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Saving Made Simple: Homemade laundry detergent

Homemade Laundry Detergent

A few years ago I read about making laundry detergent on a blog and decided to try it. My mother, who is also working on simplifying and saving, decided to try it before I did. She liked the results and the savings so she shared the recipe with me and a jar of it to try. I really liked it, especially since it didn't have a perfume scent. I like my clothes to smell clean but, not like a wildflower meadow.

I purchased the ingredients I needed, including a five gallon bucket with a lid. It was a really easy process and 24 hours later I was using my homemade laundry detergent that costs pennies a load. I will admit that I have purchased laundry detergent since I started making it because sometimes I let myself run out and we need clean clothes before the 24 hours are up.

There are a lot of recipes on the Internet for liquid and powdered detergent. Some call for adding essential oils but I don't like the added fragrance. Like I said earlier, I just like a clean, fresh smell for my laundry.

Here is the recipe I use.

1 cup Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
½ cup Borax
1 bar of soap
(If using in cold water use 2 tablespoons of glycerin)
Approximately 3 gallons of water

Grate the soap.
Put four cups of water in a pan and bring to a boil and add grated soap a little at a time. Lower to simmer and stir until soap is dissolved. When the soap is dissolved, take off the heat and cover for 20 minutes.

Put three gallons of warm tap water in a five gallon bucket. Add soap solution, borax and washing soda. Stir. Leave mixture for 24 hours with the lid on, stirring occasionally. Stir and use one cup per load.

You can find washing soda and borax at Walmart or Kroger on the laundry detergent aisle. I have used the large bar of Ivory soap but have heard that people have had good results from Fels-Naptha laundry soap so my next batch will be made with it. I'll let you know how I like it. I found this at Walmart and I think it was less than a dollar a bar. This is not as good a savings as Ivory, especially if Ivory can be purchased with coupons.

I gave the recipe to a friend recently and she had some trouble finding all of the ingredients. Here in Campbellsville I have found the glycerin at CVS, washing soda at Walmart and Kroger on Broadway, and Borax at Walmart and Kroger. I haven't checked the dollar stores but they may carry all the items also.

I keep a laundry detergent jug that I add my solution to since it is not fun to deal with a five gallon bucket for every load. I funnel it in and that gives me an easy way to measure and pour.

Let me know how you like it if you try it.