Day 199 – Laundry Detergent

Sometime around summer 2012, I became really addicted to Pinterest. I found a lot of neat projects that I wanted to try, so I decided to do one every day. One of those projects was to make my own laundry detergent. I thought it sounded interesting to try, especially because I had just purchased a whole box of borax to make some bouncy balls, which only took about 1 teaspoon. I figured making detergent would put that box of borax to good use, but I had one problem…

I had a fresh new large sized jug of laundry detergent in use AND I had bought two smaller ones that I stashed in the closet because they were on a super sale that I could not pass up. I had absolutely NO need to make laundry detergent when I had approximately 184 gallons of it shoved in my closet.

So that brings me to present day. I am nearly finished with the last of my detergent bottles. I thought it would be wise to try to make laundry detergent while I still had some left in the bottle, just in case it was a flop. I did not want to be left without any. I was kind of nervous to give it a try on my regular clothes, so I tried it on towels (just like when I tried out that foil ball instead of a dryer sheet thing…I still use that every time I wash towels and sometimes with other things). Maybe I just wanted it to be so, but they really felt softer than usual when I put them in the dryer.

Here is the recipe:

1 cup borax

1 cup Washing Soda (not baking soda…washing soda)

1 bar Fels-Naptha soap (This was found right next to the washing soda at Walmart, which was right next to the Borax, which are all in the cleaning aisle)

I shredded the Fels-Naptha soap with a cheese grater (that I bought specifically for this purpose because I don’t love the idea of mixing food and non-food items). This took a bit of energy, but it was really not that bad.

Then I poured in the washing soda and the borax and stirred it with my hands. Some of the borax was in chunks, so I had to smush them up.

The original directions said to put it in the food processer to chop up the soap even more, but because of that whole food and non-food thing, I decided to try skipping this step. Based on the towel load that I just washed, I think everything was ok. I did not see any chunks of soap left in the washer or on the towels.

Then I grabbed a Menchie’s spoon that I had been saving for an unknown reason, and tossed it into the container. I tested it out and one heaping Menchie’s spoon is approximately 1 tablespoon, which is how much to use for one load.

It smells pretty good, but does not leave one of those lingering laundry smells, which I am thankful for. Sometimes scents bug me, so no scent is better than screaming headache scent.
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I will get back to you on my official opinion on this laundry detergent thing, but so far, it seems promising!

Total cost: $9 for all of the materials. Mathematically estimating, I think I have enough stuff to wash 144 loads. That works out to be 6 cents a load. (Tide works out to be about 28 cents a load) Hooray for saving!

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