Saturday, January 21, 2012

Homemade Cleaning Series ~ Laundry Detergent

I have been dying to do a homemade cleaning supplies series for a while now, but I had to tweak my recipes still and get them to how I wanted them. I decided to turn to homemade cleaning supplies not necessarily because they are better for my family or the environment, though that is a great reason as well, but mainly because of the cost. Cleaning supplies are outrageous, at least the good ones, and I have things I would rather spend my money on that gallons of Windex, tide, etc.. Right ladies, cleaning is not an area where we want to spend a lot of time let alone money!
My very first homemade cleaning supply was laundry detergent, I saw it on the Duggers and had to give it a go. I mean less than .3 cents a load and one batch lasts a month or more for my family of dirty 5 and 2 dogs. You just can't beat that with a stick, and it works just as well is not better than store bought products. I make the gel kind because I can not stand powders, I just do not think they clean as well or dissolve well since I wash in cold water. So I have finally have gotten my recipe like I like. It is a mash up of a few different recipes that I have come across on the net. Try it, tweak it and find out what works best for you. The way the Dugger's made it, it was still a little watery for my liking so I looked around and found a few other recipes that I also tweaked and came up with this one that gel's nicely.

Wyatt Family Farm Laundry Soap
5 gallon bucket with lid & 1/2 cup measure
1 bar Fels Napa soap (you can use about any bar soap but this was my favorite)
1c washing soda (not baking soda)
1c. borax
about 4 gallons water
essential oil of choice

Grate the bar soap and put in a large pot, then pour in 6-8 cups of water and heat til soap melts. Add the washing soda and the borax. Stir until dissolved and take off heat.
Fill 5 gallon bucket half-way with water, add soap mixture and stir well. I use a dowel rod just for this purpose! Now fill the bucket the rest of the way, leaving a bit of head space about 4 fingers. Stir! Add the essential oil, I used a whole bottle about 2 ounces I think. (That 30 drops other recipes called for just didn't do it for me, I like yummy smells, lol) Stir well and let sit for about 24 hours to gel!

Now I just use it right from the bucket, its a whole lot easier and a whole lot less messy then trying to transfer it over to other bottles.
The duggers also split this and mixed it with more water when they transferred to containers, but I use it at this strength and love it, because I do not think it works as well so watered down.
I think mine is thicken because of the extra 1/2 c. of borax and the fact that I don't split it again. It resembles jello when you open the lid, just give it a stir with your hand or dowel rod before each use.

Here is what mind looks like after each stir.

The Fel's Napa runs about $1 per bar here and The Borax maybe 3ish same for the washing soda. You can get I'd say 5 or 6, 5 gallon buckets of soap from the borax and soda so stock up on the bars when you get your boxes.

Happy Washing!

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