Homemade Laundry Detergent

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I showed up at the church craft night a couple of weeks ago with boxes of old-timey cleaning stuff and a grater. Invariably, someone asked me what project I was working on. When I said I’m making my own laundry detergent there were some puzzled looks and the hesitant “Oh, OK.”

For me, there were several reasons to seek out this kind of project–cost, allergies, and because I like making stuff. There are a ton of recipes online. I used the one from the video below.

The results have been great. Gary is a real believer. I put two wet towels in the dryer and forgot to turn it on. Sadly, I do things like this a lot. In the past he would re-wash in the major name brand and the smell wouldn’t come out. This time it came out completely. Plus, it doesn’t have all of those smells we are always reacting to in detergents.

Here are the recipes. We have only used the dry version.

Laundry Detergent

2 cups of Borax
2 cups of Washing Soda
1 bar of a pure soap, grated  (Ivory, Fels Naphtha, Castille, etc.)

For Dry

  • Mix the ingredients together in a container. 
  • Use 1 tablespoon in a front loading washer or 2 tablespoons for a top loader.
  • You may need to make adjustments based on your type of water. 

For Liquid

  • Put grated soap in a pot. Cover with water and melt over low heat.
  • Put washing soda and borax in a 5 gallon bucket.
  • Add some hot water and mix to dissolve.
  • Add the melted soap and stir until mixed.
  • Top off the bucket with water. 
  • Use 1/2 cup for a front loader and 1 cup for a top loader.
  • Adjust according to your type of water.

I used the Fels Naphtha as the bar soap. This is a laundry bar that I heard about online. It is larger than the other bars, so I didn’t use the whole bar.

I was able to find everything at the grocery store. All of the Wal-Mart stores I’ve been to lately have all three ingredients, but are often sold out. I’ve been to several stores in St. Louis and Alabams. They are in the laundry section usually on a bottom shelf. ACE hardware has everything online and lets you order online and have it delivered free to one of their stores.

Credit goes to Kim at www.homestead-acres.com for her video on making dry and liquid laundry detergent.

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