Sunday, March 4, 2012

Homemade Laundry Detergent

NOTE:  To make this big batch, I spent less than $20.....

So as I said in my previous post, I'm trying to switch to a majority of homemade products.  It won't be easy because for so many years we've grown accustomed to just purchasing what is readily available, but I think it's also become pretty obvious not just to us as a family, that things are getting really expensive and it seems that the more we pay, the less product we get.

I've tried homemade laundry detergent before, but it was the liquid kind and honestly, I just didn't like it.  I also tried one other powdered recipe a long time ago that I didn't much care for either.

The one that I've been using for quite some time now, is the one found at Being Creative.  I use the exact same recipe she does, just that I add Purex Crystals to mine, and it smells amazing.

I have had no issues with this recipe and it makes a super big batch which lasts me almost a year, to be honest.

If you've never tried homemade laundry detergent, the first time you do, you may be a little confused as it really does not produce any bubbles, but that is not a bad thing, because honestly it washes the clothes so well that I can do without bubbles.

One thing some may ask about is how well the soap dissolves in the water.  I use both cold and warm water when I do laundry and I've never had a problem with the soap not dissolving.  What I like to do though, is to first start my washer and get some water in there, then I add the detergent and THEN I add the clothes.

You only need about 1 to 2 tablespoons of this detergent for each load.

I am always surprised at how clean my clothes look and how soft they feel when I take them out of the dryer. I also do throw in my wool dryer balls which help with the softening as well.  So I can safely say, that when it comes to Laundry in my home, we're pretty much on the full Homemade product scale :)

Note:  You can find all of these products in your detergent aisle, save for the Baking Soda which will be in your baking aisle.   However, my base commissary does not carry the Fels-Naptha or the Zote soap bars, so I had to get those at Walmart.  So you can get everything you need at Walmart if you want to just buy everything in one trip.

Homemade Laundry Detergent

Homemade Powdered Laundry Detergent

4 lb 12 oz box of Borax
4 lb box Arm & Hammer Baking Soda
3 lb 7 oz box Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
3 bars of Fels-Naptha soap (or Zote)
3 lb container of Oxy Clean, or two of the smaller ones, to make about 3lbs
1 container Purex Crystals

Homemade Laundry Detergent

Start out by grating your soap with a cheese grater.

Homemade Laundry Detergent

 This for me is the longest step and takes quite a bit of muscle work.   I did find a shortcut online.  You can pop the soap bar into the microwave and nuke it for about a minute, it will foam up like a marshmallow.  Let it cool down completely and it will turn into a powdery substance.

Combine all the ingredients in a 5 gallon container.

Homemade Laundry Detergent

 Store and use however you like.  Use 1 to 2 tablespoons per load.

Homemade Laundry Detergent

 I have a big see through container with a lid, that I keep in my laundry room.  I just tossed in a little plastic scoop and that's it :).

Homemade Laundry Detergent

If you have a front loading HE washer, this detergent works well but needs to be added to the barrel instead of the dispenser.  My washer is not an HE front loader, so I can't vouch for that, but it seems that a lot of the HE owners that use this detergent haven't had any issues.


Steven and Mandy McRae said...

How exciting! Thank you for sharing this. I am definitely going to try this. Have a great evening.

Sweet Tea said...

How much do you find it costs to make one big batch? Just wondering.

trooppetrie said...

i love my homemade soap, i may try your recipe and see if i like it better

Leigh said...

Hey Sandra! I love homemade laundry soap! I use this same recipe although on a smaller scale. I have a front loader and one trick I've learned is that after I grate the soap with my food processor I run all the ingredients through the processor to make the powder extremely fine. Then I can load it in the powder dispenser of my washer just like commercial detergent.
Great post! :)

CrochetBlogger said...

Nice share. Smart to add the note that it doesn't necessarily make bubbles because that could confuse some people.

autumnesf said...

What is Purex Crystals? Never heard of it.

And the food processor makes grating the soap super easy.

Mandi said...

Sandra, do you know if this is HE approved? {high efficiency} I have an HE machine and don't have the option of letting my tank fill up first, then putting clothes in. Just wondering. Have been wanting to switch to homemade for awhile, but, dont' want to risk our pricey machine!


I love the idea of this but I have two questions. First, how does it work with a septic system? I don't normally use powder soaps because it tends to clog it. Second, I have sensitive skin. How harsh is it? This seems so economical that I would really love to try it.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the recipe!!! I can't wait to make it:)))

Thank you also for the Prayers for the people affected by the crazy tornado outbreak...we had the 1st tornado go right over our house that day with no damage, we were so lucky, and so many other were not!! I Pray for those people everyday, and it makes everyday seem so much more like a gift from God:)

Prayers to You and Your Family:)

nikki said...

