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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Homemade Laundry Detergent

     I had been wanting to make homemade laundry detergent since coming across the recipe online. I set out to do it but had trouble finding the ingredients around here. After searching in vain every time I went grocery shopping, I finally found that Wal Mart had started carrying all three main ingredients again. I brought them home then promptly got so busy doing other things that they just sat there. I ended up opening the Borax to repel some ants. I opened the Washing Soda to add some of it and some borax to a dish washing mixture. The bars of Fels Naptha just sat there and I swear they were starting to look at me with contempt for buying them and not yet using them! I think I was afraid that the process of making the laundry detergent was going to be a long drawn out ordeal . Yesterday I finally just did it. Was I ever surprised! It did not take long at all. so far I am pleased. It seems to have only a faint smell and very low suds. after letting it sit for the 24 hours, mine was quite the thick gelatinous blob. A quick double check and I realized I did use more of the bar soap than the recipe called for. It calls for 1/3 of the bar and I used a half a bar. O well. I just got out my Tupperware hand mixer and churned it all up and then refilled four large detergent bottles I had been saving. My batch made 450 ounces, or about 3 1/2 gallons! I have a front load Whirlpool machine... considering that I read recently that these machines typically only need about 2 - 3 tablespoons of detergent, this batch looks like it may last me until next year! For those wondering or wanting it, this is the recipe I followed.

What you'll need:
~ 4 Cups of water
~ 1/3 bar of chear soap, grated (I used Fels-Naptha)
~ 1/2 Cup Washing Soda (NOT Baking Soda) I used Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda)
~ 1/2 Cup Borax (20 Mule Team)
~ 5 gallon bucket for mixing (a lid is helpful)
~ 3 gallons of water

First grate the bar soap and put into saucepan with 4 cups of water. Heat on low until the soap is completely dissolved. While soap mixture is heating, add 3 gallons of water ( I used warm water) to the 5 gallon bucket. When soap is completely dissolved, add it to the water in the bucket and stir in the Borax and Washing Soda. Continue stirring until thickened. Let mixture stand for 24 hours.

A few notes from me: I didn't have a lid for my bucket so I covered and secured wax paper over it and it worked fine. I have transferred the mixture to detergent bottles I had been saving for easier handling and shaking, should it thicken. I have read others statements that they just keep it in the bucket with the lid on.

~*~  Always use caution with the bucket around children and do not leave it where a child could get get into it as it is a drowning risk. ~*~

Next up, thinking of trying out a homemade dishwasher detergent recipe!! :)

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