icRKphJXQm-ezth8lntKydifkDg The Loose Screw: March 2010

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Homemade Laundry Detergent

I've been 'passionate' about different ways to save money-I do all I can to help stretch what we have. I'm going to do a more detailed post on that later, but for now, this is one of the ways we have found to save money. We started making our own laundry detergent back in September, using a recipe found on the Duggar's website, www.duggarfamily.com. We loved the results. Then our church, in need of a building, started a fundraiser where they gave each family $50 to invest in something, to then 'grow' the money into more for the building fund. We decided to make laundry detergent! It was a big seller, and even after that $50 challenge ended, we continue to make and sell it on our own, giving all the profits to the church building fund. I'm not sure how much we have raised, but for sure we know it is several hundred dollars. The thing is, this detergent is SO INEXPENSIVE to make-like 1-2 cents a load! It is fairly easy to make as well. We make the liquid version, but you can surf the web to find other liquid recipes, and powdered versions as well. My friend Amy at lifeslittlecrazies.blogspot.com makes the powdered, and shared some with me. I really liked it as well, but prefer liquid for my HE machine. It is low/no sudsing, which is perfect for the newer machines, but fine for the older ones as well.

We mix ours up in a big 5 gallon bucket, then fill up smaller containers-old detergent containers, apple/orange juice jugs, milk jugs, anything you can think of. One thing that was mentioned on the Duggar's website, and that we noticed as well over time, is that your whites can start to look dingy. This is due to the lack of phosphates in the detergent, and adding Oxyclean will take care of it. The other thing you can do is increase the Borax, which is what we decided to do, and it helped as well.

Here are the directions:

Ingredients: 4 cups hot tap water, 1 bar Fels-Naptha soap, 1 cup Arm & Hammer Washing Soda, 1/2 c. Borax (we have increased to 1 cup). You will also need a cheese grater, a 5 gallon bucket, a tall spoon for stirring, and your clean, smaller containers for storing the detergent.

*Grate the bar of Fels-Naptha and add to saucepan with 4 cups hot tap water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap is melted.
*Fill a 5 gallon bucket half-full with hot tap water. Add melted soap, washing soda, and Borax. Stir well until powder is dissolved. Fill bucket to the top with more hot water. Stir, cover, and let sit overnight to thicken.
* Using a clean plastic container, fill half-full of the soap, then fill the rest of the way with water. Shake well before each use, as it will thicken.
*Optional-you can add 10-15 drops of essential oil per 2 gallons once soap has cooled. Ideas-lavender, tea tree (my favorite).
*Yields 10 gallons of laundry detergent.

Other useful info:
*Recipe costs approximately $2.00 for 10 gallons!!
*Don't buy Arm and Hammer Baking Soda, it must be Super Washing Soda.
*You can add any laundry boosters/additives with this soap.
*Can be used to wash in all temperatures.
*Can be used as a pre-treater for tough stains.
*For regular washing machines use 1/2 cup per load, for front-loader He machines use 1/4 cup.

My next adventure: homemade dishwasher detergent!