What is Purex Crystals I have never heard of it before and which aisle can you find it in?

Anonymous said...

Made this yesterday. Thanks for the recipe. It cost me about $17 finding most of the items at Walmart but had to get the bars and washing soda at Smith's for a bit more. It smells great, everyone commented on the fresh scent when they walked in the house after school. Washed my sheets in it and didn't have any ill effects (like strong smells or rough feeling). Thanks again for the idea!

Busana Muslim said...

good information ... I have read and will be added to my personal knowledge... thanks

Montana Wildflower said...

Thanks for posting this. I admit I am apprehensive to try anything different than my old trusty Tide, but I will give this a whirl.

My husband is retired Air Force and we live in Montana. Eleven kids between us, most of them grown up. I'm looking to pinch pennies because Rick is now a nursing student going to school on the GI bill, so thanks for the tip/recipe. I'm anxious to try it.

carmelvineyard said...

Hi! I am making this today with my kids- I figure they will love seeing the soap in the microwave. :)

For those who were wondering, the Purex crystals were near the rest of the ingredients at Walmart- they appeared to be something to add scent more than anything else. I didn't get them because of the sensitive skins in my house. I've been told that this should be ok for the sensitive skinned, and I sure hope so! :)

Anonymous said...

I live in Nova Scotia and can't buy the fels naptha soap here. Is there any other soap I could use to replace this? I really want to try this!

Noh said...

Maybe you could check the fels naptha soap ingredients on the internet and then look for a bar soap that you can find in your store, "Zote" soap is available in my store and a "Mariposa" (butterfly) wich is better than Zote.....

bubbles said...

I love this soap...I have made with Ivory soap also.

abramsfamily said...

I use a recipe similar to this and I love it! However I use Yardley of London soap and it works great! Yardleys soap has essential oil so the fragrance is wonderful. Here's my recipe:
1bar grated yardleys soap (your choice sent )
1cup borax
1cup washing soda
1/2 to 1cupyou oxiclean(sun brand works well)
My family usually uses the lavender or kon verbena scent

abramsfamily said...

Thats supposed to read lemon verbena

Angela said...

I make a similar recipe. You can use Ivory soap instead of Fels Naptha if you can't find it in stores.

Ronald John Neal said...

Love your sharing in detergent tips. I will try this in my next washing. Thumbs up.

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Modestmaiden said...

I used the sun crystals as well. I noticed that the batch as I stirred the components together had a heat reaction. I used it and the smell of the clothes for weeks afterward were great. Now here a couple weeks later I have noticed the mix still smells great, but my clothes aren't sweet smelling any more after they come out of the drier. Has any one had this problem, and does usiing oxi clean really matter apposed to the other sun brand. Thanks,

danean said...

I leave out the borax. Bc Im allergic to Alot. And use two bars of soap. Works great.

danean said...

Fabric softner

Kristen Gilmer said...

Hey everyone who has asked if it is HE safe. It doesn't bubble much and you can get all ingredients that say HE safe, therefore ensuring your batch will be. I used mine for the first time yesterday with everything but the regular arm and hammer baking soda because the super wash has infused baking soda and I didn't want to overdo it. I have a young child so I also got all perfume free ingredients (minus the purée crystals) just to be sure it would be easy on the skin. I used it on my clothes first to make sure it is easy on the skin before I use it on his. But I think it will be just fine! So happy I made this! Going to make some more to use as Christmas gifts to share the recipe and start helpin my family save some money! But I will continue to use the machine wash in my he machine like you are supposed to so I can ensure nothing gets backed up or anything and I'd advise you to do the same, just to take care of your machine.

Miranda said...

I make my own laundry soap as well. But I use a “no grate” liquid recipe:

robbie deans said...

Nice share Sandra ! i think these products are so much good . . . . thanks for it
Cleaning Equipment

Alisha Jaybird said...

I make almost this exact recipe! Minus the purex crystals. We don't do anything scented because of allergies. But I love this recipe. It works so awesomely. Oh... quick tip.. you can add a tad of blue Dawn dishsoap to help remove grease and brighten whites. I do this a lot and it works so great for me, I like to share it. So if you already knew this, ignore me. ;)

Emy Watson said...

Best laundry detergent for oily clothes?
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