For a few years I've considered making my own laundry detergent, but have hesitated because I am SO happy with the kind I use now, and it seemed a little intimidating and complicated to make my own. The MelaPower detergent I've used for the past 6+ years is free of harsh chemicals, cleans my clothes so well and I love the SMELL.
So why would I choose to go to the trouble of making my own when I've been so happy with the kind I've been using? ~ the savings! When I figured up how little it would cost to make and use my own detergent, I simply had to give it a shot.
I have to say that I'm really satisfied with the way it cleans my clothes and the cost is only about $2 a month for our family of 6 ~ and it's really simple to do! I will share in the next few days how to add essential oils to your laundry for added smell and to kill dust mites and bacteria.
There are different recipes available, but this is the only one I've used. I may experiment with others someday. This recipe yields 5 gallons. Some recipes make a much smaller amount, but I like making a lot at a time as a time saver. It keeps very well.
Homemade Laundry Detergent:
1 Bar of Fels Naptha Soap
1 Cup of Arm and Hammer Washing Soda (not baking soda :))
1/2 Cup of Borax
4 Cups of Hot Water
Place 4 cups of hot water in a sauce pan and grate bar of soap into it. Stir over medium high heat until the soap dissolves. Fill a 5-gallon bucket half full with hot water. Add melted soap mixture, washing soda and borax. Stir well until powder is dissolved. Fill to the top with hot water. Let it sit overnight to thicken. I use 1 cup for an extra large load. I always wash in an extra large load since I always have lots of laundry, and the washer uses the same energy to wash a small load as an extra large ~ which saves money. Washers hold different capacities, so experiment and adjust the amount for your washer.
*I used a cheese grater to grate my soap. At first I thought I should buy a separate grater for my cheese, but realized that soap is clean :) and I only need to wash it off with hot water when I'm done.
*I bought a 5-gallon bucket at my local hardware store for about $7.50, but you can also get one free from a deli - it would just need cleaned out really good.
*I filled my old detergent bottle with the detergent, which makes it convenient to use rather than dipping it out of the bucket everyday. Shake before each use.
Click below to view my powdered laundry soap version:
Homemade Powdered Laundry Detergent