Karla News

How to Make Laundry Detergent at Home

Are you tired of paying high prices for laundry detergent, or simply want a more natural way to keep your family’s clothes clean? You can make laundry detergent in the comfort of your own home for pennies a load, and no longer worry about allergies caused by unnecessary smells or chemicals.

First, decide whether you want to make liquid or powdered detergent. In my experience, the liquid detergent is a lot less expensive, but it takes more work and uses a lot of storage space. The powdered laundry detergent is simpler to make, takes up less space, but costs more per load to use. Weigh your options before you decide.

Second, gather up the supplies you will need to make your own laundry detergent at home. Here is a list:

Bar of soap. Most recommend Fels Naptha, Octagon, Zote or Ivory, but almost any bar soap will do. Fels Naptha is good for clothes that need a stronger detergent, while Ivory is great for its pureness. The only soap I do not recommend is Lever 2000. It has been reported to leave an odor in your clothing that is only apparent when the clothes get warm from wearing. If you use Fels Naptha or Octagon, you will only need about 1/3 to ½ of a bar for a load. All other soaps will require at least a whole bar.

Borax. You will find this in the laundry section of most stores. The most common brand is 20 Mule Team. You will need ½ cup for these recipes.

Washing Soda (sodium carbonate). You used to be able to find this under the Arm & Hammer brand in most stores, but it is becoming almost impossible to find locally these days. However, in summer if you look in the pool supply section for pH raiser, you will be able to find this item listed under its chemical name sodium carbonate. Just check the ingredients listed on the containers of pH raiser in your local pool section to find this item. Do not confuse this with sodium bicarbonate, or baking soda, as baking soda has the opposite effect. Baking soda lowers the pH of the water, where sodium carbonate raises the pH of the water, making it more acidic and thus a better environment to clean your clothes. You will need ½ cup of this.

See also  How to Send Ringtones to Your Cell Phone

These three items are all you need to make basic laundry detergent, either liquid of powdered.

To make powdered detergent, grate the soap as small as you can. If you leave the bar unwrapped for a while before grating it will grate much finer than if you grate it straight from the wrapper. Some people use food processors for this step, while I have learned that my blender does this acceptably well in small batches. Grate the soap as fine as you can; you can use a hand grater if you want and then rub the shavings between your hands to break them up even more, so there is no need to purchase any equipment for this step.

After the soap is grated mix well with the borax and washing soda, adding ½ cup of oxy-clean if you desire, and you are finished! Store in a covered container and use one tablespoon on smaller or lightly soiled loads, or two tablespoons for heavier soiled items!

This does not lather much if any, so it is safe to use even in he- laundry machines, and has been used by numerous people without any issues.

To make liquid detergent takes a bit more work. Take the grated soap and mix it into a couple of quarts of water in a large pan. Place on low heat and stir until the all the soap is dissolved, then add the borax and washing soda. Do NOT add Oxy-clean to the liquid detergent recipe! It will foam and render the batch unusable.

See also  Creating Your Own Greeting Cards Using Microsoft Word

Stir until the contents are well mixed, then remove from heat. Place a gallon of cool water into a five gallon bucket, and then pour your soap mixture in, mixing well. Add enough water to finish filling the bucket, stirring well, then cover and let sit overnight. This will look like goop, but it will clean your clothes! You need ½ cup of this mixture per load of clothes. Store some in a repurposed liquid laundry or fabric softener container to make it easier to use. This makes five gallons of liquid laundry detergent.

When most think of making homemade laundry they think the process will be expensive and complicated, but the opposite is true. It is very easy to make your own laundry detergent at home for not only less than the store bought varieties cost, but without all of those unwanted chemicals.