Monday, January 18, 2010

Homemade laundry detergent

Making your own laundry detergent sounds like a hassle, but with just 3 ingredients and 30 minutes, you can make enough to save $50 and last for several months!

Ingredients:

1 bar of Fels-Naptha soap
1/2 cup Borax laundry booster
1 cup super washing soda (not baking soda)
2 cups color safe powedered bleach (optional)

Supplies:

A 5-6 gallon bucket
A paint stirrer
cheese grater
1 medium pot

Use a cheese grater to grate the bar of soap. Add the soap to 4 cups of hot water in a pot. Heat and stir until the soap is dissolved. Meanwhile... Fill the bucket with 2 1/2 gallons of hot water. Add the borax, washing soda, and optional color safe bleach and stir.When your soap is completely dissolved, add it to the bucket.
Add another 2 1/2 gallons of hot water to the bucket and stir.
Let it sit in the bucket at overnight to gel, and then stir it. Fill an empty milk jug or detergent jug halfway with the gelled detergent and the rest of the way with water. Shake it before you use it each time. Use about 3/4 to 1 cup of detergent per load. It will not foam up as much as store bought detergent, but it will still work.

To make it scented, you can add several drops of essential oils or use a scented soap instead of the Fels-Naptha soap.

Here's the math:

Store bought (estimate) : $10 for a jug that washes 30 loads = 33 cents per load
Homemade: $1.50 for 10 gallons (=160 cups = 160 loads) = 0.93 cents per load

That's less than a penny a load for homemade, saving you 32 cents per load which, multiplied by 160 loads (1 recipe batch worth) is a total savings of $51.20! All for just 30 minutes of work. That's like earning over $100 per hour!

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