Friday, November 2, 2012

Home-made Laundry Detergent

With 8 people living in our house, laundry is a daunting and time-consuming task. In addition, we have the cost of the electricity to run the washer and dryer, plus the cost of laundry detergent; so, laundry can get quite expensive.

We have upgraded to a high-efficency washing machine, and we try to hang our clothes on the line whenever the weather cooperates, which I actually LOVE. I love the act of hanging it up and taking it down, and the excuse to be out in the beautiful weather. I like how my clothes smell when they have hung outside. But, probably most of all,  I like the idea that I am saving money and doing something good for the planet too. (I am considering trying to hang it in the house this winter, but I haven't sold my husband on the idea...yet).

Another way to cut the cost of laundry is by making our own laundry detergent. I am not sure where this recipe came from as my mother-in-law gave it to me, but it is super easy and extremely cheap. According to my math, it costs about 50 cents per load!

Make Your Own Laundry Detergent:

1/4 bar of Fels Naptha Soap
2 TBLS Borax Powder
1/4 cup (4 TBLS) Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (NOT baking soda)

1. Cut Fels Naptha into fourths (store 3/4 for next time in ziploc)
2. Grate 1/4 Fels Naptha into medium shreds
3. Put grated Fels Naptha & 1 cup water into pot and melt over medium heat (stir constantly) and cook until all soap dissolves (will be sudsy but no soap chunks)
4. Pour 2 1/2 qts (10 cups) of water in large container/bucket & add cooked soap mixture.
5. Add Borax & Washing Soda, and stir
6. Add 2 1/2 qts (10 cups) of water
7. Stir again- you'll notice a few suds on top of your stirred soap.
8. Let sit overnight in covered container
9. Stir it up (it will be thick) & transfer to bottles to use
10. Fill containers 1/2 mixture & 1/2 water. Shake and Use!

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