Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Homemade Laundry Detergent - The FAST way!

When I went to start my first load of laundry on Monday (my new laundry day) this is what I found:

Homemade Laundry Soap detergent
I had used up the last of my laundry soap last week and had "forgotten" to make more.  Why didn't I just do it last Monday?  Well, if I knew the answer to that I might actually have a clean house!

Thankfully I had all the supplies on hand to make another batch.  Now, I just need to remember to pick up more the next time I'm at the grocery store or that won't be true next time!

I have been making my own laundry soap for several years now.  It is a frugal girl's perfect project.  Our clothes are clean and we save a ton of money!  When I first started making it, I made liquid soap.  My only reason for doing this is that, when I bought the commercial stuff, I bought liquid.  It was what I was used to.  But, it only took a few batches before I realized that I could make powdered soap in 1/4 the time.  Less time spent making it made it more likely I'd actually keep with it and not just go back to the commercial detergent.  

I love saving money, but I also love saving time!

I was a little worried about using powder at first.  But, even when I use cold water (almost every load) it dissolves just fine and does just as good a job as the liquid.  So, I've stuck with powder ever since.

The recipe I use needs three ingredients:
Homemade Laundry Soap detergent recipe ingredients
Borax, Fels Naptha, Super Washing Soda
  • Fels Naptha
  • Borax
  • Super Washing Soda (this is not baking soda, but it is made by Arm & Hammer and looks very similar)
You can find all three in the Laundry aisle of most grocery stores.  If you don't find it right away, you may need to check another store.  I also have all three available on my Amazon store if you are unable to find them at your grocery store.

I use equal parts of all three ingredients.  I've read several recipes that call for different amounts of each.  Because, there are so many different ratios being suggested, I realized that the exact ratio isn't a huge deal.  So, I made it easy on myself and use roughly equal parts.  I don't actually measure, but instead, just do it by eye.

How to Make Powdered Laundry Soap

First, find a container.  If you are like me, you might get frozen right here while you try to decided the perfect container.  It would have to be pretty, functional, and creative.  It would require a special shopping trip to Hobby Lobby or Michael's.  You would need to find some time to do a little crafting.   STOP!!!!  Any old container will do!  If, in the future you happen to find one that fits all those criteria, great!  Until then, grab an empty butter tub, one of those disposable "Glad" containers (or "Kroger" if you are like me), or even an old powdered laundry soap container.  Like this:
Homemade Laundry Soap detergent Container
The "perfect" container is the one that is free and you already have laying around!

Next, grab your ingredients.  We'll start with the Fels Naptha.  You will need to grate it.  There are several different ways to do this.  The most basic being to grab a cheese grater and get to work.  But, I like to take the faster, less work intense route.  Remember, we're going for FAST here!  So, I use my food processor!

Homemade Laundry Soap detergent how-to food processor

Since all the ingredients are the same ones you can use to make homemade dishwasher soap, I know it is safe.  I just make sure to clean it out really well when I'm done.

To get the Fels Naptha really fine, I use two different blades at the same time.  I use the chopping blade inside:

And the grating plate on the top.  If your food processor is like mine, make sure the plate is turned so that it will grate and not slice.  I've learned to double check this the hard way!

The grating plate will grate the soap and the chopping blade will make it into a fine powder.  While that isn't necessary (I've made it with just the soap grated before) it does help.  If you have an attachment that will stop up the opening, use it.  You want all the soap to stay inside the processor.

Homemade Laundry Soap detergent Fels Naptha grate food processor

Put the lid on and go ahead and grate your Fels Naptha.  Notice, I have my container sitting under the opening.  Even though I have the attachment in there to close it, a little soap still escapes and I want to catch it all!  After you are finished grating, you might notice you have some large chucks of soap that didn't grate.

You can save this to make some spot treatment, (just dissolve in water and put in a spray bottle or just wet the bar and rub it on a spot) or you can throw it in the bottom of the processor, put the lid back on, and turn the food processor back on.  It will get chopped up and you won't even know it was there.  Since I have plenty of spot treatment, I went ahead and chopped it up.

Homemade Laundry Soap detergent Fels Naptha food processor

When you are finished, you will have a fine powder.  I used two bars, so if you use just one, you might not have as much as is pictured.

Next, add an equal amount of Borax or Washing Soda:

Then, add an equal amount of whichever ingredient you didn't add before (aren't I so precise?):

Yes, my food processor is REALLY full at this point.  But, it can still do the job!  Put the lid on and give it a whirl!  You will be able to see it mixing together and will know when it is done.  It should look something like this:

Homemade Laundry Soap detergent Fels Naptha Borax Super Washing Soda food processor mixing

Pour it in your container and you are ready to go! 

The whole process probably takes about 10 minutes at the most (remember, I have trouble with my internal chore-clock and I couldn't time myself because I kept stopping to take pictures).  And I've made enough to last several months!

I use one tablespoon of soap in each load.  I had an old Oxy Clean (or Kroger's version) scoop left over that works perfectly.  If I have a really dirty load, I might add another scoop.

That's it!  It is really simple and so inexpensive!  So, if you thought making your own laundry soap was too much work or took too much time, think again!

No comments:

Post a Comment