Monday, October 14, 2013

Homemade Laundry Detergent

Recently while I was totally procrastinating doing some research on Pinterest, I came across a pin for DIY laundry detergent.   At first I was a little skeptical, especially seeing real life attempts at some pins such as here.  But the more I researched, the more I thought of giving it a go.  After all, I go through so much detergent at home and this is supposed to last a year (which I personally think is a bit stretched).  It costs just under $30.00 for all the ingredients.  I found everything in Wal-Mart in the laundry isle.  I also bought two glass jars for my laundry room, one scented and the other unscented.  The cost was $9.00 each, one large one was $17.00.  So here is the step by step of how to make the batch.  


One box of Borax (just over 4 pounds)
Three bars of Fels-Naptha, Zote, or Ivory soap. 
One 4 pound box of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda.
One box of Arm & Hammer Super Washing.
4 pounds of Oxy Clean (I bought the large one since it was cheaper but didn't use it all)

Laundry Scent Crystals in your favorite scent.

Cube the soap into small cubes and divide in half.

Take half of the soap and put in a food processor.  Some recipes call for grating the soap, but I've read that sometimes it will leave some in the washer if the flakes are too big.  So I have an old Ultimate Chopper that worked perfectly for this.  Note:  add some of the powder to the food processor before grating.  This is make sure the soap grinds into a fine powder.  Otherwise, the soap will be too moist and start to clump.  We don't want clumps.  Clumps are bad.

Pulse the processor a few times and then run on high until all the soap is ground.  It should look like the picture below.

Next, take all ingredients outside to mix in a large bucket.  I used one of those party buckets that I use for beer soda and ice.   The reason you want to do this outside is because when you dump all the powder and mix it together, it tends to fly around.  Nothing like choking on soap powder.  Put all ingredients except the scented crystals into the bucket and mix together.  I used an old piece of molding, but a large paint stick from Home Depot or Lowes would work great.

Now here I took approximately half of the mixture and filled one of the glass jars.  I love those scented crystals from Downey, Purex, and Scentsy (Scentsy is only bought online, so I linked to where I got it from).  I wanted half the soap batch unscented so if I wanted to add a different scent, I could.

Next, I added the scented crystals to the mix and then filled the other glass jar.   

To use, add 1 - 2 tablespoons to your wash.  

I have an he machine and I add the soap directly to the drum.  I've read several people say it starts to cake in the dispenser after a while.  Don't know if it's because the soap wasn't grated finely enough, but I don't intend to find out.  

NOTE:  After filling the jars, you may want to add a silicon packet or some rice tied in cheesecloth to prevent the soap from drying out and getting hard over time.  This will pull any moisture out of the mixture, especially since it will be in the laundry room.


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