Ok so the prices of detergent are outrageous! Every time I need to buy some more I keep thinking that surely there needs to be a better way to do this! I DO NOT want to wash my clothes in detergent with a bunch of chemicals in it, but I also DO NOT want to spend a whole lot of money on detergent. ick. I would rather spend that money on fun stuff, like...an English toffee blended latte from The Village Bean. Ha! yum....you get the point. :) So I researched a few ways to make my own! I have been using this recipe for the last 6 months or so and it really seems to clean our clothes well. No there is not a lot of suds, but that doesn't mean clean. It seems to get some stains, but not all stains out. That is just like any detergent you would get at the store. If you want to get a tough stain out you would need to treat the spot with something else before washing it.
So here is the tutorial. It is easy, extremely cheap compared to ready-made store bought detergent, and it has no harmful chemicals in it!...plus it smells pretty good. :)
*hint: if you have a larger than 8 qt. pot you could double the recipe and make two gallons to save time!
ingredients and materials:
-1 large stock pot, 8qt or larger
-1 gallon milk jug/container
-1/3 bar of soap, grated
-1/2 cup borax
-1/2 cup washing soda
-8-10 drops of 100% therapeutic grade peppermint essential oil (optional)
After you have gathered your ingredients and materials you can start by grating the bar of soap into your pot. Grate about 1/3 of the bar and then put the rest of it aside to use for the next batch or your next shower. :)
Sorry I realize that picture was not the best...oops, but you get the point. After your done grating, pour 1/2 a gallon of water into the pot and cook until the soap is dissolved. Then add the borax and washing soda. Stir and bring to a boil.
After it comes to a boil, take it off the heat and add a 1/2 gallon of cold water and let it cool. You do not want to pour boiling hot water into a plastic jug. :) After it cools add your drops of essential oil if you like. Any scent will do, but make sure it is 100% pure therapeutic grade essential oil. I used Peppermint! It's fresh and neutral. Lavender is nice too, but my hubby prefers to not smell like flowers. I used 8 drops and it really did not make a very strong smell, just a hint is all I wanted.
...and there you have your homemade laundry detergent! It will thicken over the next 24 hours. I use about 1/2 cup detergent per load; less or more depending on your load size. I need to do the math still and find out how much you would be saving per load and compare it to your average store-bought detergent. So I will update this post in the near future. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!