I’ve really wanted to do this for quite some time. I found many recipes for homemade laundry detergent online, mostly of the powder variety. I don’t really care for using powder in my front loader, it just doesn’t seem to empty all the way and then it dries out and gets clumpy. So anyway, I was searching for something in liquid form and something that I felt was ok to use in an HE machine. Well, seek and find I did!
(I’m not really a Star Wars fan, but that came out a little Yoda-ish, huh?) Anywho….
I have, to-date, made two batches. Each yielding 10 gallons. I shared 6 gallons of the first batch, which left me with 4 and it lasted me 4 months!!! I have used it on everything from delicates to football pants (pictured above). I love it!! It’s as equally effective as any store-bought I’ve used. I wont mention any brands specifically, but lets just say my clothes are just as ‘tidey’ as ever. I’m ‘gaining’ money with every load of laundry. Deciding to make my own detergent was no ‘era-or.’ 🙂 Seriously, I could go on and on, but I’ll spare you my punny-ness.
As is, it has no added scents. It has a fresh scent naturally from the Fels-Naptha soap but it’s very light. I still use a softener, because I like it and it lasts forever, so the cost doesn’t bother me. But you could add an oil extract of your favorite scent. I might try it later, maybe a lavender. Who knows?!
So now I’ve bragged about well it works and long it lasts but let’s get to best part…………………..THE $AVING$!!!!!!
Fels Naptha bar soap
Arm and Hammer Washing Soda
Yep, that’s it… $7.59 for all the ingredients.
I was able to find them all in the laundry aisle at Wal-Mart. You’ll also need a 5 gal. bucket to mix the detergent. I had one on hand but since it had been used for multiple things, I decided to get a new one specifically for this to ensure it was clean of any dirt and debris. I can’t remember what I paid for it but for the sake of a cost break down, lets say $5.
That brings it to a grand total of $12.59. The best part of breaking down the cost is not the first-time batch, but rather the second, third, fourth, fifth……..batch. As I mentioned before I’ve done two and the cost for the second is 97 cents!!! The box of Borax and Washing Soda will last at least through 5 batches. The Fels Naptha Soap is all that you’ll need to buy again. If we do the math at this point I have made 20 gallons of detergent for $13.56. Divide that by 20 and its 67 cents per gal. On the third batch, add another 97 cents and divide that by 30 and you get 48 cents per gallon!! You get the point! Cheap, cheap!!! Cheap, cheap!!!
(No. I do not have a pet bird, that’s me doing the math for the first time and realizing how incredibly cheap it gets each time. Oh my!!)
Forget waiting around for that very seldom detergent coupon that may or may not be out there.You can start saving now by making your own!!
Here’s a step by step picture guide. Not that you would need an illustration, it’s so easy, but really because I like to demonstrate with pictures. 🙂
(If my steps are unclear or not detailed enough try one of the other two links that are listed above 🙂 )
That’s the ‘hard’ part, guys. The next day you’ll want to stir again because the detergent will start to gel up. Have handy your containers. I chose to use 1 gal. milk cartons because we go through a lot of milk and it took me no time at all to collect 10. But use what ever works best for you. No matter what size container you choose, remember that this mixture is concentrated and you’ll mix with water 1-1. I filled all the milk cartons with 8 c. of water and then 8 c. of detergent. If you want to use smaller or larger containers just figure what the half is.
Oh, another helpful tip to pass on; a funnel comes in handy. It gets a little messy. But at least your making a mess with soap, right? Easy clean up. 😉
This is really easy, I swear!! To see it detail per detail it may seem like a lot but it isn’t.
Have fun with it! Design your own bottle labels, find your favorite scented oil, whatever makes your heart sing.
Make it especially for you!!!
Happy Start-Saving-Tues-day day!!