Monday, October 21, 2013

Homemade Laundry Detergent

I started making my own laundry detergent when we decided to try cloth diapering the girls. Cloth diapers require "special" (read "expensive"),  detergent. I started seeing where other parents were just making their own. So, I gave it a try and turns out, it's great detergent for ALL our clothes and can be made at a fraction of the price I was paying for name brand detergent (even after coupons)!

Here is the recipe I found & love on How Does She:
  • 1 (4 lb 12 oz) Box of Borax- Found in the detergent aisle
  • 1 (3 lb 7 oz) Box of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda- Found in the detergent aisle
  • 1 (3 lb) Container of OxyClean- Found in the detergent aisle
  • 2 (14.1 oz) Bars of Zote Soap- Found in the detergent aisle (You can also use Fels Naptha)
  • 1 (4 lb) Box of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda- Found in the cooking aisle

    Some people add:
  • 4 Bottles of Scentsy Washer Whiffs- found online or through a Scentsy Representative

  • OR
  • 2 Bottles of Purex Crystals Fabric Enhancer- Found in the detergent aisle

    *I do NOT add these. My preference is to have zero fragrances in our detergent. Fragrance = Chemicals in my opinion. We are not totally chemical free in our household, but I figure where the babies are concerned, the less, the better!
    1. Open all  powders and pour into a large tub. You can see my tub in the background. Alternating layers of the powders is the easiest way to mix. Then stir with a big wooden spoon.
    2. Use a cheese grater or food processor to grate the bars of laundry soap. Once grated set outside in the sun for a day to let it dry out. This helps it to not clump once mixed in with the powders. It also helps with dissolving in the washer.
    This is a huge mixing bowl although it doesn't seem like it in the picture! I have used Fels Naptha in the past and like it, but it was not in stock this week, so I'm giving Zote a try. Not sure the Hersband is going to appreciate the pink, but I think it's pretty!
    So this is how much you have once all mixed. I keep1/3 without the grated soap because cloth diapers can't be washed with soap. (long, boring does end in stripping...but not the kind you were wishing for!)
    We use 2-3 tablespoons per load in our front loading HE washer. I marked a spot on the scoop to help. I throw the clothes in, then toss the detergent right on top of the clothes and whaa-laa! Cheap, great, homemade laundry detergent cleaned clothes!
    So you are probably wondering:
    How cheap? About $20-$25 (depending on coupons)
    How many loads will this amount wash? Not sure on the exact number of loads but our last batch lasted us right at 10 months for our family of 5. Remember, you are only using about 2 tablespoons.
    How clean? Well, it cleans all our clothes, everyday, nice work & play clothes just as well as it cleans the girls' poopy diapers & Hersband's work clothes with rubber/carbon black on them from her manufacturing job.  

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