Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Wednesday's Cleaning: Make Your Own...Laundry Detergent (part 1)

Oh, economy, how I love how you've forced me to be resourceful. Luckily I have started a new series on how to Make Your Own...(cleaning and body products). My goal in making my own stuff is to save money, recycle (jars, bottles, milk jugs, etc), and to be green. If you have not been following my list so far, see the Make Your Own Intro. I have connected links to the products I have already made and my reviews of them. Check them out, share ideas of things I can make, and share your own reviews of the products.

Today's MYO is Laundry Detergent (the dry kind). I initially set out to make the liquid version, especially since I have been saving milk jugs specifically for this purpose. But since it requires the liquid to sit for 24 hours, and I was in desperate need of laundry detergent, I decided to give the dry detergent a shot. So I did a TON of research on recipes, and almost all of them said the same thing: Soap (such as Ivory), Washing Powder, and Borax. Since I didn't want to store hop looking for Washing Soda (that should be in the laundry section of your grocery store or Wal-Mart, but my luck, they would be out), I decided to hit up my local Ace Hardware. I LOVE that place. It was where I found canning jars for a reasonable price when all the other stores were out, where I get my keys duplicated, and where it is a kid-friendly place. When I walked in, this is the first thing I saw:

See the little open space on the top shelf? That is a print out of instructions on how to make it liquid-style (said same thing as all my research), and gave a brief explanation on all the ingredients. See how I love Ace Hardware? I was so excited to see this display that I nearly squealed with joy right there in the store.

So on to the "recipe"

Laundry Detergent (dry)

What You'll Need:

  • 1 bar of Fels Naptha soap 
  • 1/2 cup Washing Soda
  • 1/2 cup Borax 

  1. In a large bowl, grate the soap. Add the Washing Soda and Borax. Mix well. 
  2. Using a funnel, pour into a container that you can seal air-tight. I used an old salsa jar that I had cleaned, soaked in very hot water, and dried completely. 

To Use: Pour 1 Tbsp (for a Normal load) into the water then add the clothes. Wash as normal. 
For me, 1 Tbsp is about half a capful, so I wrote that on the jar with a permanent marker. 


I have used this mix for about a week, which equals about 10 loads of laundry for us (2 boys, 1 girl, and a husband...yeah, 10 loads in 1 week is pretty good). While washing, it has this great scent, but you cannot detect any scent once the clothes of dried, unless you dry on the clothes line, then the scent is only faint. 

My clothes have come out just as clean as they normally do, which was my worry. I am actually enjoying this, and it wasn't that expensive to make. I still have plenty of Borax and Washing Soda left to make more or make other cleaning products. 

Give this a shot and tell me how you like it! 

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