Thursday, January 27, 2011

Do-It-Yourself : Laundry Detergent

Homemade Laundry Detergent
One of the biggest money savers in this house is Homemade Laundry Detergent! It literally took me about 30 minutes to make a quadruple batch this afternoon, stopping to take pictures and all! This will last for several months since you only use 2 tablespoons per load. The only real problem making this is finding the ingredients all in one store! In my little town you have to go to two different stores to find everything you need....but considering I normally go to both stores during my bi-monthly grocery shopping it's not really that big of a problem. This recipe only has three ingredients, they can all be stored in the pantry and two out of the three are used in Homemade Dishwashing Detergent (I will talk about this at a later date).

Did you notice earlier that I said this is a money saver??? My darling "Tool Man" just loves to figure out what things are actually costing us. He watches the effort it takes me to make things homemade and figures out if it is actually worth the it! I love my husband he is so cool sometimes! We figured out that for each load of Tide (my detergent of choice) it was costing appox. 24 cents per load and with my homemade mixture it cost about 6 cents per load. That's one-fourth of the cost folks!!!

So here is how you make it.....

Gather your tools. I use two BIG bowls, an old food processor (totally unnessary but you can normally find one at Goodwill or a garage sale for a couple of dollars or you can use a blender), a grater and a large spoon for mixing.

*Now just so that you know this is a large batch...if you just want to make a small batch just divide the dry ingredients by 3 and only use about 1/2 of one of the bars of soap. 

1-3 lb. box of Super Washing Soda (appox. 6 cups)
1 box of Borax (measure out 6 cups)
2 double bars of Zote Soap (white or pink)

*I measured out the Super Washing Soda ( NOT BAKING Soda....WASHING SODA) and adjusted the other ingredients to fit. That way I could use a whole box of Washing Soda.

1. Grate your Zote soap into a large bowl.
2. Measure your Borax out (6 cups)...this tends to clump but don't worry about that for now. Pour that in with you soap.
3. Pour in your box of Washing Soda and mix.
At this point I put mine in my food processor and pulse until the soap is in small pieces and all the ingredients are blended well and clump free. If you don't have a food processor or blender this can be done by hand, just mix and mix and mix and mix. If you are gonna do this by hand it helps if you unwrap the Zote Soap and let it set out for several will dry out and grate finer.
This is what it looks like after I have put it through my food processor. I give it one more good mixing before putting in my stoarge container.

Only add 2 tablespoons of this mixture to each load of wash. I took an old scoop from something??? measured 2 tablespoons into it and marked it...but a coffee scoop or baby formala scoop would be just about perfect. According to my Momma (who learned the hard way) this is plenty and if you use more you have to rinse your clothes a second time to get it all out!

This mixture doesn't have much odor to it at all so if you like your clothes to smell a certian way you can add a couple of drops of essensial oil to the detergent during the mixing process.

For those of you that like to use the "Free" products at the can't get much more free than this! It is also great for those new High Effeciency washers....because no suds!

I hope you will all try this at home and see how much money it saves you. Or you could have a loving daughter like me...Momma just brings me her empty container and supplies and I make it for her! Of course she comes over and helps me completely clean my kitchen ever so it all comes out in the wash!

Have a great day and God Bless! Mama D

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