Several weeks ago, I was given a jar of homemade laundry detergent. I was a little excited about it, since I have wanted to try some. I had posted that I was giving it a try on Facebook. I had several comments that were encouraging me to make my own. Then there were a couple that were not so encouraging, with their not so good experience with homemade detergent.
I made it anyway!
I can't believe how easy and quick this process is and I can choose my own scents, if I want. For this batch, I bought soft scented oils ~ Honey and Almond. I'll tell you about that in a minute.
Now for the items that are needed in making your own detergent:
The Washing Soda (not baking soda) and the Fels - Naptha maybe a little difficult to find ~ At least they are here. I finally found them at my local Publix grocery store, all on the laundry aisle. If you can't find them, ask your store to order them.
Here's how I made the detergent:
4 Cups - hot tap water
1 Fels-Naptha soap bar
1 Cup - Washing Soda
½ Cup Borax
Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.
Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of hot tap water. Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax. Stir well until all powder is dissolved. Fill bucket to top with more hot water. Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken. I added about 60 drops of the oils the next morning.
Stir and fill a used, clean laundry soap bottle.
I have to be honest with you... I'm a little skeptical on just how clean my laundry was going to be, so I added another 1/2 cup of the washing soda and the borax.
This detergent turned out to be a gel. You can see here ~
When I put this in an old detergent bottle, I added about a cup of water and shook it, so some of the gel would break down and go through my HE washer without any hang ups.
Now back to the oils ~ The Fels-Naptha has a lemony scent, so the softer oil scent does not come through as well as I had hoped. I can still smell it and it smells wonderful, when the dryer is opened after running. But after that the Honey Almond scent is gone. But there is a fresh clean smell.
The cost of this detergent is amazing. I paid $ .99 cents for the bar soap and $2.29 for the washing soda and $5.00 for the oils. I already had the Borax, so the cost is not included. For this batch I paid $8.84 for the needed items. When you break down the cost:
5 gallons = 320 (1/4 cup) loads
Washing Soda= $.63 cents (1 1/2 cup)
Bar Soap = $.99 cents
Essential Oils = $2.50 (half a bottle)
Total = $4.12 divide this by 320 loads
Total cost per load = $.013 ~ Yep that's less than 2 cents a load
This cost, does not include the Borax, since I already had a box. But it won't change much when a new box is bought.
Also, I have noticed that my laundry is softer since using the homemade detergent. I can't wait to see how it does over the next couple of weeks.