Thursday, December 10, 2009

Homemade Laundry Detergent

So, about a month or so ago, my friend Jeannie and I made the homemade laundry detergent. Can you just say that I am in love? I am so in love with this laundry detergent.

I believe I stated here how senstive my skin is. I have only been able to use the free and clear versions of laundry detergent. Add to that the fact that we have the new front loader washer and dryer and now I also have to use the high efficiency detergent. That can get quite expensive. I was using organic detergent that I bought in a huge jug at Sams, not horribly priced, but I didn't feel like my clothes got that clean. After a while they started to look dull and never really "felt" clean.

I had been wanting to try making homemade for quite some time, but honestly, am embarrassed to say that I was a little embarrassed by it. I mean, who makes their own laundry detergent? Like many of you, when you think of someone that does that, you think of either a nature nut or someone who cannot afford not to.

I always thought they were nature nuts. I do love natural products and being kind to the environment. But I also drive a minivan, live in a suburb, send my kids to public school, have a love/hate relationship with Lands End and eat frozen pizza on occasion. And not the good kind, the cheap, not sure if it is real cheese kind. So, you see, I am not the typical "nature nut."

I remember when I told my sister that I did some canning this past summer, when the tomatoes were in season. She jokingly said, "next thing you know, you'll be making your own detergent" well, little did she know that I was hoping to do just that.

I have mentioned my friend Jeannie a few times in earlier posts. I feel like we are long lost sisters! She too loves Lands End, lives in the suburbs,  will eat the occasional frozen pizza and loves natural products. She too made her own cleaning supplies. And in a simple conversation, we learned that we had both been longing to try making our own detergent.

So we set up a time and did just that. She came to my house and my husband took my 3 older kids to her house! We had just the baby, who slept most of the time. We based our recipe loosely on a few different ones we found. We mainly used the one here. I completely forgot about taking photos, I was so excited to get started!

The recipe that we used was this:

1 cup Borax
1/2 cup Super Washing Soda
1/3 bar of Fels Naptha soap
1 bar of Dove Sensitive Unscented bar soap (Jeannie used Ivory)

Simply grate the Fels Naptha and bar soap, I used my food processor. It was interesting to grate the different soaps. The Ivory soap grated super fast, as it was super soft. My Dove took longer to grate.

Melt the grated soap on the stove top in a pan along with 6 cups of water. Once the soap has melted, pour that along with 4 cups of hot water into a bucket. We used old cat litter containers that we(Jeannie) washed out. Mix that together. Once that has all come together, add 22 cups of water to the bucket and mix.

This has to set up for 24 hours before you use it. This will separate some and some will be jelly like and some will be liquid. Mine didn't separate, it stayed together in a very jelly like state. Maybe because I used the Dove, but Jeannie's did and she used Ivory. I use 1/2 to 1 cup of this detergent depending on how big my load is.

I have seen this recipe made without the additional bar of soap and only the 1/3 Fels Naptha. I have also seen this made with a whole bar of Fels Naptha.

I have been using this for 2 months now and I love it. My whites have never been brighter. Our clothes smell nice and are super soft.  I don't know that I will ever go back to store bought. The savings is phenominal, and you know exactly what is in your detergent, I like that.

And having sensitive skin myself, one child with eczema and a baby, we have had no problems using this detergent. So what are you waiting for? It only takes minutes to make and is so  worth it. Try different combinations and see what works for you.

Do any of you make your own laudry soap? If so leave a comment and tell me your recipe and whether or not you love it too!

This post links to Works for Me Wednesday, Frugal Fridays, Ultimate Recipe Swap, and Tackle it Tuesday.

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