerin, sorbitol, sodium chloride, pentasodium pentetate and/or tetrasodium etidronate, titatium dioxide, fragrance, Acid Orange (CI 20170), Acid yellow 73 (ci43350) *contains one or more of these ingredients

    OxyClean: Not listed on the package and not available online. However, according to http://www.livestrong.com/article/165548-main-ingredients-in-oxiclean/ the primary ingredients in OxyClean are Sodium Percarbonate, Soda Ash/Sodium Carbonate, Hydrogen Peroxide, and neutral;non-ionic Surfactants/Detergents

    Borax (from the packaging): Sodium Tetraborate

    Arm and Hammer Pure Baking Soda (from the packaging): Sodium Bicarbonate

    Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda (from http://www.mnn.com/your-home/at-home/blogs/back-to-basics-arm-hammer-super-washing-soda The package does not list ingredients): Sodium Carbonate (also known as SAL soda or soda ash)

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    1. Thank you very much for researching this,

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  11. While being 60 yrs. old, I am a total baby in trying to start something interesting in making my own cleaning and beauty products. I just used the 3 ingredients laundry soap, it seemed clean, but having no smell at all bothered me. So I will try some essential oils, but that is really pricey for me. I'm on disability. Any other ideas. And thank you to all of you who are helping others with this. Rebecca

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    1. Hi Ms. Payne-

      I have read where some ladies are adding Downy's Unstopables In Wash Scent Booster to their homemade laundry detergent. This is a cheaper option than essential oils. Here is a link to the product I am talking about: http://www.downy.com/en-US/product-line/scent-booster.jspx

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  12. I realize this is a late response but....If your laundry detergent is leaving a scent, it means it's leaving residue. If there's residue, then the clothes are not really clean. That build-up breaks down clothes faster and is the number one cause of skin irritation in regards to detergent. Scented stuff and dryer sheets are gone at our house and while they don't have a scent, they are clean! Hope that helps! P.S. Wool Dryer balls are awesome! :)

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  13. Just how much do you use per load of laundry. I could not seem to find that!! D. Jewell

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    1. Just one Tablespoon!! I will add that to the blog post. . .sorry I left that out.

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  14. I add for smell and softening: Purex Lavender crystals 1 large bottle or 2 small bottles.
    I add for whiting: 1 box Clorox 2.

    I have been making this detergent for a year and a half. Was a Tide user. This detergent keeps whites, whiter and brighter. Colors more vivid. I have two little boys and my stains are gone. Love this detergent. My husband works HVAC and it gets his work clothes clean and fresh.

    Warning: You will LOVE this and never go back to store bought detergent.

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  15. I'm not sure why borax or Borateam was added as independent testing showed, years ago, that the addition of borax to laundry did absolutely nothing to add cleaning or whitening to whatever was being used. In short, it doesn't work. Borateam does have a nice scent but that's nothing but added perfume. Boraxo hand soap does do a good job for cleaning dirty, greasy hands when someone has been doing work on engines and such. But the addition of borax to laundry is of no real value.

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