Homemade Laundry Detergent!

I was browsing pinterest one day and came a across a recipe for laundry detergent that claimed it cost under $30 to make and would last a whole year. I was intrigued. I do a lot of laundry. At least two loads a day with a couple days off here and there. Seems that I am always lugging a big jug of Purex Naturals around. I talked it over with the hubs and we decided to go for it. If it is all that it claims then great! Here is the original post over at How does she? Which is a very cute blog if you are in the market for some entertaining reading and decorating ideas.

We bought all of our materials at Wal-mart! They were all grouped together in one section of the laundry aisle like that is exactly what they are there for!

Our materials ($23):
- One large canister of Purex Crystals (this adds scent and softens your clothes)
- 1 tub of Oxy Clean
- 1 large box of Borax
- 1 large box of Super Washing Soda
- 1 large box of Baking Soda (or you could use a bunch of the little boxes if you can't find this one)
- 2 bars of Fels-Naptha soap
- 1 good sized storage tub or bucket with a lid to mix and store your detergent

I had no idea Borax was so handy.

A few thoughts on laundry soap bars!
First, you have to grate your soap. This is the hardest part of this process but it really wasn't all that hard. I used the shredding attachment on my Kitchen Aid mixer that is typically used for grating cheese. You can hand grate your soap or I have heard there are some food processors that make quick work of two bars of laundry soap as well. There are different types of laundry soap bars available but our Wal-mart only carried Fels-Naptha. I know that our Cracker Barrel carries a castile soap (I think it is called Ken's) that is supposed to be a little more skin sensitive but my boys have sensitive skin and they have been fine with the Fels-Naptha. I have also read about people using Ivory soap bars. You would probably need to use a lot of those little bars. The recipe I looked off of uses Zote soap but I had no idea where to look for that. Plus, this had to be convenient for me to make and not me running all over town looking for soap for it to be worth it for me. I have also read some different thoughts on the amounts of laundry soap bars. I found that the two large bars are plenty for us but if you are doing heavier duty laundry it wouldn't hurt to throw in another bar.
 A nice big pile of shredded cheese, I mean soap!
 Get your tub or bucket and begin layering your ingredients a little at a time. That way when you mix it you have a head start on it already being integrated. Now get a hubby or someone with good strong arms to mix up your batch O' laundry detergent. (I am sure I could've handled it but I want him to feel included.)
 A nice close up of the goods.
 We tore off the label of the Purex Crystals bottle and filled it up. This is what I keep handy to use everyday. I have the tub sitting close by for refills when needed.
 The kicker: you only need 1 - 2 Tablespoons of this detergent! Seriously, that is all you need. It measures out in the cap of the bottle perfectly.
 This is my water with my new awesome soap all dissolved in it. Yep, we are old school here. We still have a top loader WITH an agitator. There will not be any suds. That is why it is safe to use with those fancy energy efficient front loaders!
I have used this detergent exclusively for over two months. It has not disappointed! That is why I waited so long to blog about it. I wanted to make sure it stood up to many different types of laundry needs. It actually got out a large amount of blood on a towel! We came upon a roll over accident one evening. The driver was bleeding from a few gashes and I had given her a beach towel out of our car. I figured I was going to have to toss it. It all came out! I couldn't believe it.

The scent of the detergent is light and clean. Most of the time I don't even need dryer sheets. The hub's polyester work uniforms seem to generate a lot of static so I throw in my handy dandy reusable dryer sheet with those. (I soaked a hand towel in liquid fabric softener and laid it out to dry.Throw it in the dryer with wet clothes. Don't wash it. Use it until its softening power runs out. It lasted for TWO WHOLE MONTHS!) Supposedly, this homemade laundry detergent is safe enough for sensitive baby skin. I haven't tested that out but I will have the opportunity in a couple months! I just recently had to refill my Purex bottle so I can see where this will most likely last us a long time. I am not sure about the whole year but it will be interesting to see how far it does get me. I was buying these huge bottles of liquid detergent every month and a half. I figure if it gets me through 6 months (which I have no doubts that it won't) it is worth it.

A little hesitant to try it still? Get a few friends together to split the cost of the first batch and divide that baby up! Plus, you'll get help grating those laundry soap bars!

UPDATE: See how much we liked our first batch of laundry detergent and how long it lasted our family here!

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