Sunday, April 26, 2009

Making Powdered Laundry Detergent

I have wanted to try my hand at making homemade laundry detergent since seeing it on an episode of the Duggars last summer. They make the liquid form though and I prefer powder. I would have made it sooner but I had a dickens of a time finding Washing Soda, not to be confused with Baking Soda, it's a totally different compound. I finally found the Washing Soda at Krogers and it's made by Arm and Hammer. If you can't find it in your area call this phone number 1-800-524-1328 and have the UPC code 33200-03020. The service will ask for your zip code and then tell you places in your area that sell the item. Some sites say you can use Ivory and other body bar soaps such as Pure and Natural. After reading several different sites online I decided to stick with the actual bar soap on the laundry aisle because I felt like it would cut grease and dirt better. In this particular batch I decided to use both Fels Naptha and Zote. My MIL said that Fels Naptha removed grease better than Zote but that Zote smelled better/not so strong. I have to agree. Fels Naptha is very strong smelling. Not bad just strong. So the combination of the two smelled good and for a lack of a better word, "clean." Fels Naptha is a very hard soap which when grated looks like Parmesan cheese. The Zote is a softer buttery soap and grates much easier. I cut the soap into small cubes and then food processed it until fine. Also, the Fels Naptha is a 5 oz bar where as the Zote was 14.5 oz's. I used equivalent to four bars of soap. Now lets get down to the nitty to make laundry detergent.

You can read more about Zote here
You can read more about Fels Naptha here

Things you will need:
Large Plastic Container
Mixing Spoon
Grater / Food Processor
Measuring Cup

1 Bar of Zote (14 oz)
1 Bar of Fels Naptha (5 oz)
4 Cups Borax
4 Cups Washing Soda

*** You will use three tablespoons per load (large load) which is approx 55 loads per recipe. Money wise it works out to be 7.33 cents a load!!!! The cost of the ingredients was $4.08.

I chose this container because it reminded me of a laundry box. It's just a $4.00 plastic file box I picked up at Walmart. It has a good tight lid on it.

Again, both bars is equivalent to four bars of soap

You will have enough left over Borax/Washing Soda to make another batch at another time.

First you want to grate your soap. I used a regular grater for it. This was probably the hardest part as the soap is a little hard. Since the soap was hard I hated to put it in my food processor but I might try that next time.

Then grate your Zote. It has a nice buttery texture and is very soft. It grates similar to coconut so I decided to put it in the food processor.

After the food processor.

Once you have both of your soaps grated, pour and mix together in your plastic container.

Then add your Borax/Washing Soda and mix. Becareful to not breathe in the powder.

After mixing well, you have your first box of laundry soap. Hard to believe this "little" amount will wash 55 loads.

I decided to try it out to show you that it will not soap up like regular detergents. This is what the water looks like under all the normal soap bubbles. I felt the water and it feels soapy to touch. I didn't add my normal fabric softner because I wanted to see how the clothes smelled after washing. I have to honestly say they smelled so fresh and clean. I am pretty pleased with the product and for saving .35cents a load it was worth the time (approx 30 mins) to make!
If you make your own soap, I would love to hear how you liked it. Please send me a comment!


twins said...

I have been making my own detergent are about 6 months now. I really like it. I have sensitive skin and have been having hives for over 6 years now. I was using Shakley detergent for about 5 yrs and the hives were a little better, but wanted to try this. Also like how it saves money. I am now down to taking Zyrtec only about 1/wk. I am not sure if it is from the detergent or not, but that has been my feeling all along.

I have heard that if you leave the Fels Naptha out to dry out for a day or two that it grates easier. I originally purchased it already grated. I also find that the smell becomes less intense if you let it air out for awhile. I was not to happy with the smell, but have gotten use to it.

I have not heard about the Zote (sp?) and will have to check that out.

Also because I have a front load washer I only use about 1 tablespoon. I don't use a fabric softener anymore and don't have any problem with static cling, even in the dry Northeast. I have heard that you can use vinegar as a fabric softener. I have used a few times after a bleach load to cut the bleach smell and you can not smell the vinegar, which I originally worried about.

notworthwriting said...

I am dying to try the recipe. As soon as I get home I will defintely do it. I would love to read your daily life blog as well. Thanks!

Pink Slippers said...

All I can say is---WOW! So cool!

Amber Liddle said...

I've made that recipe before, it's amazing! I only used 2 TBS, though, and it seemed to work just fine. I have used all different soaps--Ivory, Fels Naptha, and different olive oil based soaps I got from Whole Foods. They all worked well, and I used vinegar in a Downy ball for the rinse cycle. And the batch lasts such a long time!

Baby Wanted said...

I'm going to try this!

Thank you so much for what you said, you are 100% right! If I had cancer, I would go get treatment. I wouldn't for a moment think that was playing God. Thank you so much for what you said!