Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Saving Money in 2012- Homemade Laundry Detergent Recipes And Tips

Photo Courtesy of Rodale.com

In a quest to cut my spending, I am going to be looking for creative/homemade/simple ways of saving money. I have been wanting to make my own cleaners for a long time now and I am finally ready to start! It seems like many of my readers are wanting to do the same thing, so I am going to start with Homemade Laundry Detergent.

There are many recipes you can find and after reading through comments, it looks like there are some tips to help you get the best experience. I am going to share a few recipes and tips to help you start. Please add your own recipes and comments to help us out!

Helpful Tips:
  • Washing Soda and Borax can normally be found in the laundry and cleaning aisles.
  • For the bar soaps required in the recipes, you could try Fels-Naptha, Ivory soap, and Zote. Don’t use heavily perfumed soaps. Most say Fels-Naptha get clothes the cleanest!
  • You can make large batches of this at once, or smaller quantities.Grab a few empty liquid laundry detergent bottles! They work great for storing the detergent. Just make a big batch and pour in bottles, cap then use as needed–shake before use.
  • Use some Oxy-Clean powder with heavily soiled loads or pretreat stains if things are really dirty.
  • Don’t be off-put by the consistency. It comes out pretty much like snot. Very goopy!
  • Great for hunters as there is no scent!
  • Make sure and check your lint trap in your dryer. If you use fabric softener sheets they can cause a buildup and basically clog your trap. To check, clean the trap and then put it under your sink faucet. If the water doesn't go through it's clogged. Just clean it with soap and water and check again! Voila!
*Click HERE for a Fels-Naptha store locator if you are having a hard time locating it!

The Duggar's Laundry Soap Recipe
4 Cups - hot tap water
1 Fels-Naptha soap bar
1 Cup - Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda*
½ Cup Borax

- Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.

-Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of hot tap water. Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax. Stir well until all powder is dissolved. Fill bucket to top with more hot water. Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken.

-Stir and fill a used, clean, laundry soap dispenser half full with soap and then fill rest of way with water. Shake before each use. (will gel)

-Optional: You can add 10-15 drops of essential oil per 2 gallons. Add once soap has cooled. Ideas: lavender, rosemary, tea tree oil.

-Yield: Liquid soap recipe makes 10 gallons.

-Top Load Machine- 5/8 Cup per load (Approx. 180 loads)

-Front Load Machines- ¼ Cup per load (Approx. 640 loads)

*Arm & Hammer "Super Washing Soda" - in some stores or may be purchased online here (at Meijer.com). Baking Soda will not work, nor will Arm & Hammer Detergent - It must be sodium carbonate!

-Whites don't seem like they get white. They seem dingy.
-I make the powdered version — adding a cup of color safe bleach (Purex or Clorox 2) made a huge difference. The whites are white now!

Simple Homemade Laundry Detergent Recipe

If you’re interested in making your own laundry detergent, my favorite (and the easiest) recipe is for powdered laundry detergent.

  1. Grate 1/2 bar Fels Naptha soap (or you can try other soaps) in a food processor.
  2. Add 1 cup Borax,
  3. 1 cup Washing Soda, and,
  4. 1 cup Baking soda.
  5. Process until mixed.

That’s it. It takes 5 minutes. Use about 2 tablespoons per full load of laundry. You’ll be surprised at how little detergent it takes to get your clothes clean!

Homemade Laundry Soap Ingredients

  • 1 whole bar soap
  • 1 cup washing soda
  • 1/2 cup borax
  • 3 gallons/4 cups warm water
  1. Begin by pouring 4 cups of water into a medium sized pot to boil.
  2. While waiting for your water to boil grate as much soap as you plan to use, this can be done by hand or in a food processor.
  3. Add grated soap to pot and stir until dissolved fully.
  4. Add 3 gallons of warm/hot water to a 5 gallon bucket.
  5. Add your pot of soapy brew to the 5 gallon bucket.
  6. Add 1 cup of washing soda and stir for 2 minutes with a large long handled strong spoon.
  7. Once your washing soda is dissolved and well mixed in, add 1/2 cup of borax and stir for 2-3 minutes to dissolve and mix well.
  8. At this point you can add your fragrance if you so desire. We love good smelling things at our house and so I like to add a little extra yummy smell – this time I chose a sandalwood amber fragrance oil.
  9. Pop the lid on tight and let it sit overnight.

This is where the magic happens. In the morning you will open your bucket to 3 gallons of gelled glop – it will smell great, it will clean your clothes but the consistency will be a little watery and a gloppy – that is perfectly ok.

Use 1/2 cup per load.

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