Wednesday, August 06, 2014

DIY Laundry Detergent

I ran out of my stockpile of laundry detergent right before we left to go on vacation, so when I went to pick up a bottle to do all the laundry when we got back, I figured it'd be a good time to try to the DIY Laundry Detergent project: Make your own year's worth of laundry detergent for $20.00 (or less than $30.00).

Since I was standing in the Laundry aisle when I decided this, I had to google up a recipe on the fly.  I came across a likely looking recipe by Happy Money Saver, then when I got home and looked up my Too Hot to Handle fire wife friend, Trina's DIY laundry detergent project, the recipes weren't too different.

The empty laundry detergent bucket came from the fire station, rescued from the dumpster.
Don't people have any idea how handy buckets are?!  Just because the original contents are gone, there's a ton of things you can do with a good bucket. Carry water, garden soil, store pet food, compost, plant garden vegetables. Make/store DIY laundry detergent.

First thing I did was cut my Fels Naptha soaps into 5 chunks and microwave them. From one minute, to many, depending on your microwave. The Happy Money Saver took a minute to nuke the Zote soap, another page took 1:45 to nuke Fels Naptha.
My weak, sad microwave took several go's. I lost count.
Then I forgot to take a picture of them all puffed up. 

After they cooled thoroughly - if they aren't completely cool, they won't crumble right - crumble the soaps up into crumbs.

Once the soap was done, I layered it and the rest of the items in my bucket some at a time, stirring as I went.

The Oxyclean came with a scoop which I measured to be just about a Tablespoon. It should only take a couple scoops per load.

The detergent recipe with the pink Zote soap was prettier, if you're concerned about that sort of thing, and here are some cute printable gift tags to download if you plan to gift any.
Christmas is coming - could be an idea.

Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda $3.24
Great Value Baking Soda x 4 @ 56¢ each $2.24
Oxyclean (1.3 lb) $3.86
Fels Naptha bar laundry soap x 3 @ 97¢ each $2.91
Borax $3.97
Purex Crystals (Free, stockpiled from couponing days)
= $16.22 Total

I have no idea how to break down the cost per load, but I don't wash much, maybe 4-5 loads a week, so I expect this batch will last me a year at least.
I can get with a year's worth of laundry detergent for less than $20.00.

PS, I'd tell you how it worked, but I did all the laundry before I decided to make the detergent, so it'll be a couple days before I try it out.

PPS, Have I ever mentioned how much I loooooove my clothesline? I think it's my favorite thing ever!

(older pic; the grass has been mowed)


Trina Halsey said...

I love mine. It lasts us, just under a year, with 6 of us. I don't dry sheets or towels outside, so that might be the difference. But I LOVE the clothesline, too.
I hope you decide with the next round that you like it!!

Melissa said...

I am liking it now. Mine doesn't have a very strong laundry detergent fragrance, which I guess I have been conditioned to associate the smell with *clean*. But everything's coming out clean, and the sheets ended up being just as soft when I put them on the bed...strangely, I can't explain these things.
I don't hang out towels either. We don't really like crunchy towels, and they don't seem to dry off as well, either.

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