Saturday, January 12, 2013

Homemade Detergent

About 9 months ago we (obviously I mean I) started making our own laundry detergent, cloth diaper detergent and fabric softener.  I tried dishwasher detergent too, but didn't like how it came out, which doesn't matter now because our dishwasher is broken :(.  Anyway, there were many "recipes" on Pinterest, I used this one.  One batch lasted us over 9 months, we still have one container left, but had time so I made a new batch.

I have the list of recipes typed out and mounted on the inside of one of our cupboard doors above the washing machine

Grate 1 bar of Fels Naptha

Try not to pull an Angel and grate your finger (That REALLY REALLY hurt!!)

Melt soap in a saucepan with 4 cups of hot water on Medium Low heat, stirring occasionally

Add 1c. Washing Soda and 1/2 c. Borax to 2.5 gallons of hot water

When all melted add to 5 gallon pail 

Stir then fill rest of way with hot water

Cover then let sit overnight. 

The next day take a long paint stick and stir up (it will have gelled), Fill plastic laundry detergent bottles half full with mixture, and fill the other half with warm water, shake to mix.  Before each use shake up the bottle as it sometimes will gel while it sits.  

I fill up 2 bottles that sit on my dryer, when one empties I refill it from this 5 gallon bucket which is stored next to our toilet behind the trash can... not pretty, but it works for now.  

The next day I opened it up to a nicely gelled detergent. 

I stirred it up with my paint stick as much as I could... when that wasn't working well i dug my hands in and squished it with my fingers.... it was much more fun than it should have been - though very cold!!  Using a large measuring cup I poured detergent into bottles - half full, then added warm water and shook it up.  Don't forget each time you use it you'll want to shake it to make sure it hasn't gelled sitting there (I find it's not too bad unless the bottle has sat a long while.)  

Please let me know if you try this out or if you have any other frugal DIY cleaners I should try, and stay tuned, I'll write soon about our cloth diaper detergent & fabric softener!