Here is what you are going to need to make this recipe of Laundry Detergent:
- 20 Team Mule Borax $3.89
- Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda $2.99 **note this is NOT BAKING SODA!!!**
- Fels Naptha Soap $.99
- Essential Oil (optional)
- Hand/Box Grater/Food processor with grater attachment.
- Large Stock Pot (if you don’t have a large one this recipe can be cut in 1/2)
- Long spoon/spatula/plastic scrapper/whisk
- Measuring cup
- Food processor/blender/immersion blender (COMPLETELY optional)
Grate the entire bar of soap. This can be done by hand on a box/hand grater (as pictured above) or it can be done in a food processor with the grater blade attachment. If you are not able to find the Fels Naptha, Ivory will work as well. You want a soap that is low in fragrance and low in extra moisturizers.
Put the soap shreds in the bottom of a pot and cover with water.
Place on the stove and heat till the soap dissolves completely. This may take a few minutes. Stir if you want to speed up the melting process.
This is what the soap shreds and water look like after everything is dissolved. Kind of foamy. But it is soap!!
- 1/2 C. Borax (pictured on the bottom – pure white)
- 1 C. Washing Soda (pictured from the 1/2 c to the 1 1/2 c mark)
Now add the 1/2 c. Borax and the 1 c Washing Soda. Fill the rest of the pot to the top with hot water. I would suggest using a 5 gallon bucket if you don’t have a large stock pot.
If you would like to add a few drops of essential oil now is the time. 3 drops per gallon should be good for starters. Add more if you like but keep in mind once you add it you can’t take it out. So add your drops with care.
Keep in mind essential oils are COMPLETELY different than the yummy smelling oils that you burn in your oil warmer on your counter top. DO NOT USE THE FRAGRANCE OILS.
Stir, stir, stir till everything is dissolved. If you want you can plunge your hands into the bottom and feel that all the borax and washing soda has been dissolved.
Here is my finished product. Now let it sit over night and up to 24 hours to cool and gel.
24 hours later it doesn’t look that much different. It has congealed and slightly separated. But we can fix that.
See how it has sort of separated a bit? Reminds me of Making Mozzarella.
Go ahead and stir it all together. Use your hands if you want. It feels neat in your hands squishing all the lumps.
At this point your laundry detergent is DONE.
If you used a 5 gallon bucket use 1 cup per load of laundry. If you used a large stock pot like I did use 1/2 cup. Also KEEP A LID ON IT. Especially if you have children or pets in the house.
Just be sure to stir it before each use. It tends to separate out a bit because this is a home made recipe. Commercial detergents use emulsifiers to keep their ingredients from separating. But we are pinching pennies here. We don’t have commercial emulsifiers. We have pure, economical detergent that will get our laundry clean.
Now if you have a food processor or blender and want your detergent to not separate you are able to get it more fluid by blending it a bit.
My food processor has a mix liquid fill line. Mind the line. If you don’t when you turn on the machine you will have liquid laundry detergent squirting out of the lid. Not that I know from experience or anything **cough cough**.
I still have a liquid laundry detergent container from my days of purchasing laundry detergent. I unscrewed the vent cap and filled it with my new detergent. As seen in the video I used a soda bottle with the bottom cut off as a funnel to help get the detergent into the container. I do give the whole thing a shake before I use it but it is not nearly the stirring that is needed if I were not to use the food processor to blend the mixture.
Now did we actually pinch pennies? Here is my cost analysis:
- Borax $3.59
- A&H Washing Soda $2.59
- Fel Neptha $.99
- tax $.43
- Total $7.60
Total Cost for one recipe (5 gallons):
- Borax $.18
- A&H Washing Soda $.43
- Fel Neptha $.99
- Total $1.60
5 gallons will yield 80 cups of soap or $.02 per LOAD!!!