Friday, August 19, 2011

DIY Laundry Detergent

Thanks to my obsession with Pinterest, I recently discovered a tutorial for making your own liquid laundry detergent. I'm all about trying homemade recipes, learning new skills, and saving a penny, so I wanted to give this a shot. We go through tons of laundry detergent and the price always kills me. This gave me extra momentum to try this.

After checking out the tutorial, I set out to gather my supplies. Here's what I needed:

I had the bar of soap on hand, so all I had to buy was the Borax and Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soap. Those were easily procured at Wal-mart, for less than $6. (Just a note here: I detest going to Wal-mart. However, this particular experience was evidence of a miracle. I was able to get from my car, pick up 3 items, through the check-out, and back to my car in 6 minutes!!! 6 minutes, folks! I'm telling you, if they still had that Supermarket Sweep show, I would definitely win!)

Anyway, back to making the laundry detergent. I decided that since I only had 2 small containers saved up, I would make 1/2 the batch that the tutorial makes. It was super easy. It took me about 25 minutes, not including letting the detergent cool before putting it in the bottles.

Detergent mixture cooling and waiting to go into the bottles.

All finished and ready to be used! (I had a blonde moment while making the detergent. The directions called for adding 2 gallons of water to the mixture to make 2 gallons of detergent. Well, I was only making 1/2 the batch, but my containers weren't 1/2 gallon each. Not thinking, I added 1 gallon of water anyway, thus it wouldn't all fit into the bottles. Duh!)

I used my detergent today to do 3 loads of laundry: towels, sheets, and a vintage tablecloth. I am quite impressed with how well it cleaned. The vintage tablecloth had some set-in coffee stains on it, but when it came out of the wash it was spotless! It took me a while to get over the fact that it doesn't have a strong scent. I loved the scent of the store-bought laundry detergent I usually use, so it was a bit of a shock when I pulled the clothes out of the wash and they didn't have that scent. They definitely smelled clean though!

Since I only used 1/2 cup each of the Borax and washing soap, I have plenty to make more batches. I'm going to keep track of how many loads this current batch does, so I can better gauge the savings. I think I'm definitely sold on it and can't wait to use it more!


His Mercy Endureth Forever said...

Very Cool! I have a front loader that requires the EXPENSIVE "He" you know if this would work in those machines too?

lydia said...

I looked at all the comments from the blog that the tutorial came from, and several people commented that they used it in front-loader HE washers and it didn't cause any problems. I know the Borax and washing soap both say "HE safe" on the box, so the only thing I could think of would be if there is a problem with the bar soap. But, from what it sounds like it would be OK to use in the front-loader machines. Let me know if you try it! I love it!

His Mercy Endureth Forever said...

Awesome! Thanks!

Brittany said...

I'm going to try to make it tomorrow!