Tuesday

SOS Mom Saver: Homemade Laundry Detergent

You've heard me reference my homemade laundry detergent before. Many of you have asked for my recipe. Your wish is (finally) my command.

The ingredients are fairly simple. You only need 3:
  1. Borax (1/2 cup to 1 cup)
  2. Washing Soda (1/2 cup to 1 cup)  (If you cannot find Washing Soda in your area, listen to  SOS Radio this coming Thursday (Sept. 30th) at 4:30pm PST.  I'll tell you how to make your own!)
  3. 1 bar of Ivory (or Fels Naptha) soap.
(The extra bar you see in the pic above is a laundry bar I buy at the local health food store. It works wonders at getting tough stains out.)

Utilizing these 3 ingredients, you can make a dry or a liquid version. I have not yet tried the liquid version, but intend to in the future. I have been using the dry for two years now with excellent results.

Here’s what you do:
  1. Grate the bar of soap. (I would recommend buying a separate grater for this as it will be very hard to clean it sufficiently enough to use with food again after using it for grating soap. I got mine for 25¢ at a local thrift store. You didn’t really think I would have paid full price, did you?) (Also...The kids really love grating soap so if you don’t feel like grating soap today, call a family project…and let your kids do the “dirty” work!)
  2. Add grated soap to the Borax and Washing Soda.
  3. You can make as big a batch as you like and add it to a suitable container.
  4. You use 1-2 tbs of the mix for each load of laundry.
Here are some things to remember:
  1. The soap will not suds a lot. Don’t expect it to.
  2. You can use either ½ cup or 1 cup of the Borax and Washing Soda. The amount you use will be totally dependent on your needs. I usually use a mixture with ½ cup each, but I keep a mixture with 1 cup each in a mason jar in my big container for heavier loads (like when my son walks in the door covered in mud).
  3. If you don’t want to bother with 2 separate mixes, you can always just add a little extra Borax to the load. It is a natural laundry booster that many use even with "regular" laundry detergent.
  4. Yes. You really only use 1-2 tbs with each load. I know it seems like an incredibly small amount. But your clothes WILL be clean. I promise. 
  5. If you have hard water, you might need to use a little extra.  I would start with 1 tbs & increase to as much as 3 or 4 tbs per load of laundry if necessary.
  6. If you have soft water because of a water softener, you probably won't want to use over 1 tbs; but definitely not over 2 tbs.

When I do the liquid version (sometime in the ever-elusive future), I will get back to you and let you know how it goes. You will save more money if you use the liquid version, but for me, I needed convenience. I’m still saving money by utilizing the dry version, just not as much.

If you try it, please let me know how it goes for you.  If you have any questions, post it here, e-mail me, or talk to me on Facebook or Twitter!

22 comments:

Hope Huska said...

So I love the new mom tip with making soap. Can I use that in my front load washer. If it makes lots of suds I know it's not good. So I guess I'm asking does the soap make lots of suds.

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Vanessa Smith said...

it doesn't make a lot of suds ... it's fine to use in those washers

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Vanessa Smith said...

in fact it doesn't suds up at all.

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Hope Huska said...

Cool! I gotta try it now.

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Vanessa Smith said...

you should ! It's easy!

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Thoughts of THAT mom said...

What Vanessa said! However...if you have a water softener, you'll want to start with only 1 tbs.

April Clark said...

I missed it Amy. Did the issue of hard water come up?

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Thoughts of THAT mom said...

I did address the issue with hard water. You may have to use a little more than the 1-2 tbs that's recommended if you have hard water (like we do here in Vegas).

Amy

Lyndsay Moehrman said...

I have tried both the liquid and the powder versions. I personally prefer the powder. It takes less time to make and comes out the same time everytime. It is also less messy.Sometimes the liquid will not all gel or even gel at all. It can be frustrating. Having fun trying the liquid..it is def an adventure. I also add a cup or so of powdered clorox 2 to the mix. I have very messy people in my house. lol

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Thoughts of THAT mom said...

Good to know, Lyndsay. Thanks! I've hesitate on the liquid only because I'd need hubby here to help with the lifting...and I never seem to make my next batch when he's around!

If you wanted to keep it more natural, you could either double the Borax in the dry mix or just add a little extra Borax to each load.

Drama Queen's Momma said...

My husband works outside and sweats a lot. Will it remove odors too?

Geri said...

I have been using the Liquid version for the past year. I average a load a day and that 5 gallon (that makes 10 gallons of soap) can last my family of 4 up to 8 months. It takes about 20 minutes to make but $3 is a great alternative to the $16.99 Tide that I would buy on sale every 2 months.

Thoughts of THAT mom said...

@Drama Queen's Mama (love the name, by the way):

If the smell is your main issue, use vinegar as your fabric softener. Just put 1/2 cup - 1 cup of vinegar in for his clothes. (This will even take the bad smell out of clothes that have been smelling bad for a long while!)

You can do this regardless of whether you use "regular" laundry detergent or a homemade version.

Thoughts of THAT mom said...

@Geri: You're right! It DEFINITELY is a HUGE savings over buying store-bought detergent; regardless of which version you buy!

Sara Mohr said...

I've been using the detergent for about four months now. I love it!

Thoughts of THAT mom said...

WooHoo! Awesome, Sara!

Hope Huska said...

I'm going to make it this weekened. But I am daring and will be tring the liquid.

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Thoughts of THAT mom said...

Do you need the full recipe for that, Hope, or did you find it already?

Hope Huska said...

I found one that looks pretty easy to do with the same ingredients.

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Hope Huska said...

I'd love to compare to the one you have.

Keleana Rosier said...

Can I get the recipe for the liquid?

Keleana Rosier said...

Can I get the recipe for the liquid?

 
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