Aug 24, 2011

June Cleaver's got Nothing on Me.

In my ever-evolving quest to save our family a little bit of money, and make our household healthier overall, I have started to make my own cleaning supplies. It's been a fun little adventure into the world of organics and I am excited to see what else I can do. I started with a very simple DIY recipe for laundry detergent.

What you'll need:

  • 2 gallon-size milk jugs (emptied and cleaned out, obviously) 
    • I have to cut the recipe in half because I do not have a pot large enough to hold 2 gallons.
  • Grater
  • Large stirring spoon
  • A funnel will help tremendously. 
  • A pot large enough to hold 2 gallons
  • 1 cup of Washing Soda (I used Arm & Hammer)
  • 1 cup of Borax
  • 1 bar of soap (I used regular ole' Ivory)

How to do it:
  • Grate your soap into the pot.
  • Fill one of the milk jugs with warm water and pour it into your pot over the grated soap flakes.
  • Cook until the soap dissolves.
  • Add Washing Soda and Borax.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally.
  • Turn off the heat and add a gallon of cold water.
  • Stir well.
  • Using your funnel, pour the mixture into the milk jugs.
  • Let sit overnight. The mixture will coagulate (turn into a gel-like substance) and will settle naturally.

....soap flakes dissolving...

...add the rest of the ingredients...

Be careful, the mixture loves to boil over. So stay close by. Stir a lot.

The funnel definitely comes in handy!!

....and viola!

Some things to mention:
  • This detergent will not make suds. This may be hard to get used to, but understand that suds do not equal clean. The good news is that this homemade detergent is great for the new High Efficiency machines. 
  • You will need to shake up your detergent before each use.
  • You'll need to use about a half cup for the larger loads, and less depending on how much you're washing per load.
  • I read that the mixture can get so thick that it can be hard to get out of the milk jugs. I have not encountered this problem, but if you do, reduce the amount of soap flakes that you're using and it should solve the problem.  
  • It seems that you can use any type of soap. I would recommend that you use the same type of soap you use to bathe or shower, to avoid any skin reactions.
  • You can add essential oils to the mixture for added scent. I tend to avoid this, because I like the simple smell of clean, especially when I dry my laundry outside on the clothesline.
  • This recipe will not strip cloth diapers! (Yay!!)

This is a very simple recipe, and will save your family money in the long-run (I believe that it works out to cost about a penny per load.)

Happy washing!!


Mary Darling said...

This is sooo cute, Landrie! I love it! You should add pics. I wanna see you do it!! :) xoxoxoxo

Landrie said...

Next time I make it, I will absolutely take a few pictures! Thanks Mary :)