For years I would buy whatever detergent was on sale not thinking a thing about the safety of the product or that it was still costly. I totally trusted manufactures to keep my family safe. Then I learned...
that manufactures could use whatever chemicals they wanted and they are not regulated by the government (not sure the extent of that truth but it bothered me). The kicker was when we received our foster babies and our tiny infant would breakout in little bumps all over, even with the baby friendly detergent. I switched her to free and clear and while they eliminated some of the problem I also had to switch diapers, wipes, lotions, bath wash, everything and the one company they met all those needs was Honest Company...even her detergent. So, while the original post was about my first time making it you can trust that after making several batches, it is going to be a good thing for your family.
At the beginning of 2017, I wrote in My 75 goal board that I wanted to learn to make our own laundry detergent. Actually, in the last few weeks I've decided to research and look for healthy cleaning products for our home all together too. As a foster family it's important that chemicals be kept locked up but what if the products weren't chemicals but everyday household products? Safety is now the issue. I'm learning folks. Feel free to help me out with advice anytime.
I have pinned lots of recipes on Pinterest and they are all similar but have different ingredients for many different reasons. So for me it came down to what ingredients I could finding where available. With 2 toddlers, bouncing them back and forth for store to store was not my idea fun. Some ingredients are questionable to some people but for my family, I find it just gets the clothes cleaner to use the ingredients below.
Super Washing Soda $4.99
Baking Soda $3.49
Meyers Laundry Booster $9.99
Fels Napha $2.00
Total: $33.20 respectively
Made 2 gallons of product with approx 500 washes.
that's around $0.07 a load.
My Tide was around $0.20 a load
My Honest Company was $0.13 a load when purchased as part of my bundle.
You'll also need a 1/4 cup scoop. It takes very little for a large load.
Let's Get Started
Using my trusty food processor I grated all the bars of soap. 2 Fels Napha and 1 Zote.
Once they were grated down I dumped them into a bowl and then added handfuls back to the processor for chopping.
You can see the difference above.
Once the soap was grated I began layering all the ingredients as shown. I scooped out about a pound of the baking soda into another container for another project because my bag was 5 lbs and I only needed 4. Then I started pouring in a little of each ingredient until it was all emptied into the 2 gallon jar, except for the Borax because I hadn't decided yet if I wanted to use it.
The hardest part is mixing it all evenly. Luckily I own a large paint/concrete stirring tool that fits in my cordless drill. I plunged it down in the mixture and stirred. Stopping to stir by hand with a large spoon to make sure everything was mixing at the bottom.
This was the amount in the 2 gallon jar before the borax. I then decided to add it as well. I've used borax for years and figure the next batch I make I may decide leave it out. This is my first time so I wanted the most bang for my buck.
I have been given some good advice since making my first batch. One, is to use Castile soap bars. I like that, if I can find them. The other is using vinegar and essential oil to soften the fabric and keep residue from building. Plus vinegar prevents any mildew smell of left a little too long in the wash. I'm pretty excited about this little journey of making more homemade things for my house. I will be doing this again and I'll update if there are any changes I make to my recipe.
Side Note: I've been told that "homemade" detergent can void a warranty on machines. HOWEVER, that is only in the case of using products that were not made for machines. Also, the powder version works just fine in top and front load washers. Some front load washers have a built in place for powder or you can just sprinkle it on top. Since you will be using far less powder, it dissolves much faster.. 😊