Wednesday, August 12, 2009

DIY Powdered Laundry Detergent

This is a popular recipe found on several websites.

Powdered Laundry Detergent

2 cupsFels Naptha Soap
1 cup Washing Soda 
1 cup
Borax
* Mix well and store in an airtight plastic container.
* Use 2 tablespoons per full load.

I do not like the way Zote or Fels Naptha smell. I mean I really DO NOT like them. Both have a very strong perfume smell that really bothers my sinuses so I use my homemade soap. My soap is just a plain basic bar made with lard and coconut oil. No scent, nothing special. I have also used Kirk's Castile for Hard water with good results. I found it at my local grocery store years ago but haven't seen it in a while. I have read that you can use Ivory or Sunlight bar soap too. I haven't tried them.

I have a high efficiency front loading washer and this detergent works great because it doesn't suds up. I use more than two tablespoons in my wash though. I use closer to 1/4 cup but your results may very. A lot depends on the hardness of your water and the soap you use and how dirty your clothes are!

I get a box of Oxy-clean like stuff at the Dollar Tree and mix that in with my batch of detergent for a little extra oomph. I quadruple my recipe because I figure if I am going to make I might as well make it last! I use the cheese grater attachment for my food processor to grate the soap. It is easier to grate several bars at once and store in a container you can scoop from. I use the #10 cans with lids that you might buy coffee in. I have one for grated soap, one for borax and one for washing soda. Much easier than trying to pour the borax or washing soda out of the boxes. When I quadruple it I use one box of the oxy stuff. I think it is about 2 cups.

I splurge on a big bottle of fabric softener. I didn't used to use fabric softener back when we dried our clothes in the dryer but now that I hang them I do like using the softener. The clothes come our pretty stiff on the line but it is much nicer with a little softener added to rinse. I only use about a tablespoon so the softener lasts for a long time. I have tried using the vinegar rinse instead but for line drying it just comes out too stiff. I don't use softener on whites or towels, I use vinegar. I like my towels kinda stiff, it's like a loofah! I don't use it on the white because they tough the sensitive parts and I am always worried the softener might irritate those parts.

Cost wise I figured out that it cost me about .05 a load even when using the oxy stuff from the dollar store. The HUGE of fabric softener cost $13 and has lasted me 6 months so far and is still half full. I have no idea how many loads I do in 6 months but I would say the cost is pennies a load. I have been using the homemade stuff for over a year now and it works great. I feel that the clothes are clean, they don't seem to be dingy and they seem to be wearing well.

There are recipes for liquid laundry detergent and I used to make it but the powdered is so much easier and I can whip it up in no time at all.

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