Thursday, August 15, 2013

In which I attempt to pretend I am Martha Stewart, or June Cleaver or whatever (and a recipe for Homemade Liquid Laundry Detergent)

Little by little, inch by inch, I've found myself turning into more of a crunchy granola Mom.  At least that's what I like to tell myself.  We're trying, really, to detoxify.  Trying to eat clean.  Trying to eliminate the chemicals from our life.  Three years ago, I started using essential oils. In fact, since then, I have eliminated every over-the-counter/pharmaceutical drug or remedy from my home.  Slowly, that has transferred over into our diet and household products.  About a year ago, I switched from store-bought-factory-made-chemical cleaners, and I make my own, with essential oils, baking soda or vinegar (not together--do NOT try that!).  I'm slowly making my way into the natural side of things.  Up until today, I have still been using store bought laundry detergent.  I've been wanting to try homemade for years, but have never gotten around to doing it.  Why?
Because I'm lazy.  Because I don't consider myself a homemakey, crafty, do-it-yourselfer type o' gal.  But, I have two babies with eczema, the tiny one has sad little dry, scaley patches all over and I decided it's high time, I get rid of the chemical culprits in our house and take matters into my own hands.

So, yesterday, in a fit of I don't know what--insanity? inspiration?--I went to the store and bought all the ingredients for homemade laundry detergent.  Based on several Google searches, Facebook and Pinterest searches, I found 1,000 different recipes, all of which had the same basic ingredients.  My recipe was adapted from recipes I found here and here.

Here's what I used:

1 bar Ivory (Original) natural soap
1/3 bar Fels-Naptha soap (nothing gets stains out better than Fels-Naptha)
1 Cup Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (NOT baking soda)
1/2 Cup Borax (as my Dad would say "Who put the Borax in again?")
1 TB Oxy-Clean (added as a booster)
About 60 drops of essential oil (I used Lemon and Wild Orange, but I have full intentions to play around with different scents in the future)

All of these ingredients except the essential oil were purchased at Walmart.  If you need to buy some essential oil, come visit me at and I will hook you up!

Grate both bars of soap and put into large saucepan.  Add 5 Cups Water, and stir over Medium-Low heat until soap is melted, reduce heat to low.

Add washing soda, borax, and oxy-clean and stir until dissolved.  Remove from Heat.

Pour 6 cups of HOT water into a 5 gallon bucket and add soap mixture. Add essential oil.  Stir.

Now, fill bucket to about 3/4 full of water.  Stir, cover and allow to sit overnight to thicken into a gel.

Stir, then pour into empty gallon jugs (I used cleaned out milk jugs), or empty laundry soap dispenser (saving that one for next time), or just leave in the 5 gallon bucket. Shake or stir before each use.

For Top Load Machine use 5/8 C per load (180 loads)
For Front Load Machine use 1/4 C per load (640 loads)

So, my homemade detergent is now sitting, waiting in it's bucket til tomorrow.  I can't wait to start using it!

1 comment:

Wonder Woman said...

Let me know if this works for you. I started making my own dry formula a year ago. I use a lot more of the ingredients, so I'm curious to see if yours gets the clothes clean. If so, I will use the recipe!