We're making our own laundry detergent, kids!
Shut up, hold the phone, that sounds hard.....
Much credit for this idea goes to my fabulously thrifty sister-in-law, who told me this was possible. A little research, trial & error, and a few personal tweaks, and here it is: my version of the best-kept secret in home-making, shared just for you!
This will cost you less than $1 per gallon. Don't believe me? Hear me out.
FELS Naptha Soap
20 Mule Team Borax
Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
|You can see how much of this puppy I used for one batch.|
|These come in nice, big boxes and don't spoil. Winning.|
Grab a 1 or 2 gallon bucket with a lid (for 2 gallon, you'll need to double all the quantities in the recipe).
Here we go!
Step 1) Grate 1/5 of the FELS Naptha soap bar into a medium sized pot with 3 cups of water. Heat on medium/medium high heat until the soap is completely melted, stirring occasionally.
Step 2) Add 1/4 cup each of the Borax and the Washing Soda, and stir until completely dissolved. Remove the mixture from the heat.
Step 3) Put 2 cups of HOT water into your bucket.
Step 4) Add your soap mixture and stir (I like to use a whisk here - gets the incorporation process moving along nicely).
Step 5) Add 11 cups of lukewarm water and stir/whisk until fully incorporated. The mixture will probably start to thicken on you - this is what we want.
Step 6) Put the lid on the bucket and let it sit for 12-24 hours.
Step 7) Re-whisk the detergent to evenly distribute the texture (optional, but I do this).
Step 8) Use 1/2 a cup per load (you can use a little more or less depending on load size and soil level, just don't exceed 1 cup).
|The final product - I saved the cap from my old bottle and use it to measure.|
You can use this with whites, colors, delicates, ANYTHING! It even works in HE machines. Also, notice how much of each ingredient you have left over - therein lies the "less than $1 per gallon;" you can make plenty more of this. You can add fabric softener when you use this, but you really don't need it. FELS Naptha also has a very subtle, light, clean scent, so your clothes will smell very fresh without being over-fragrant. AND, this soap is A-OK for little ones - my nephew is proof!
Happy Washing, y'all!