Friday, January 18, 2013

DIY Laundry Detergent {Review}

I finally got around to trying a recipe for homemade laundry detergent. I've always wanted to make my own because I cringe buying the expensive stuff at the store. First, I want to note that this post is not a post to make me look like that perfect homemaker who makes everything. Sure, I aspire to be the woman who makes her own cleaning products, eats organic, and has a perfectly crafted dinner on the table every night, but that's not me :) I'm simply trying to make baby steps toward saving money and show that anyone can do it.

I used this recipe with a few modifications and wanted to share my experience for the woman who's been thinking about making detergent, but needs a little motivation to get going :)

To make the detergent you need:
-five gallon bucket
-cheese grater
-1/2 cup borax
-1/2 cup washing soda
-1 bar washing soap (FYI: they don't carry them at Target, but I found one super cheap at Wal-Mart)
-Essential oils of your choice (I used Tea Tree Oil & Lavender like the recipe suggests)
-long spoon for stirring

Step one: shred the entire bar of soap. Then heat up 2 cups of water on the stove (Note: do not boil! I made this mistake and the soap got incredibly clumpy and wouldn't dissolve all the way. Just warm the water.) Add the soap to the water and stir until dissolved (this will take a while so keep stirring!)

Step two: Add the borax and washing soda and mix until dissolved.

Step three: Pour mixture into your five gallon bucket and add water until it is three-fourths full. Give it a good stir and then add the essential oils of your choice. (The recipe said to add 10 drops of each but I didn't notice the scent in my clothing so I would suggest adding more)

Step four: Allow mixture to sit for 24 hours. I hate when a recipe requires me to be patient, but this part is essential. The mixture will get thick and gooey. Stir a few times during that 24 hour period. (Notice how my mixture has big clumps. I'm assuming if the water is the correct temp at the beginning you won't have that problem.)

Step five: Use about 1/2 cup per load (or more if it's a heavy load). Transport detergent into smaller containers (or even a used detergent container) for easy storage! (Note: the detergent will not create suds when washing but it works!)

So there you have it. A giant, almost-full 5 gallon bucket of detergent for less than $10 (I didn't calculate the exact amount, but this thing is going to last until kingdom come).
Good luck and let me know if there are any tips and tricks I'm missing!


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