I’ve been getting recipes from far and wide for DIY laundry detergent lately, but I’ve been really hesitant about trying it at this moment. Mostly because my husband and I are living with his folks until our house is finished, and I didn’t know if she wanted me to use one of her pots for mixing soap, borax, and washing soda. But she recently started expressing interest in it when she found out just how much money we would save by making our own. So I found a recipe that doesn’t require you to put the borax and washing soda in the pot, you just mix it in a 5 gallon bucket. If any of you have tried this recipe and have hard water, please let me know how it worked for you! 🙂
DIY Laundry Detergent
1 bar of soap… the recipe on the website says you can use any kind you like, but most people use Fels Naptha.
1 box of washing soda, found in your grocer’s laundry aisle
1 box of borax… optional, but it’s a great laundry booster. Be careful of you use this.
a 5 gallon bucket with a lid, or a bucket that will hold more than 15 liters
3 gallons tap water
A big spoon to stir the mix
A measuring cup
A knife… be careful, don’t cut yourself!!
1. Put 4 cups of water into a pot on your stove and turn the heat up to high until it’s ALMOST boiling. You don’t want to let it boil, otherwise everything will foam up really fast and make a huge mess. 🙂 As the water heats up, get your knife out and start whittling away at your bar of soap. Make sure you keep the water below a boil and keep shaving the soap. Do this until the whole bar is shaved up, then stir the soapy water until all the soap is dissolved.
2. Put 3 gallons of hot water (about 11 liters) into the bucket. I would think it’s easier to use some milk jugs, as the website also suggests. Mix in the hot soapy water from step 1, then stir for a bit, then add a cup of washing soda. Stir for a couple of minutes, then add a half cup of borax should you decide to use it. Stir for another couple of minutes, put the lid on the bucket, then let sit overnight to cool.
And that’s it! It seems easy enough, right? 🙂 Like I said earlier, if any of you with hard water have tried this, let me know how it worked for you. Of course, any tips and tricks would be greatly appreciated! 😀
EDIT 6/2/2012: You probably could use some essential oils to make your detergent smell pretty. Just be aware that there are some essential oils that are skin irritants so, if you add essential oils, I would suggest putting a drop on your skin first and wait to see if it irritates your skin. Put however many drops you want in the mix after you’ve already mixed in the borax. Stir for another couple of minutes to make sure that it gets mixed in well. 🙂