Monday, August 2, 2010

Homemade Liquid Laundry Detergent

I stopped buying commercially manufactured liquid laundry detergent over a year ago and started making my own.  I did this for a variety of reasons, it's cost effective, safer for my septic system, doesn't generate empty plastic bottles, and most importantly, none of us get a rash from it.  Also I needed a strong detergent I could put in my high efficiency washer that wouldn't destroy my cloth diaper covers.  It looks intimidating, but it takes less time then making soup once you get the hang of it.
  • 1/3 bar of Fels Naptha
  • 1/2 cup Arm & Hammer washing soda
  • 1/2 cup borax powder (20 mule team)
  • 2 or 3 gallon bucket
All of those products can be found in the laundry isle of the grocery store.

Start by grating the soap into a sauce pan, add 6 cups of water & heat until the soap melts, add washing soda and borax and stir until dissolved, remove from heat,  pour four cups hot water into the bucket, add soap mixture and stir, add one gallon plus 6 cups water and stir, let it stand 24 hours so it can gel. After it gels you'll need to stir it again before you use it. The finished product won't look like watered down store bought detergent, it will be an opaque, with a thick pea soup consistency.

~Use 1/2 cup per a load, the total yield is about a gallon and a half :)

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