Can You Really Make Homemade Laundry Detergent?
- Posted on
Accidentally coming across information about making homemade laundry detergent caused me to take some time for research and do some thinking before deciding to give it a go.One of the most interesting lessons that came from experimenting with making my own laundry soap is that it actually is cost-effective. The small effort it takes to learn to make one’s own detergent is surprisingly worth it.
Although the conclusions of my experiments are satisfactory, I’m still planning to refine the recipe. I hope to post new results with optional recipes in a future hub.
On this end of my experimentation as I’m getting ready to post this hub, it’s very funny to me that the article I read was overly critical of making laundry detergent at home!
There Are Projects, Then There Are Projects!
In the beginning, though, I remembered that projects sometimes claim to be easy when in fact they turn out to be beyond me, particularly if chemistry is involved. This could be dangerous in my hands.
Besides that, I did not want to ruin my clothes by making a dreadful mistake, nor waste any time rewashing clothes that did not come clean the first time. Laundry is not a fun chore, even in my lilly pad green laundry room.
Mind you, I am thankful for the conveniences of my laundry room for I surely am not wanting to plop a basket of dirty clothes on my head and trot down to one of the creeks on either end of our street. Nor would I ever be in the mood to wash them by hand on my knees, inviting moccasins to bite my nose. I am thoroughly thankful, yes’siree ma’am.
Recipes For Homemade Laundry Soap!
But, homemade laundry detergent? I could waste a lot more than my time if what I read was not true so there was only one thing to do–research the topic. Unlike laundry, research is something I relish. Tracking down the truth, testing the waters, getting others’ opinions. Now that’s fun stuff.
I read several different detergent recipes, and several blogs about making and using it. The recipe I decided to try had options on some of the ingredients, one being the bar soap that was to be melted down.
A strange-to-me product called Zote was mentioned, pink Zote to be exact. I had never heard of Zote before, not pink, green, or any other color. I didn’t even do any research on it because I thought it must be from Mars and I would never see it in real life. I simply decided to go with one of the other bars.
You Can Make Laundry Detergent!
Although I knew I could find one of the other bar soaps in a blink, the two other main ingredients, Washing Soda and Borax, proved not so easy to find. An online search showed that I could pick these up at an Ace Hardware, but when would I ever get to one of those stores?
Then one day my husband called to announce that he had found them at a Publix located across town. Go figure, we were using cell phones to talk about making homemade laundry detergent.
Then, there I am shopping in a local Big Lot’s store and I come across Zote. Pink Zote, no less! There were no other colors, only pink. I just stood there looking at it for a few minutes as if it were an alien, only recovering when I realized I was talking out loud to myself. “Well, how about that…here it is…it’s a real product…etc.” I grabbed one bar and fled the scene.
The recipe was not hard to make. It was a little time consuming, but interesting, and now that I’ve done it once I’m looking forward to doing it again. In the end, I wound up with a 5 gallon bucket of laundry soap that was to be dispensed into other containers to their half-way mark, each then to be finished off with water. The total would produce 10 gallons of laundry soap.
In the process of my first experiment I learned something important about storing the detergent. After saving a few large store-bought laundry detergent containers and then filling one with the recipe according to directions, I found that the home made product needs to be well shaken before each use. It did not take long for me to realize that I only wanted to store my detergent in 1 gallon containers that have a tight lid.