A big pile of laundry was waiting for me today, but when I went to start the first load I discovered that one of the kids had used the last of the laundry soap. "Make laundry detergent" was on my to-do list for a few weeks, but I had been putting it off -- so now was as good a time as any!
I usually use All Free and Clear, but the first time I made this I was thoroughly impressed! It's so easy to make and extremely cheap -- about 1¢ a load (from cost breakdowns I've seen on other websites) -- compared to Tide at about 19-20¢/load from what I see on the Walmart website!
My toddler "helped me" test out the first load by wetting the bed -- "pee sheets" are some of the worst laundry loads I think. It took out the smell beautifully and they smelled fresh and clean with just one regular cycle - no soaking or anything! I was instantly won over. =)
So this morning I got my supplies and helper together and whipped up another batch!
The basic recipe:
- 1 c. Borax
- 1 c. Washing Soda (not the same as baking soda!)
- 1 bar soap, shredded (many recipes use Fels Naptha, but I've heard that it really doesn't matter, so I picked one that smelled great and was on sale)
- 1 c. Baking Soda
- 1 1/2 c. Purex Crystals (they smell amazing and soften your laundry without oil - so it doesn't ruin the wicking ability of towels and exercise apparel)
(Since then, I've also shredded it in a food processor after drying the bar on the counter for a few days. Or if you use Ivory, you can try this cool trick in the microwave instead of shredding!)
I stirred it all together and then put it into the now empty Purex Crystals container.
I was going to use a pretty glass jar, but I thought the plastic bottle might be safer for the kids to use.
- I use 1 Tablespoon per load -- but if you have a really grubby load, you could go crazy and use 2 Tbs. for only 2¢! ;) (it may seem strange at first to use so little, but it has no fillers - only what it needs to do the job)
- It's important to note that this does not get sudsy -- commercial detergents have things added to make them get bubbly and "look" like they're working, but it's not the bubbles that do the cleaning
- From my research, I've found that this works great and safely in HE (high efficiency) machines because it doesn't suds up
- I found the ingredients in the laundry aisle at WalMart (but if you want them shipped to you, I've included links to the products above to be able to buy them online also)