A dear friend of mine decided that she was going to teach me how to make my own laundry detergent. I thought it was a little weird, but all I had to bring was a 5 gallon bucket. She provided the rest: Mule Team Borax, washing soda, and a bar of soap.
This was in March. And since then I have been making my own laundry detergent. We are a family of 4 (2 adults and 2 small children) and go through A LOT of detergent. This homemade method cost me $10 the first time I made it myself. After that, it’s just $1 a month. Here’s why: 4 ingredients: Mule Team Borax, washing soda, one bar of Fels Naptha soap, and water. That’s it.
Step one: Grate 1 bar of Fels Naptha soap. It should resemble a pile of grated cheese.
Step 2: Put a medium sized pot of water on the stove on medium heat). Put the grated soap into the warm water and stir until melted (I don’t stir it. I actually just put it in and let it go. But that’s not what you’re supposed to do).
Step 3: Once grated soap has completely melted and the water is yellow, remove from heat. Pour 1/2 cup of Mule Team borax and 1 cup of washing soda into 5 gallon bucket. Add melted soap water. Mix well.
Step 4: Add warm water until bucket is filled.
Step 5: Use emultion blender to mix it all together. (Okay, I also do not have an emulsion blender. I use the knife sharpener from my knife set. It works great. The best results I’ve ever had with this recipe though, is today when I left the bucket to cool on the kitchen counter. When cool enough, I stuck my hand in and mixed it myself. The mixture should turn into a gel and you’ll want to make sure that the “gel” is thoroughly incorporated).
Step 6: Let it sit overnight and stir in the morning.
Step 7: Use 1 cup per load. I use a cup and a half for super loads. You can also put half the amount of water for a more concentrated amount. Use only half the detergent for each load.
Sounds like a lot of work, but it’s not. Totally easy and totally worth it. Like I said earlier, the initial cost was $10. After that, just $1 per batch for the fels naptha, because the other ingredients come in large boxes that last a while. A batch will last us 1.5- 2 months. And on a side note, my 5 year old always had mild eczema… until I started using this detergent (prior to, I always used dye free store bought).
Give it a try. It’s cheap. Easy. Better for my kids.