I know that there this recipe for laundry detergent has been out there for awhile but I still hear folks talking about wanting to save money and would like to learn how to make their own laundry detergent. Here is a step by step picture tutorial on how to make you very own detergent. Let me start out by saying that there are many variations to this recipe that probably work just as well as this version, this is simply the tried and tested version that I use. This takes a little work but you can make an approximate 6 month supply of laundry detergent for $35.00. It took me about an hour to make 3 gallons of detergent.
1- 3 pound box of Washing Soda
1- 5 pound box of Oxi Clean
2 - cups of Baking Soda
1- 4 pound box of Borax
3- 5.5 ounce bars of Fels-Naptha (this is light yellow and has a clean scent)
2- 28 ounce bottles of Purex Crystals
20 drops Lavender Essential Oil (optional)
20 drops Lemon Essential Oil (optional)
Grate your 3 bars of Fels-Naptha soap.
Now this is the most tedious part of the entire process. It isn't hard work but if you do this manually your hand may get a little tired. I just used an old cheese grater I have and used the fine part of the grater so that the soap was in tiny particles. I find that this helps the soap dissolve faster and more easily in cool water. I did this while talking to the kids and it really was not that bad at all. Next time, I will get one of the older kids to grate :) It took about 10 minutes per bar going at a nice constant rate.
Now that your soap is grated, combine all of the ingredients with color together. As you can see the yellow of the soap and the greenish/blue of the crystals make a pretty combination. Also notice how fine the soap is grated, the extra effort is well worth the trouble later. Make sure to mix all of the ingredients very thoroughly in a bowl and set aside until later.
Mix all of the white ingredients together in a tote or any kind of storage container that has a lid. I used a 3 gallon Rubbermaid tote that is the perfect size for this project. It is large enough to hold all of the ingredients but is also small enough to fit easily into the pantry without taking up too much room.
Your almost finished! It's time to mix your ingredients together. Since the white ingredients are already in the tote, I mix 1 cup (at a time) of the colored mixture to the white mixture until it is all mixed together evenly. This is another part where your arm may get a little tired. I find that mixing 1 cup at a time helps to even everything out.
If you so wish, you can add EOs to the detergent at this time. The recommended dose is 40 drops for this amount of detergent. You can use any combination that you like, for this batch I used Lemon and Lavender mixed.
Some popular choices are:
Lavender - nice scent that you will love
Lemon - disinfecting and cleaning properties
Thieves - disinfecting properties, also has a great scent
I only use therapeutic grade oils when making medicinal mixture however with a project like this, I would definitely consider fragrance grade oils to save money.
For the sake of convenience, you can fill a container with the detergent and place it close to your washer. Here is the finished product, again about 1 hour of work for 1 person. If you have any questions or comments just post them here.