Sunday, March 11, 2007

Homemade Laundry Detergent

I love making my own laundry detergent! The cheap stuff gave Sammy a rash and smelled awful, and Tide is just so expensive! Esp the 'free' stuff if you happen to have any sensitivities. I found all the ingredients at the grocery store, but they may be a little hard to find. The Borax should be everywhere, the washing soda can be found at a pool supply store, although I've never looked, and the Fels Naptha is a bit harder to come by sometimes, but you can use any bar of soap you have on hand. I like Fels Naptha, as it's 100% natural-see picture.

Homemade Laundry Detergent

1/4 Bar of soap ($1.39)
1/4 cup Borax ($4.99)
1/4 cup Washing Soda ($4.99)
Essential Oil (optional)
Heavy one gallon container
funnel

Grate the 1/4 bar of soap, put it in a pan with 3 cups of water and heat on medium, stirring constantly until all the soap melts. It bubbles up and is hard to see if the soap is melting sometimes. It takes about 5 minutes and if you lift it out with a spoon and pour it back in, you can usually see if there are flecks of soap that have not yet melted. Don't leave it alone-it will bubble over! It's a clean mess, but still a pain to get off the oven. After the soap has melted, pour in the borax and washing soda. Stir occasionally for 5 minutes. Take off the heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Add the essential oils if you choose.
Pour into the container. Fill it halfway with hot water and shake vigorously. Fill it the rest of the way up with water and shake again.
Let sit for 24 hours before using. It will gel up and look like egg yolks. I put in about 1/2 a cup, and I also put 1/2 cup of white distilled vinegar in one of the fabric softener balls. That is my all-natural fabric softener