Monday, December 16, 2013

Laundry Detergent

Laundry Detergent is so expensive.  Especially when you have cloth diapers to do.  Daily.  Thankfully, it is super easy to make your own.  It took me about 45 minutes to make 5 gallons of Laundry Detergent.  I think it cost me less than $7. Pretty amazing savings.

Here are the ingredients you need:

Rules of 2:
2 cups of Borax
2 cups of Washing Soda
2 bars of Ivory soap (you can also use Fels Naptha, only use one bar)

You also need a bucket (of the 5 gallon variety):

First, Grate the soap.  You can use your food processor.  I did this while Jaxson was sleeping, so I grated this by hand:

I grated it directly into a pot. This save a step and a dish.  It's all about keeping it simple.

Cover the soap with water and bring to a gentle boil over low to medium heat.  Continue heat until the soap dissolves in the water.  Keep stirring so you don't burn the soap.  Another helpful hint, make sure you are using a large enough pot. I speak from experience: too small a pot and  it will boil over leaving an icky mess to clean up.  This is not simple.  

In your bucket, dump in the 2 cups of borax 

And two cups of the Super Washing Soda:

Dump in your liquefied soap.  Continue to add hot water to the bucket, using a whisk to stir as you go.  My sink has water that is hot enough to make this work.  Some may need to boil water.  You need it hot enough so that it is uncomfortable to put your hand in, but it won't burn you.

Fill this to the top.  Another helpful tip: Since you need to rinse out that pot, and you need to fill up your bucket, why not fill up the pot with hot water and dump that in your bucket? That's what I did, at least. A little two-for-one action.

Once that is filled and whisked you have your finished product:

Now we have a problem.  This is one heavy bucket.  Enter attractive man (AKA my husband, Chris) to carry it down to the washer.  

We store it using Aluminum foil as a lid.  I'm sure that there are more elegant solutions, but this is solution works for us.  When using it, you can fill up a regular detergent cup.  I would think its about half a cup.  Less works too.  

You may need to play with the amounts of ingredients depending on the hardness of your water.  You may also find that more or less detergent is needed for your needs.