Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Ma Ingalls Would Be So Proud Of Me…

A few weeks ago I told y’all that I was trying my hand at making my own laundry detergent. We’ve been a liquid Purex Free and Clear family for as long as I can remember. With Jackson’s eczema problems, I’ve always had to keep things with no dyes or perfumes, and the Purex seems to work pretty well for us. When Anderson joined the family I noticed an issue in the laundry department; it never ends!

Seriously, y’all, I can wash two loads of laundry a day. It is never ending, especially with bibs and burp clothes. With the bottle of Purex running almost $6, I was intrigued when a friend from work (Hi Susan!) told me that she was making her own laundry detergent and that she loved it. I got the recipe from her, and I gave it a shot. Her recipe was for powdered detergent, which I’ve never used, but it was easy enough to make and very cheap, so I figured I didn’t have much to lose. Here goes!

1 cup Borax

1 cup Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (Not to be confused with baking soda)

1 bar of soap finely grated.

I used our regular bar of Dove unscented soap, even though I had read that it was a “beauty bar” and not a bar of soap. Jackson’s skin does fine with it, so I wanted to try it out first. Most people use Ivory.

I bought a cheap cheese grater and grated the entire bar of soap as finely as I could. I mixed the soap shavings with the Borax and Washing Soda in a container and then ran the entire mixture through my Magic Bullet. Don’t run the soap through the food processor or magic bullet unless it is mixed with the borax and washing soda. Susan learned the hard way that it does nothing other than make the soap clump together. I learned from her mistake!

When you get the mixture processed enough, it will look exactly like store bought powdered detergent. It only takes 1-2 tablespoons of powdered mix per load, and I also add a bit of Oxyclean because we always have something that is stained. The soap will not bubble up like store bought detergent, but it will definitely clean your clothes. I have been super pleased with the detergent, except for a few times when I found oily spots on some of Anderson’s onesies. I think it’s because Dove soap has oils in it that Ivory and other bar soaps don’t have (and I had been warned about using Dove), so I’m pretty sure that’s what is happening. I’ve still got plenty of my first batch made, so I’m going to try it again when I’m finished with a bar of Ivory soap and see how I like that. Until then I’m washing my towels, bib and burp clothes with the homemade stuff, and the clothes with the store bought stuff since I had some left over.

Overall, I would definitely recommend giving it a try. It hasn’t caused any problems with Jackson’s skin, and we’ve used it for several weeks. The ingredients cost me around $7, and I can make at least 4 or 5 more batches before I run out. And it only took about 5 minutes to put the stuff together!

So there you go! If you give it a try let me know what you think. Y’all have a great day!

4 random thoughts:

Kay said...

I had never heard of making it dry...very interesting about the food processor part. Do you think a blender would work? And does if dissolve in cold water? Ive been dying to try homemade but the huge gallons of liquid I hear about when others made it were a definite turn off.

Heather@ That Uncomfortable Itch said...

I've been wanting to try homemade detergent for quite some time. Anything to get away from buying more plastic and saving some money!

Was the bullet easy to clean out and can you still use it with food?

I'm going to give this one a go! Thanks so much for sharing.

Shannie said...

I still live at home with my parents but I am looking at moving out soon and when I do I will definitely be trying this. I am slowly becoming more and more aware of convenient, store-bought hoaxes such as laudry detergent. I hope I can get these same ingredients here in Aus.

Wade's World said...

I think a blender would work fine. My magic bullet washed out perfectly clean, and the powdered detergent fits perfectly in a small tupperware container. I prefer liquid detergent, but the idea of having gallons of homemade detergent taking up space was a big deal breaker for me. I use cold/cold water, and it does fine.

I bought my ingrediants at Walmart, but I'm pretty sure they sell the washing soda on amazon.com if you can't find it locally.

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