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There are plenty of recipes floating around online, I have tried most of them, but my favorite is this simple and effective homemade laundry detergent recipe.
The Search for the Perfect Laundry Detergent
I have been making my own laundry detergent for years, and have started to share the recipe several times with you. The problem was that I kept changing the recipe each time I made a new batch. My husband tells me constantly, “don’t mess with a good thing!” But, does that stop me? Well, of course not!
Unfortunately, that is exactly what I did with laundry detergent. I keep adding ingredient, thinking I was coming up with the best cleaning concoction that ever existed. The problem was I just kept increasing the cost, and I wasn’t sure I saw any difference. The detergent that was once costing me pennies a load was costing me around the same price as store bought. Which was totally defeating the purpose.
The other day I sat at the computer looking at yet another recipe, another recipe with an ingredient that was $18! I couldn’t help but think about that first recipe I used, how affordable it was and simple. Those were the reasons I loved making homemade laundry detergent, so I decided to go back to where I started.
Putting Homemade Laundry Detergent to the Test
Simple and affordable doesn’t really matter if it isn’t effective, so I put this detergent to the test. I spent the day working outside, let my jeans sit in the laundry room for days and washed them in this simple laundry detergent. I know, I’m quite the scientist.
Guess what, they came out clean! They came out clean and I only paid $10 to make this laundry detergent and used 3- ingredients! Impressive, I know. Did I mention that $10 made 10 gallons?!
I think we are so used to things being so complex, piled with ingredients that we can’t pronounce. That we have a hard time accepting that something simple- with 3 ingredients works. I had to even prove it to myself, but simple is BEST.
If you have been hesitant to try homemade laundry detergent I hope this will convince you. You don’t have to keep wasting your money, and you don’t need 12 ingredients to make an effective laundry detergent.
Simple and Effective Laundry Detergent Recipe
- 1 Bar of Fels Naptha Laundry Bar
- 1 cup of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
- 1/2 cup of Borax
- 5 Gallon Bucket with lid
- Something to stir- I use a paint stirrer that attaches to a drill
- 10 Gallon Jugs
- Essential Oils
- Grate the bar of Fels- Naptha soap.
- Add 4 cups of hot water and the soap to a pot. Heat on medium low heat until the soap is completely melted.
- Fill your 5 gallon bucket half way full with hot water.
- Add the soap mixture, Washing Soda and Borax to your hot water. Stir
- Add more water, completely filling the bucket this time.
- Stir Again. Cover and let set overnight.
- In the morning it should have thicken to a consistency that looks… crazy enough like laundry detergent.
- To make a gallon of laundry detergent fill a jug half way (8 cups) with your soap and the other half (8 cups) with water. Shake.
- Add essential oils to each jug, if desired.
- Use 1/2 cup for top loading machines and 1/4 for front loading machines.
- You can either leave it in the bucket till you need it or go ahead and divide into gallon jugs. I prefer to go ahead and divide it up because if you leave it in the bucket you are going to have to stir it up again before dividing it.
- This laundry detergent produces very little suds if any. Don’t be alarmed, it is still working. Fels- Naptha is a pure soap.
- You will still need to use a stain remover for tough stains and grease. Which I had to do with my store bought laundry detergent also.
- Some people have said they didn’t need to use as much or any fabric softener when using this laundry detergent recipe.
For a wonderful picture tutorial check out I can teach my child, the blog that originally convinced me to make my own detergent. She also has a cute printable for labeling your detergent.
If you have been in the blogosphere very long, you might know there is a little controversy over Borax. I really struggled with this one myself. However, I finally came to the conclusion, this all- natural ingredient has to be safer than the things put into store bought detergent! People always have something negative to say no matter what it is or how good it is. At the end of the day, my family’s clothes are clean, I’m saving money and I’m comfortable with the ingredients used. But, ultimately you have to decide what is best for your family.
A Simple and Effective Laundry Detergent Powder
If you would prefer a powdered laundry detergent, this laundry detergent recipe is made with the same ingredients and just as good. It’s a great option for someone who doesn’t want to store a lot of laundry detergent and the recipe is quick to make.
Have you ever made your own laundry detergent? What is holding you back if you haven’t?
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I have been looking for this for years. About 25 years ago a girlfriend I worked with the instructions on how to make your own laundry detergent she had told me all about it and some how lost it. I don’t how she did it but she did. There was no internet back then. But have looked and looked for it and now here it is. THANK YOU DONNA
Is borax related to the purex family?? I’m allergic to the purex laundry soaps but was wanting to make this but didn’t know if it was part of the same group
Several months ago i found this recipe online and dove right in. I went to Walmart and picked up a bunch of the items on the list. Like 20 bars of the other brand soap bar, and many of the remai Ming as well as a couple extra I threw in that I always like adding here and there. Amazing how easy it was to mix up as well as melt on stove. However I must confess I prefer the powder as it is ultimately the most concentrated in powder form and no waste from spills, etc.
And the effectiveness of this diy soap on my laundry. Omg, talk about clean. A real true clean and no allergic breakouts. I’m hooked. I made that almost 3 months ago and barely have made a dent in my supply and haven’t gone a day without doing at least one load. Usually I do 2-3 loads per day. I’m so happy I learned this and that I am able to do it!