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Homemade Liquid Laundry Detergent
Love It or Leave It?
Homemade laundry detergent…you either love it or you hate it. Personally I LOVE it! For the past couple of years there has been quite the buzz online about homemade cleaners. I had seen numerous blog posts about laundry detergent recipes but, as I had several bottles of detergent stockpiled from couponing, I didn’t really give it much thought. When my stockpile of detergent ran out, and I was unemployed and looking for ways to save money, I thought, “let’s give this homemade stuff a shot.”
I made my first batch of detergent in December 2011 and that’s all I have used since. In my opinion my clothes are cleaner than with commercial detergent and they smell great too. I’ve had problems before with our white shirts getting yellow and dingy, especially under the arms. Since making the switch to the homemade detergent I no longer have that problem. I’ve even converted my mom, who was a devout Tide user for as long as I can remember, to the world of homemade laundry detergent.
There are several recipes floating around out there for both liquid and powder detergents. I have had this recipe for quite awhile and I’m not really sure where it originated. One of the popular homemade laundry detergent recipes came from The Duggar Family from TLC’s 19 Kids and Counting.
Here’s how to make it:
4 Cups – hot tap water
1 Fels-Naptha soap bar
1 Cup – Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (can’t be baking soda or the detergent, it must be the sodium carbonate)
1 Cup 20 Mule Team Borax
1 cup Oxi-Clean Powder
Grate the bar of soap and add to saucepan with water.
Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.
Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of hot tap water. Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax. Stir well until all powder is dissolved. Fill bucket to top with more hot water. Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken.
Overnight the detergent will turn into a “gel”. Using a large spoon or paint stirring stick (those are the best to use), stir detergent, then fill a used, clean, laundry soap dispenser, or jug of any type, half full with soap and then fill rest of way with water. Shake before each use. (will gel)
I love Tropicana orange juice, it tastes like a fresh orange and the bottles that it is packaged in is perfect for laundry detergent! I love the fact that I can see through the bottle so I know exactly how much detergent is in the bottle.
If you do not have an empty jug or pitcher you can purchase these gallon jugs on Amazon. I love the fact that these Bluewave Lifestyle Square Bottles are BPA free so you could also use them as water bottles if you wanted to keep an emergency supply of water for your family.
Optional: You can add 10-15 drops of essential oil per 2 gallons. Add once soap has cooled. Ideas: lavender, rosemary, tea tree oil. (I’m going to try this with the next batch that I make.) You can find many different essential oils online from Amazon.
Yield: Liquid soap recipe makes 10 gallons.
Top Load Machine- 5/8 Cup per load (Approx. 180 loads)
Front Load Machines- ¼ Cup per load (Approx. 640 loads)
To purchase the ingredients for the detergent it cost about $12 (for the first batch). So far I have made 4 batches of the detergent and I’m still using the same box of Borax and Arm & Hammer. I only had to buy more of the Fels-Naptha Soap and it only costs .97 cents at Wal-Mart. Compared to commercial detergents this homemade recipe is much more economical. It takes about 30-45 minutes to make the detergent and then you let it sit overnight but I would much rather give up 45 minutes every few months to make a large batch of detergent than to pay $10 or more every couple of weeks for commercially made detergent!
Here’s the price breakdown of the homemade laundry detergent versus the store bought detergent that I previously used. Keep in mind that costs will vary depending on how much laundry that your family does each month.
How amazing is that! That’s an annual savings of over $110 a year! I could easily find many other ways to spend that $110!
I’d love to hear from our readers.