I have lots and lots of reasons for wanting to make my own laundry detergent for our family. It’s more gentle on their skin. The recipe uses earth “friendlier” ingredients. It’s a blast to make. It makes the house smell good when I am melting the soap.
Probably the biggest reason to make your own laundry detergent is that it is extremely cost effective. And when you are doing laundry for a family of nine, seven of whom are rowdy, muddy boys, sometimes covered in carrots, you need cost effective!!
And as a growing family, we need things to be cost effective anyway.
There are a ton of recipes out there to choose from, but I chose to start with the one from the Duggar website. (Have you seen their new site?? It’s great!)
I made the concentrated solution and threw a few loads in to test it out according to their recommendations. Uncertain, I did a little more looking, and explored another similar version at The Simple Dollar.
Between those two basic recipes, I realized that you can dilute the mixture as much or as little as you wish. The Duggar family makes ten gallons. The other guy at The Simple Dollar makes three. They both cost roughly the same.
What to do???
I have a front loader, and assumed from the start, that I had better dilute it according to directions. (Have you ever put too much detergent in one of those machines?!? The results can be a bit overwhelming.) But I watched at different phases of the cycle, and noticed that I never really saw a lot of suds. At one point, I “paused” my washer, opened the door, and ran my hand through the water, just to be sure that there was, in fact, detergent in the washload. There was, and the clothes came out smelling clean, but I am still leaning toward using a more concentrated amount.
I filled my empty storebought laundry detergent dispenser with 1/3 water and the rest with my homemade detergent.
So here’s the “recipe”:
- 1 bar Fels-Naptha soap, grated
- 1 cup Arm & Hammer All Natural Super Washing Soda
- 1/2 cup Borax
What to do:
1. Boil 4 cups water on stove and add the grated soap, slowly, stirring until melted.
2. Fill a five gallon bucket half full of hot tap water.
3. Add melted soap, laundry soda, and borax. Stir.
4. Fill to the top with more hot tap water and stir again.
5. Allow to sit overnight.
6. Fill a large laundry detergent dispenser 1/3 to 1/2 full of water, and fill the rest of way with detergent mix. Shake container before each use.
7. Use as much or little for each individual load as you prefer. I used 1/4 cup at first, then tried 1/2 cup and even 3/4 cup and had no problems. Depends on size of load.
What do you use for your laundry? Do you have a recipe that works great for your family?