I’ve been making my laundry detergent for a while now. It gets things nice and clean. It’s a huge money saver but mostly I do it because I don’t want to use sulfates and all those chemicals and artificial perfumes in my house. I also really like the idea of repurposing my milk jugs instead of consuming all that plastic in the packaging that comes with store bought detergent. The recipe I use is pretty standard. You can find it all over the internet. The ingredients are readily available and very inexpensive. Big box and some grocery stores carry them. You will need;
- Borax, 1 cup
- Washing Soda, 1 cup
- a bar of soap, your choice
- 5 gallons water
This makes almost 5 gallons of detergent! Before you get started, figure out what you’re going to store it in. I use gallon sized milk containers. Also, figure out the vessel you are going to use to mix up 5 gallons of liquid in. Utility buckets work well. I happen to have a huge stock pot that I use. If you need to cut the recipe in half, that will work fine.
Since I like to keep things as natural as I can, I use the soap that I make. Dr. Bronner’s, Clearly Natural and a lot of other soaps are available now without sodium lauryl sulfate and artificial fragrances. Don’t throw away those little nubs of soap in your shower and soap dishes! Stick them in a jar and use them up when it’s time to make your next batch of detergent.
- Grate bar of soap
- Combine 2 quarts ( 8 cups) of water and soap in a big pot and stir over medium heat until the soap is completely dissolved
- In a utility bucket, combine 4 1/2 gallons of very hot water with 1 cup of Borax and 1 cup Washing Soda. Stir. Add soap/water mixture. Mix it up good, cover and let stand overnight. *If you are making this in a big pot, like I do, simply add the Borax, Washing Soda and 4 1/2 gallons of very hot water to the soap/water mixture and mix well. Cover and let stand overnight.
The next day, mix it up, pour it into your containers. A funnel and a Pyrex measuring pitcher come in handy for this. I add essential oils to mine. Put about 10 drops in each jug of detergent rather than adding it to the big batch. Shake it up, that nice fragrance will permeate the whole gallon.
* Use 1/2 cup detergent for each load of laundry
This is is really easy but the first time I made it I cut corners and ended up with detergent that didn’t emulsify properly. I poured my detergent into jugs without letting it sit overnight ( so impatient!) and I ended up with detergent that was watery and had lumps in it.
I made the labels and printed them on water proof sticker labels that I get from U-Line. I wanted to send a jug of this with my daughter, off to her first year of college. I made a special label for her and everything. It said, “Mommy LOVES YOU!!!!” Somehow, it got left behind. Lol
Good Luck! Let me know how it turns out:)