Sunday, August 7, 2011

Homemade Laundry Detergent

I made my own laundry detergent yesterday! Many of you have been making it for years, but this was my first attempt. I didn't make a lot, only about 10 litres, being a trial first time and all.

I had a very hard time finding washing soda. I did have a little in a box that came with the house a few years back. I kept it, having the plan to make my own laundry detergent way back then and knowing I would need it. The amount in the box was exactly what I needed for this, smaller recipe.

I bought soda for adjusting pool ph to use instead. I have read that it can be used, as well, but in a much smaller dose. I had just enough washing soda for this recipe, but I will need to use the pool ph adjusting soda the next time I make laundry detergent. (I have no idea what this stuff is really called! lol!)

The ingredients you need to make this recipe are: water, washing soda or pool ph adjusting soda, Borax, Dawn dishwashing liquid, grated hard soap and water. Any hard bar of soap will work. Some people use Ivory. I make my own soap, so that's not difficult. What I used for this particular recipe was a "laundry bar" that I purchased specifically for this application, but next time I am using my own hard handmade soap. I grated the soap bar by hand, but you can use a food processor. (I have one, just too lazy to get it set up, wash all the parts because I don't want to put soap into the dishwasher, then put it all back together again.) Most recipes do not use Dawn dishwashing liquid but I have read that it makes a big difference in the grease cutting and stain removal power of the detergent, so I added it.

You can add some fragrance oil, if you want to. I left mine unscented.
You will need a large bucket. This recipe makes 10 litres, so you need a bucket that will hold that much and some, so you have room to stir vigorously. You will also need a large pot for the stovetop and something that measures 1/2 cup.

This is the simple recipe:

1 cup of grated soap or store bought Ivory soap flakes (also hard to find).
1/2 cup washing soda or not quite 1/8 cup of pool ph adjusting soda
1/2 cup Borax
1/4 cup Dawn dishwashing liquid
Bring a quart of water to boil on the stove in a large pot. Add all ingredients except the Dawn, slowly while stirring well. Stir in the boiling water until very well dissolved. Pour into bucket.

Add enough water to bring the amount up to 10 litres and stir vigorously until well blended. Let sit overnight. This should be a gel by the next day. Add 1/4 cup Dawn dishwashing liquid and stir vigorously. If you add the Dawn with the rest of the ingredients, it stops it from gelling as much as it should. Add fragrance oil at this time. Pour into usable size containers. Shake before using. Add 1/4 - 1/2 cup of this to a laundry load, depending on size of load.

It was quick, easy and cheap to make! I will find out very soon how well it works.


Leigh said...

You only made about 10 gallons! LOL, That's very brave of you. I've not yet tried to make my own. I'm curious as to how cost effective you find it compared to purchased laundry detergent.

Rose H (UK) said...

We can get washing soda just about anywhere in the UK and I always have some in the cupboard as it's so useful, but Borax is a different story, I haven't seen any in stores for a couple of years though I think it's available on-line. Probably one of our nanny-state health and safety issues again, grrrr. :o(
I'd like to 'have a go' but make a smaller amount first.

Sheryl at Providence Acres Farm said...

OOPS! I made 10 litres, not 10 gallons! LOL!
I changed the post. I am so sorry if I caused anyone to make this recipe witn 10 GALLONS of water!!

The Japanese Redneck said...

Goodness, I would have never thought about making my own.

Good for you!

Brenda @ My Backyard Farmyard said...

I've had my laundry detergent ingredients sitting on the floor in my kitchen for a couple of months now. I have to get at it!

My recipe is the same as yours, except that it doesn't call for the Dawn detergent. I found my washing soda at No Frills and I use a mild, unscented bar of laundry soap from the Bulk Barn.

I don't think that I'll use the Dawn because my husband has fragrance allergies, and it might bother him. I'm looking forward to trying the finished product.

Sheryl at Providence Acres Farm said...

Does your recipe call for the same amount of water? Mine is very thin, I don't think it gelled at all. I thought maybe too much water, but it could be because I put the Dawn in with the other stuff and should have waited until after it gelled the next day, as per the recipe.

(I was just impatient and busy)Next time I will wait.

Sheryl at Providence Acres Farm said...

Now I am looking for an organic a homemade dishwashing detergent that does not leave a residue and without a lot of bleach.

Sheryl at Providence Acres Farm said...

It gelled! OK, so the recipe seems right. It's not a thick conglomerate gel. It is suppose to be still quite thin with little gels in it, which it is. I used it. It works!