OK, I finally did it and made my own laundry detergent. It was Soooooo easy!!! If you can melt butter and boil water you can make your own detergent!!! I finally used up all of the commercial detergent my hubby bought and what better time to try something new??? My goal was to make my detergent thin enough to go through the spout of the old container. Much to my surprise the recipe needed NO alteration!!! It was just perfect, well, perhaps not perfect. You do need to shake the jug every so once in a while and you do need to make sure that the screw cap is fairly loose so that the detergent can come down. If that is the hardest part....I AM SOLD ON IT. I do not recall which blog it was that I read this recipe...so, to whom ever posted the original recipe...Thanks a bundle!! I take no credit for the recipe!!!
Here is the recipe I tried (yes, it only makes a "small" batch about a gallon --the original recipe was double this) I wanted to be sure I would like it first:
1/3 bar of Octagon Soap grated (some folks recommended Fels Naptha)
1/2 cup Borax
1/2 cup Washing Soda (No, baking soda will not work)
16 cups water--divided-read rest of instructions CAREFULLY
8 drops of Lemon Oil (optional)
3 drops of Lavender Oil (optional)
Items you will need
box grater (you can use your food processor if doing a bigger batch)
spoon or whisk
container to put the detergent in
Into a heavy bottomed sauce pan place the grated soap. Add 3 cups of water and over medium heat, melt ALL of the soap flakes. Add the Borax and Washing Soda to the melted soap and stir until it dissolves then take pan off heat. Put 2 cups HOT water into detergent container then pour the melted & dissolved mixture into container and stir (or shake). Next pour in remaining 11 cups of water and shake well. Let this sit overnight to gel to a nice "snot" like consistency. I added the essential oils to the detergent after it had cooled, but not fully "gelled". For each load of laundry I use 1/2 cup of detergent.
I have not done a cost comparison, but think that I must be saving some money AND I no longer have to put up with having to recycle the plastic containers the store bought detergent comes in. On some blogs folks were saying that the soap did not come out of their clothes...we have great well water here in the country and I have not had a problem, having only made 2 batches of detergent (I know, I kn0w...I need to make bigger batches) I have not noticed any problems. Some bloggers recommended using white vinegar in the rinse cycle. Now, full disclosure time...My hubby likes for me to use Downy. This I already dilute with 1/3 Downy, 1/3 water, 1/3 white vinegar.
This detergent is "low sudsing" and great for High Efficiency front loader washers. I have also used it as an all purpose cleaner by diluting 2 Tbs of detergent into 2 cups of water.
In addition to making our own detergent, we have also stopped using paper products like paper napkins and paper towels. It was a little hard for the hubby to make the transition...he kept looking for a paper towel to clean up a mess. The best thing I have found for paper towel withdrawl is making sure that you have a good alternative already made up!!! A black pique dress was given to me by a friend and I did not really wear it much so, I thought it would make great "clean up" rags and it has worked. Because it is black it does not look grungy even when it is dirty, I ruined one of my crocheted dish rags by cleaning up a nasty coffee spill (no, I did not chuck it...it just doesn't make it out when company comes ;o}) .
So, there you go. Just a few things we are doing around here to save some money and be wise stewards of what we have been blessed with. See, it's not so crazy.