Home Education~Ministry Moments~Hearth and Home

Monday, February 20, 2012

Make Your Own Laundry Detergent: How and Why

       Why?  I know this sounds crazy, why would you go to all this trouble??  When I first heard about making homemade laundry detergent years ago, I imagined it taking hours to make, the ingredients probably being impossible to find, and figured it would be too harsh for my family's sensitive skin.  About 2 years ago, I talked to a friend at church who actually made it and used it.  I learned that all my reasons for not trying to make detergent were false.  I also have since figured out that for about $15 a year, I can provide laundry detergent for my family!  How exciting to get a bit of a "payraise" in our food/toiletries budget! (Plus, I believe I was also deep into the Beverly Lewis Novel series at the time I decided to try it...I think the Amish ways inspired me!)

How?  If you'd like to give it a try here's the recipe:

4 cups hot tap water
1 Felz-Naptha soap bar
1 cup Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda
1/2 cup Borax

-Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with water.

-Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.

( This pot and spoon are old, so they are now designated "laundry detergent only".)

-Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of hot tap water. 

Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax.

  Stir well until all powder is dissolved. Fill bucket to the top with more tap water. Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken. 
Note: This is like a really cool science experiment!  So neat...the next morning you have a thick gel!

Stir. (You'll get a good arm workout!)  Fill a used, clean laundry soap container half full with soap and then fill the rest of the way with water.  Shake before each use.  (I find the detergent is best after it has a day to "gel" in the container...but sometimes I can't wait that long!)

***I half my "recipe"-- that way, I don't have to stir such a huge amount. I end up making a half recipe every 4-6 weeks.  I've never timed myself, but start-to-finish, I think this takes about 30 minutes.

So, who wants to try it?

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