Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Favorite Homemade Cleaner #1: Powdered Laundry Detergent

If you had told me a few years ago that I would be making my own laundry detergent, I don't know that I would have even laughed. I probably would have just said, "Really? You can make laundry detergent?"

Well, I have been making my own detergent for almost a year. I originally was introduced by some friends who were making liquid laundry detergent, and with two small toddlers keeping my hands busy 24/7, that sounded too messy & time consuming, not to mention if my daughter pulled one of her magic tricks and got into the gunk (she is amazing at getting into things she's not supposed to, and taste-testing whatever she finds).

While hanging out with some other moms last year, a friend told us about the powdered laundry detergent she's been making for years. And since we were at her house, she decided to show us what it looked like and how to make it... It was so quick and easy I decided I had to try. Here's the recipe:

- 1 cup of Borax
- 1 cup of Washing Soda by Arm & Hammer
- 1 bar of Fels-Naptha soap, grated

Directions: Mix those three things together in a small air-tight tub. Use 1 tablespoon per load of laundry. If it's a really dirty large load of laundry, I'll use 1.5 tablespoons. But you seriously don't need more than that.

I was glad that my friend showed us what those ingredients looked like because I had never bought any of those items before... So if you're like me and might wonder where in the world you will find them and what they look like, that's why I included the picture above. And just for fun, I counted approximately how many tablespoons are in one batch: About 50. So that does 50 loads of laundry...

Here's what it looks like finished...
If you want to add extra scent just for the fun of it (but it adds to the price), you can sprinkle in 1/4 to 1/2 cup of Downy Unstoppables or Purex Crystals. But the mixture smells good without it, too. I had a free full-size sample of the Downy, so I decided to throw that in to some of my batches! (that's what those little blue dots are in the mixture)

So are you wondering where I bought this stuff? I bought all three things at Walmart. I've also seen the Borax & Washing Soda at Target, Giant Eagle, and HEB. All three things would be found in the laundry care section of a store.

The other question I'm asked about is the cost... I'm going to say it costs maybe $.03-$.04 a load w/o the Downy? It really depends on how much you spend on the ingredients. I am still on the same boxes of Borax and washing soda that I bought last summer.

If you've made homemade laundry detergent before, what ingredients do you use?

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