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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Homemade Laundry Detergent

I will be the first to tell you that I AM NOT one of those "granola", "crunchy", "Birkenstock", kind of moms.
But since I have quit teaching to stay home with my boys there are a few things I have given up. For example, when we were building our house these was a list of a million "dream home" things I wanted. But that would mean I would have to continue working. So, our house is less than fancy and I get to spend years home with my babies.

Couponing was one thing I picked up to save money. The other was a HUGE stretch for me.... I've been making my own laundry detergent. Seriously, when I told my sister this she about had a conniption. You'd think I quit shaving my underarms or something! (No, I still shave!)

Now it has been 2 years since I last bought laundry detergent. In the past 2 years I have spent $10.50 on the detergent supplies and $7.00 on the container.

Supplies: 1 box of borax, 1 box of Arm and Hammer Washing Soda, and 1 bar of Fels-Naptha, and a 5 gallon bucket.
(Yes, I had to ask my mom what Fels-Naptha is). It is a bar of soap (97¢ at walmart-Look on the lower shelf in the laundry soap aisle).

Directions: Cut the bar of soap into thirds. This bar of soap is the only thing I have had to re-buy in the 2 years so far. (So $2)
1. Shred the 1/3 bar of soap using a cheese grater. This is the most time consuming part. 
2. Put your grated soap into a BIG pot with 6 cups of water and heat on low til soap melts. Don't let it boil.
3. Then add 1/2 cup of washing soda and 1/2 cup of borax. Stir until dissolved.
4. Stir until it thickens. Depending on the weather it may thicken more or less than other days.
5. Into a 5 gallon bucket -  Add 1 gallon of warm water. Add your soap mixture from the stove, and then another 11 cups of water.
6. Stir and let it sit overnight in the big 5 gallon bucket with a lid.

This is what it looks like the next day. There is a huge thick layer of the soapy stuff on top and the water underneath.
Here is the other time consuming part.
1. Get your hand mixer or submersible blender. Go at it and mix it up really well.
2. Funnel it into your container. 

Side note: After it sits awhile in your container it will begin to separate again. Before each time I dispense it, I pick up the container and give it a good shake. (This can count as your arm workout).

****I used 1/2 cup of detergent per load. *****

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