How Would Making Homemade Laundry Detergent Add Up?
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Cheap laundry detergent starts at about 60 cents per load and prices quickly go upward from there. This homemade soap is supposed to run about 7 cents per load. No, I have not figured mine up exactly, but I can tell you that it is a huge savings. This detergent is also easier on the environment because containers are being reused and it works as well if not better than the store brands.
Just to make certain it worked like the reports promised I tried it out before giving 4 friends bottles of the stuff to use. They were incredulous, but willing to take my word and give it a try. I told them I would be writing about their experience with this recipe and that I would be trying other recipes for them to experiment with. Thanks bunches, A., K., J., and M.!
My friends were all about the questions I’ve tried to answer here and they additionally wanted to know if the homemade detergent was safe for HE machines. Good thing it is safe for those machines because I had not considered that issue! (The concern re HE machines is whether the detergent suds, but manufacturers want us to believe that the issues with HE machines’ need for the special detergents are profound and costly.)
So, the friend that I thought would be the toughest sell called to say she loved using it, loved the smell, and said that she wanted to make her own big batch. I asked her to just help me use this up and let me experiment with my other recipe ideas before we decide on which one we like best.
Then I heard from the first friend I gave it to and she was more than willing to let me refill her bottle. The third friend liked it fine–she has a lot on her mind and did not elaborate, but she was happy to get a refill. The last friend I heard from mentioned that their clothes were softer for having used this home made laundry detergent. They all laughed at first, but are now hooked on this new “product.”
My homemade laundry detergent does not contain the harmful-for-the-environment “stuff and such” and, as mentioned, it is safe for HE machines. It really is easy to make and inexpensive. I am looking forward to trying out adaptations of this recipe and I plan to write hubs about them, but I’m going ahead and offering you this introductory recipe today:
Homemade Laundry Detergent Recipe
- 5 gallon bucket with lid
- 1 bar of Pink Zote
- 1 cup of Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (not baking soda)
- 1/2 cup of Borax
- Several drops of lavender essential oil
- Several smaller containers with tight lids to divide the mixture for ease in storing and using your product
- A medium-large funnel (the top opening on mine is about 8 inches)
What To Do:
First, grate or chop the bar of Zote and melt it down in 4 cups of hot water using a medium-large pot of water set on low heat. The smaller the particles the quicker it will melt down.
Fill the 5 gallon bucket halfway with hot water (not boiling). Stir in the melted Zote, several drops of lavender essential oil (start with 7 to test how much scent you want to use–I will be adding 14 next time), the Borax, and the Washing Soda.
Fill the bucket with more hot tap water and stir well. Let sit overnight to thicken.
The next day, stir the thickened detergent again, combining the thickest top layer with the thinner bottom layer. The top layer will be viscous and will likely need to be broken up a bit as you begin to mix it with the bottom layer.
Then fill your smaller containers half full with the detergent using the funnel. Fill the remainder with warm water, cap tightly and shake to mix thoroughly. There will be some sudsing in this process, but I have not seen suds in my washer when using this detergent.
Shake storage containers before each use. Use 1/2 cup of your homemade laundry detergent per average load. This recipe will provide you with 10 gallons of laundry detergent.