DIY Homemade Laundry Detergent

Okay, I normally like to give credit to certain bloggers or websites out there when I use their recipe however in this case my husband and I, once deciding to do this, read about fifteen different ones and took what we wanted or needed from each one.
So here's the recipe.

Homemade Liquid Laundry Detergent
1 Fels Naptha bar, grated
1 cup Borax
1 cup Washing Soda (DO NOT USE BAKING SODA.  It's different from what you need or want)
2 gallons of water



Grate fels naptha bar either with a cheese grater or with a food processor.  I used a food processor because I was in a hurry and my right foot that I twisted recently was bothering me like crazy.
Empty the grated bar into 8 cups of water into a large pan.  Heat and allow the soap to fully disintegrate.
Next, remove from heat and add 1 cup Borax and 1 cup Washing soda, stirring each time to fully incorporate all ingredients.
Next just add remaining water. (for the mathematically challenged like myself this equals 24 more cups)
Now add any essential oils you would like.  I had Sweet Orange on hand so I used that.  Feel free to experiment.  Like I said, I noticed lots of differing opinions on this.
Let sit in a barrel for 24 hours.  I have heard the soap may be kind of running or gel like once it's done.
I have yet to actually do a wash with this but I cannot wait to see how it turns out.
I'll add more to this post later after I have completed my first wash with this.
My son thought this was a pretty cool project so he had to "help"


Now here's the economics.


We purchased all our ingredients for this from Walmart.  It may vary where you are at.

Fels Naptha bar 97¢  (used the entire bit)
Borax (76oz box) $3.38 (Used 8oz or 1 cup.  This means we will get approximately 9.5 batches.  Equals .42¢ per batch)
Washing Soda(55 oz) $3.24 (Used 8oz or 1 cup. This means we will get approximately 6.87 batches. Equals .40¢ per batch)
Optional essential oil $2.00 (I'm not adding this into the calculations because it is OPTIONAL)
Total cost: $1.79 to make each batch
Total cost per load of laundry: .02¢

This all makes around about 33 cups or so of detergent.  We plan on using about 1/2 to 3/4 a cup of detergent per load of wash so this equals to approximately 60 loads, give or take.

Now let me just compare this to Seventh Generation which is the usual detergent we use.
Usual cost is about 7.99 for 50 oz.  If we use half a cup of this for each wash that will equal .63¢ for each load.
Wow.  Big difference.  .02¢ vs .63¢

Like I said earlier, I'll post my final thoughts on this later on this week as to the "efficiency" of this.
This actually took my husband, myself and I about 15 minutes total hands on time so it's not very time invasive.
So far I'm voting for the homemade laundry detergent.

One thing I completely forgot to mention while filming this!  I added an additional 4 cups of hot water as the detergent was still too thick.  Almost like a super thick pudding!
So add four cups to our batch total.

It's now been almost two weeks of doing laundry with this detergent and our clothes smell just as fresh, they look just as clean however I have decided I to add just a bit more sweet orange essential oil to future batches.  The detergent itself smells lovely, fresh, vibrant but the finished product (the clean laundry) keeps very little of the smell.  I want to see if I add maybe a half a teaspoon more, if that maybe makes any difference. 

Okay, we are now about 17 days from when we made this.  This DIY laundry detergent ROCKS!  We are amazed by the effectiveness of this!  Case in point. Recently we had switched towels out in our master bathroom as the others were just thrown into the wash. The towels that were newly hung were from before we were using our own detergent and, I hate to say this. They stunk.  I do not know if they were put away when they were still damp or what but they just smelled old, moldy, and dusty. 
We switched them out almost immediately upon noticing the difference and lo and behold....they came out of the wash smelling awesome.  Wow! WHY OH WHY DID I NEVER DO THIS BEFORE?????

This post has been shared on Frugally Sustainable.com

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