Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A Different Kind of Recipe - Laundry Detergent

So you know Mr Pears and I (especially Mr Pears) like to make everything we can from scratch.  From bread to brownies to mayonnaise and everything in between.  So when I mentioned making laundry detergent, he was totally on board.  Especially since we do about a load of laundry EVERY DAY.  ugh.

It was super super easy, it only took 20 minutes!  And it is super cheap.  According to the calculations done by the blogger whose recipe I used, it works out to about $0.01 a load.  All I know is I spent $11 on "ingredients" and still have a ton of stuff left over to make more.  The batch I made came out to about 2 gallons.  Using 1/2 a cup that is 64 loads of laundry.  Enough to (hopefully) last us two months.  20 minutes of work for 2 months of laundry soap?  for $0.71?  Yes!  (For more details on the math click here.)

P.S.  This works in HE machines too!

Laundry Detergent - recipe by Crystal Miller
1/3 bar of Fels Naptha .
1/2 cup Washing Soda  (looks like baking soda but a much much bigger box!)
1/2 cup Borax
1 utitlity bucket for mixing and cooling

All of those ingredients can be found in the laundry aisle of your grocery store.  Seriously.  I honestly didn't expect to find everything but there they were!  And all for $11 total.

The first thing I did was grate the soap on a box grater.  Then I put the soap flakes into a large pot with 6 cups of water.

I heated it over medium until the soap flakes were melted then I stirred in the borax and washing soda.

Once everything was dissolved and combined I poured the mixture into my bucket and then added an additional 4 cups of hot (from the tap) water and stirred it together.

Lastly I poured in another gallon plus 6 cups of room temperature tap water and gave it one last stir.  Ta Da! Done. Well, almost.  It does need to sit overnight to gel together and cool down.  I just moved my bucket into the laundry room.  The next day I used a funnel to pour the detergent into some empty laundry detergent bottles I had saved for this purpose.  The end product isn't a true gel, by the way, so don't be concerned if it looks weird to you.  Also, I chose not to use any scent since we typically are "free and clear" type people but you can definitely stir in about an ounce of essential oil to make your soap smell pretty.  The plain soap smells quite pretty enough for me.

And for the results?  My first load came through great! (Though I didn't have any real stains on anything so I'm not sure how it will do on those)  I am planning to make my own Oxy-Clean type stuff soon and Mr. Pears wants to make bar soap now.  I'll let you know how we do. :)

1 comment:

  1. i've been wanting to make this myself. i was wondering "how clean" it would make clothes! you'll def have to let us know how it works in the long run! oh and if you do the oxyclean recipe i'd love to hear it!