Hooray! It’s another “I’m a crazy woman who refuses to just buy something from the store like a normal person” post!
Today I’m going to show you how we make our laundry detergent. I started doing this sometime last August and we just needed to make a second batch. And that was with us using everything double strength for a good portion of the time.
Making my own laundry detergent was much less an issue of wanting to know what was in it than with my homemade shampoo, but I certainly don’t mind knowing. I started making my own laundry detergent because I’m cheap and lazy.
I have a toddler. That means my amounts of laundry are increased exponentially by every hour he’s awake. I hated how often I was having to haul home giant jugs full of detergent. Those things are HEAVY!
Thankfully, Pinterest has about 30 different options for making your own. You can find the one I used here, but I’ll walk you through the steps.
Here’s what you need:
Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (note, this is NOT baking soda)
Fels-Naptha Soap Bar
5 gallon bucket with a lid
All of this (except for the bucket) should be available in your grocery store’s laundry area.
If not, it is all available online and other than the soap bar, one box will last for several batches.
Start by grating your entire bar of Fels-Naptha. I bought a grater specifically for this, simply because I didn’t want to have to worry about getting all the soap flakes out before it got used for food, but I expect a quick run through the dishwasher would have worked perfectly fine too. Don’t worry about getting the flakes too small, you just want to break it up so it will melt more easily.
When your soap is completely grated (doesn’t it look like a plate of shredded cheese?), dump it into a pot of 4 cups of hot water. Stir everything until it is melted (it will take about 10 minutes).
Once you have a nice, smooth soap “soup” with no remaining flakes in it, fill your bucket halfway with hot water. Add your soap mixture, 1 cup of washing soda and 1/2 cup of borax. Stir like crazy and then fill the rest of the bucket with hot water. Put the lid on your bucket and allow the whole thing to sit overnight.
When you wake up in the morning, the mixture should have gelled and become pretty thick. Stir it again. If you want to put it into smaller containers, it is now ready for that. Fill your container halfway with water and halfway with the soap mixture. Shake before using.
If, however, you’re a horrible person who is kind of okay with total overkill, go ahead and use it straight. We do, and none of us have grown a third arm (yet). The suggested amount per load is 5/8 cup (of the diluted version). I typically use a normal jug lid filled to one of the higher lines (depending on how big the load is).
I love that it makes for one less thing I have to think about. There isn’t any question of how much detergent we have…we have a BUCKET full. It lasts half a year…and it’s cheap to boot.
What do you think? Will you be making a bucket of laundry detergent any time soon?