How To Make Laundry Detergent and Save Money

Throw away your laundry detergent coupon stack! You need it no more!

Ha! My hours of scrolling through Pinterest once again have paid off! I have saved oodles of money on another of life's necessities that gouge my wallet at the cash register: Laundry Detergent!

The White Silk Purse's Concentrated Laundry Detergent is the one I chose. Our home is a fan of both liquid and powder detergents. The aggravation is powder detergent  and darks don't mix well, especially if you are  tired, overstuff the machine, and use cold water. Of the many options on Pinterest, this one stood out as the most versatile. 

Oh who am I kidding? I liked the damn picture on her site of the neatly stacked mason jars in her cupboard, the fact the soap is cooked so there is no powder left, and the bit of fun by whipping it in your stand mixer! Anything is worth doing if it ends up looking like whipped cream!

The verdict? I love this stuff! Not just for the uber money savings but also the smell (it does have a "heritage" type smell to it, reminds me of my grandma on her farm in Southern Illinois.), and it actually cleans the clothes great! Now don't go thinking it is a cure all. I still have to pre-treat my messy daughter's clothes with some hard core laundry stain removers, but I was doing that while using the expensive detergents already.

Suds-there are none. If you are one of the millions who equate suds with cleaning, first off, that is an incorrect assumption and second, this stuff will disappoint! I conducted many an experiment last week to make sure this stuff works. I overstuffed the machine (which tends to be my norm), used extra large water setting for small loads, used different amounts of the detergent, avoided using any bleach and fabric softner, dried the clothes in the dryer as well as hung them to dry.

Here are my suggestions:

  1. MAKE THIS STUFF for the sake of your wallet
  2. Make a small batch first (which yields about 50 loads on the low end, 192 on the high end. The picture above is the small batch yield)
  3. 4 tablespoons per large load seemed to be the best amount for my conscious sake
  4. When washing in cold, it may be best to let the water fill with the soap so it dissolves a bit. I'm jaded by powders and black clothes with a nice white film stuck in them from undissolved detergent.

Small Batch Recipe for Homemade Laundry Detergent
1 bar Fels Naptha soap ($.97/bar)
1 cup Borax 20 Mule Team ($3.49/box)
1 cup Arm & Hammer Washing Soda ($2.75/box)
3 cups water plus more to top off jars

Heat the water in a quart saucepan while you grate the Fels Naptha bar. Once grated, pour into the hot water and stir until completely dissolved. Turn off the heat then add the Borax and Washing Soda, stir until dissolved. Pour mixture equally into 2-quart sized jars, it should fill them about half way, top off with water to the neck of the jar. Lid them, give them a good shake, and let them sit overnight.

The next day, pour the contents of the jars into your stand mixer(the soap will have set and separated so it is almost jelly like in consistency), start mixing slowly-like you are creaming butter and sugar for some delicious cookies-then work your way up to a nice fast whipping speed. Stop when the soap looks like a light and fluffy whipped cream that you want to spoon into your mouth...but don't! Spoon that stuff into THREE jars, lid, and use the next time you do a load!

If it turns out you can't give up your wasteful money habit of high priced store bought laundry detergent, tie a nice bow around the lid, put a pretty label on the jars and give them as gifts to someone who will appreciate them!

BTW: There is enough Borax & Washing Soda left for you to make your own Dishwasher Detergent AND still have extra! Also Borax has many, many, many other household uses and since it's spring time it's great for killing weeds.

1 comment:

  1. Ok...I'm going to try it. Thanks for the step by step, as well as trying it out under various conditions.


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