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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Laundry Detergent

I have mentioned in the past that Jan & I make our own laundry detergent. We have been using it for over a year now and I cannot tell you what a great detergent it is and how much money it has saved us to make it. Nathan keeps telling me I need to post the recipe, so today I decided to do it.

This detergent is dye-free, scent-free and hypoallergenic for all you out there requiring these things. AND it is LOW SUDSING so perfect for HE machines.

Home-made Laundry Soap Recipe :

1 bar Fels-naptha
1 cup Arm&Hammer Super Washing Soda
1 cup Borax
5 gallons and 4 cups HOT tap water (total)
1 5 gallon bucket with lid

*Grate bar of Fels-Naptha with Food processor or by hand with cheese grater.
*In medium sized saucepan, add grated soap and 4 cups water. Cook over medium heat till melted, stirring often.
*When soap is melted, fill 5 gallon bucket about 1/2 full of HOT tap water. Add melted soap, Washing Soda and Borax to water and stir well till dissolved.
*Add enough HOT water to fill the 5 gallon bucket. It will be quite heavy at this point.
*Cover tightly and let it sit overnight or until it thickens into a gel-like substance.
*Stir well. When you're ready to use the detergent, fill any empty container (milk jugs, apple juice containers or old laundry det. containers) with 1/2 laundry concentrate and fill the rest of the bottle with water.( 1 part soap/ 1 part water)
*Shake well before each use. Top load machine: 3/4 c. per load; Front load machine: 1/4 c. per load.

Yields 5 gallons of "concentrate" and 10 gallons of detergent.
Cost: less than $2 per recipe. This will be more for your initial recipe if you don't have the ingredients on hand already. Fels-naptha costs a little over $1, Arm&Hammer Super Washing Soda and Borax are $2-3 each

I do like some scent in my laundry, so using a front-loading machine I use 1/2 cup of the home-made detergent and one squirt (literally, a small squirt) of Gain or All to each load. It is amazing how little store-bought stuff you need to add the fragrance.

Let me know if you decide to try this -- I think you would be pleasantly surprised with the results. :0)

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