Especially now that we have a large family, though, I'm all about saving money. Um, y'all know this about me by now! So when I heard about making my own laundry detergent, I was all over it. But because we live on a farm, this also needed to actually clean our clothes! I'm pleased to report his is easy, effective, and CHEAP.
What you will need:
1 cup Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
1 Fels-Naptha Laundry Bar Soap
1/2 cup Borax
5 gallon bucket
Empty laundry soap dispenser
Essential Oils (optional)
All of these ingredients are very inexpensive!! The top 3 "ingredients" can be found at Walmart for about $3 or less. A 5 gallon bucket and lid can be found at Lowes for under $6 or so.
Grate the Fel-Naptha bar into 4 cups of water in a pot on the stove top. Heat on medium-low heat, stirring constantly until dissolved. This took me longer than anticipated. I was stirring for about 10 minutes and still had a couple of very small chunks. They didn't seem to mess anything up.
|It was more dissolved than this by the time I was done stirring.|
Once your bar soap is dissolved, fill your 5 gallon bucket half way with hot water. Then add your dissolved bar soap plus 1 cup washing soda & 1/2 cup Borax. Stir until dissolved. This didn't take long.
|1/2 cup Borax|
|1 cup washing soda|
|Stir until dissolved|
Fill the 5 gallon bucket the rest of the way with hot water. If you'd like to use the essential oils, let this cool first and add 10-15 drops per 2 gallons. Cover with the lid (don't snap it on unless you have a tool to easily take this off) and let it sit overnight.
**I would recommend a Gamma lids for your bucket. These have a base that snaps onto your bucket but are a screw top so you can easily access the contents.
In the morning, the detergent will have congealed and needs to be stirred. The Type A personality will attempt this with a spoon ... unsuccessfully. :-) Just stick your arm in it to break it up. It has the consistency of Jello, and you need to break it up so you can pour it in your detergent dispenser.
You can see that I started with a spoon, but I quickly put the spoon and camera down to use my arm. :-)
Fill your dispenser with half detergent and half water.
Shake well before each use as it will gel.
I chose not to add essential oils this time around. Some ideas for those of you who would like to add them are lavender, lemon, wild orange, or melaleuca. The detergent has a fresh scent on its own but doesn't scent the clothes after washing. Personally, my essential oils are more for medicinal use and are too expensive to use just to make our clothes smell good.
I've had great success with this recipe and will never buy detergent again! My ingredients will last me a LONG time! In the end, you will have 10 gallons of laundry detergent.
Until next time,