How To Cook Your Own Laundry Detergent
by Keleigh May on February 4th, 2015

DIY Laundry Detergent

1 Cup Arm and Hammer Washing Soda
1 Cup Borax
1/2 Cup Oxi-Clean
1/2 Cup Baking Soda
1/2 Cup Downy Unstoppables (optional)
1 Bar ​Fels Naptha Bar (grated)
5 Gallon Bucket

Grate the Fels Naptha Bar of Soap (I used my food processor to grate mine, but you can also use a box cheese grater if your biceps are in need of a workout).  Bring 4 cups of water to a boil and add the grated soap one handful at a time, mixing with a wooden spoon until completely dissolved.

Melt 1/2 Cup of Downy Unstoppables with 2 cups of water until completely dissolved.

Combine all ingredients in a 5 gallon bucket and fill half way with water.  (For you math majors that 2.5 gallons)  This is where things start to get fun.   Bust out your power drill and paddle and mix until all ingredients have dissolved.  Don't have a power drill or paddle?  Use a yard stick and mix thoroughly.... think churning butter.  Cover with a lid and let sit for 24 hours.

After your detergent has marinated overnight, open the lid and you will see that part of your mix has turned into a gel brick.  Using your power drill/yard stick, break up the gel and mix together until the mixture is uniform in consistency.  Using a funnel, pour the detergent into a container and mix with water.  (For our batch we did 3 parts detergent to 1 part water.)  Word to the wise, save your old detergent containers and ask you friends and family to save theirs as well.  This will give you plenty of containers to store your detergent!  

The First Load!

To Wash Clothes - Add 1 to 1 1/2 cups of detergent to each load and wash as normal.
My mom has been giving me her homemade powder detergent for a little over a year, and while it works great on my towels, I was hesitant to use it on my delecates since the soap didn't dissolve well in my overly simple washing machine.  My washing machine is plain and simple.  No bells and whistles, just knobs and a wash bucket, thats the way I like it.  Rather than take this defeat, I decided to alter the recipe and create my own liquid detergent that I could use in every load!  We added baking soda to help fight odors from a house full of boys, oxi-clean to help brighten our colors and I just love the smell of downy!  If you don't want to add downy, add the essential oil of your choice, or just leave the mixture alone.  Total we spent around $25 and this batch will produce approximately 10 gallons of detergent while only using some of the ingredients.  We have enough left over that we could do this 2 or 3 more times!  When you consider the cost of a single container of detergent, this is truly a great bargain.  With this detergent, you don't have to worry about dyes, perfumes or any other hazardous chemicals.  You control every ingredient you use.   No matter what your meal, if you spill, there's a clean your clothes!  (I know this is stretch, but hey, it works!)

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