Thursday, May 24, 2012

Homemade Laundry Detergent

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I've always had an interest in living as green and simply as can, while also staying budget friendly and realistic.  Several years ago my mom began making her own liquid laundry detergent and that has always been really interesting to me.  When I moved down here they made some for me and it lasted me from August to nearly February! That was amazing because we had spent no more than $7 on all the ingredients.

Recently while looking through blogs I found another blogger who makes her own laundry detergent, using the exact same recipe as my mom, however her is powder instead of liquid.  This sounded much more realistic to me because the liquid takes over a day to make and the powder was much quicker.  So I wanted to share this recipe with you today! I found the alternative version of this recipe over at Elisa Loves, which is definitely one of my new favorite blogs, so check her out!

Homemade Laundry detergent
This recipe is very simple and only requires 3 ingredients!  Borax, Arm & Hammer Washing Soda, and a Fels Naptha bar. Even better, the box of Borax and Washing Soda will last for several recipes and you will only need to buy Fels Naptha (97 cents at Walmart, last time I was there).  Not too bad at all!

Required Materials: 
1/2 cup Borax
1 cup Arm & Hammer Washing Soda 
1 Fels Naptha Bar 

Container to hold detergent (This can be glass like what I got or simply a tupperware container, anything you want!)
Strong knife to cut the Soap bar 
Food processor (If you don't have a food processor you can always try to use a cheese grater as well, although I don't know how fine the soap will get. Let me know if you try it, please!)
Small bowl to hold soap throughout the process 

Let's get started! 
Step 1: Take the Fels Naptha Bar and cut it in at least 8 pieces. 
Step 2: Place each piece in the food processor. I have a 2-3 cup processor, which is the small one, I found it was easiest to do one piece at a time. Allow it process a few minutes until the soap has become more of a powder. (It may not be the finest powder, just do the best you can! We will put it back in later) 
Step 3: Dump out the powdered soap into a small bowl and continue which each piece of soap remaining. 
Step 4: Once finished with each piece dump the powdered contents in the bowl back into the processor and allow it a few more minutes in the processor. 
Step 5: Pour contents from the processor into your detergent container.
Step 6: Add 1 cup of Washing Soda and 1/2 cup of Borax (per bar of Fels Naptha). 
Step 7: Mix and enjoy! Each load use between 1-2 Tablespoons of soap depending on the size of the load. 

Left: one "serving" of soap.  I bought a 1/2 gallon glass container from walmart ($4) which should hold between 3-4 servings of soap. 

Notes: If you do multiple "servings" of this soap, I recommend giving your food processor a break between bars, especially if you have a small processor like I do. I felt mine was getting a little hot after I finished processing the bar. 

This recipe is a little messy, so make sure you have plenty of counter or table space to utilize. 

Let me know what you think of this recipe! So far I like it alot and find it's a lot easier to handle a small container of powdered detergent than a 5 gallon bucket of liquid detergent! 

Have you ever tried homemade detergent? If so, what is your opinion? 

Talk to you soon! 

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