Friday, February 17, 2012

Homemade Laundry Detergent

I love making things on my own.  I like making my own home decorations, hand made cards, jewelry, mobiles, and now I've moved on to making my own laundry detergent!  I made my very first batch on Wednesday night.  It took about 20 minutes to make.  And it was REALLY easy!  After I made it (2 gallons worth) I had to let it set so it could gel for 24 hours.  So, last night I used it for the first time.  As it turns out this homemade laundry detergent works better than any store bought detergent that I have ever used.  Plus it only cost me....71 cents for 2 gallons, or 64 loads!!!!!  Incredible savings!  Here is the recipe and directions if you want to try it yourself.  The following came from: http://www.thefamilyhomestead.com/laundrysoap.htm

You will need 3 basic ingredients; a soap of some sort, washing soda and borax. 

The Soap:  The most typical type of soap to use is Fels Naptha.  It is an old-fashioned type of soap usually found in the laundry aisle.  The other options for soap are Ivory or another brand called, Zote.  Any of these will work.  I use my own homemade soap and find it works quite well and I do have this for sale in my Country Store.  If you use Ivory or your own homemade soap you will need to use the whole bar.

Washing Soda: This is not to be confused with baking soda.  They are not the same thing.  Washing soda is sodium carbonate or soda ash (baking soda is sodium bicarbonate).  It is a white powder.  Its purpose is to help remove dirt and orders.   The brand to look for is Arm & Hammer Washing Soda.  I find it in the laundry section of my grocery store.   Many people have a hard time finding this locally.  I know you can purchase it on-line, even through Amazon.com.  I would also suggest asking your grocery store manager if it would be possible for the store to get it for you.

Borax: Borax is a naturally occurring mineral: Sodium Borate.  It is a white powder.  It’s purpose is as a laundry whitener and deodorizer. The brand to look for is 20 Mule Team.  It comes in a 76 oz. box.  You should be able to locate this in the laundry detergent aisle.  Again as with the washing soda, if you cannot find it ask you store manager or look online.

Homemade Laundry Soap
1/3 bar Fels Naptha or other type of soap, as listed above
½ cup washing soda
½ cup borax powder 
~You will also need a small bucket, about 2 gallon size~

Grate the soap and put it in a sauce pan.  Add 6 cups water and heat it until the soap melts.  Add the washing soda and the borax and stir until it is dissolved.  Remove from heat.  Pour 4 cups hot water into the bucket.   Now add your soap mixture and stir.  Now add 1 gallon plus 6 cups of water and stir.  Let the soap sit for about 24 hours and it will gel.  You use ½ cup per load.

**A few things to note about the soap** 

~The finished soap will not be a solid gel.  It will be more of a watery gel that has been accurately described as an "egg noodle soup" look.

~The soap is a low sudsing soap.  So if you don’t see suds, that is ok.  Suds are not what does the cleaning, it is the ingredients in the soap.

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