We have been on a quest to find ways to economize and at the same time return our family to some homesteading values. I have posted about our garden ventures (mostly failures), blueberry canning, and breadmaking.
Recently we decided to try something new, homemade laundry detergent. I found this recipe… and decided to try it:
Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap- Front or top load machine
4 Cups hot tap water
1 Fels-Naptha soap bar
1 Cup Washing Soda
½ Cup Borax
1. Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.
2. 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. This will be quite thick and gel-like in the morning.
3. Stir (you will need something heavy duty to stir it) and fill a used, clean, laundry soap dispenser half full with soap and then fill rest of way with water. Shake before each use. (will gel)
4. Optional: You can add 10-15 drops of essential oil per 2 gallons. Add once soap has cooled. Ideas: lavender, rosemary, tea tree oil.
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)
We had a difficult time finding the Fels-Naptha and the washing soda, so I looked around online. I discovered that Kroger carries both of these. We don’t have a Kroger locally so on one of our trips to visit our grandchildren we stopped and I purchased all the store had on hand.
I just made my second batch of this detergent and I have been very pleased with it. It cleans every bit as well as the name brand I used previously. I still need to pretreat spots and bleach whites but I had to do that with the expensive soap. This is a very low (almost no) sudsing detergent which I understand is better for the environment.
The best thing about this detergent is it costs less than $.01 per load. Yes, less than 1 cent a load. That is a great savings over the brand names detergent which can cost over $.15 a load.
I got so excited about this that I decided to try making dishwashing detergent. I found a recipe and made a batch but I have not been pleased with it at all. I have not found a recipe that was cheaper than name brands that produced the same quality. So until I come across a better recipe I will be buying my dish detergent! However, I will continue with my homemade laundry detergent and be very happy with the money I am saving.