I’ve wanted to try making homemade laundry detergent ever since I heard my friend Joanna talk about how easy and cheap it was to do. And I finally got around to it, with a little help from the hubs. I found a recipe that looked easy enough on Wellness Mama, and set out to grab the ingredients. Even the recipe’s very specific recommendation for Dr. Bronner’s All-One bar soap, an organic and certified fair trade castile soap, was easily fulfilled at our neighborhood Kroger. We chose the lavender bar, also available online at Amazon: Dr. Bronner’s Organic Pure Castile Bar Soap, Lavender, 5 oz.*
Once you’ve assembled the ingredients, the process is pretty straightforward. First cut up the soap bar into small pieces and grate, either by hand or with a food processor. Then, dissolve the soap in two quarts of water on the stovetop, stirring nearly constantly.
Meanwhile, get a cup of borax and a cup of washing soda and stir into 3.5 to 4.5 gallons of hot water. The original recipe calls for 4.5 to make the total five gallons, but we only had enough large containers to hold four gallons of detergent, so we made it slightly more concentrated. We’ll probably use a .5 cup of detergent per load, instead of 1 cup.
Then stir in the dissolved bar soap mixture until everything is thoroughly combined. Then pour into storage containers and have at it!
I’m not sure we’ve hit on the best containers for storing our homemade laundry detergent just yet… we’re currently keeping some in a reused store-bought detergent container and some a reused drinking water container with a tap. Taps are convenient, but these two containers are both so large that it is hard to shake them to keep the detergent mixed up.
So far we’ve done a couple week’s worth of laundry with our new creation, and everything seems to be going well. Hooray.
Edit: Still going well, two weeks later. The detergent can be a little snotty… for lack of a better word, but we just give it a shake or two before dispensing and everything seems fine. I don’t think the clothes really come out smelling like anything, and while I don’t want them to be overwhelming, I may experiment with adding a little essential oil in the future to boost the aroma.
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