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 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
Start out by grating your soap with a cheese grater.
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.
Store and use however you like. Use 1 to 2 tablespoons per load.
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 :).
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.