How To Tuesday
How to make your own laundry detergent
About a month ago my family moved to a new apartment, this one includes my own laundry machine! I was so excited cause that meant that I could finally try the cloth diapers that I have been looking at for so long. Along with the new adventure in cloth diapering I decided to try making my own soap. I asked a few friends and searched google for a recipe. I found recipes and tips on TipNut.com and ThriftyFun.com
Here is the basic recipe for powdered laundry detergent:
2 Cups grated soap
1 Cup Borax
1 Cup Washing Soda
I personally used Fels Naptha Soap, however many sites talked about using Ivory or any other "natural" bar soap. I found all of these ingredients at my local Hy Vee grocery store in the laundry soap section.
Warning, you are about to make a big mess!
At first I tried to grate the soap with a cheese grater, but I realized how long it would take to grate the bar, so I tried a food processor, which worked ok. It worked much better once I cut the bar up. After I ground up the soap I added the borax and washing soda. It was pretty clumpy, so I went back to the websites listed above to look for tips on solving that. I learned it was a little late, but the best way to eliminate "clumps" is to let the soap sit out of the wrapper for a day or 2 before you grind it. Something, I will have to keep in mind for next time.
The scent may be a little strong, but you don't notice it on the clothing at all. If you like to change the scent you can add a few drops of essential oils as you mix the powders together.
I am storing the powder in an ice cream bucket. I use 1 tablespoon for a small/medium load (my diapers) and 2 tablespoons for large/extra large/ extra dirty loads.
Once again, I will warn you making this is messy. However calculating the money that I will save using this (along with my cloth diapers) I think the mess is worth it. I have been using this detergent for a few weeks and it is working great so far. I also haven't hardly made a dent in amount I made, so it should last quite a while.
I hope these tips help you. Please pass along any tips you may also have. If you are looking for liquid detergent I would suggest checking out the sites I listed above. Let me know how they work.