Way back when before time, chemicals were known for their capability to expedite the mechanical washing of water. A mixture of water, charcoal and sulfur was used to cleanse cloth was used by the Italians. Egyptians made use of ashes and silicates to make water less hard.
While it was in 1916 in Germany when the first synthetic detergent was made, it was in the United States in 1946 when detergent per se was made. It comprised of a mixture between a surfactant (soap) and a builder (chemical that increases the efficiency of surfactant.)
I have no idea why it took me so long to motivate myself to make laundry detergent. Never has getting things clean been so dirt cheap.
The thing that finally compelled me to stop being so lazy was the fact that…well..it was the lesser of two lazies. I ran out and my car is in the shop.
It took far less energy to gather up the ingredients that I already had in my storage room than it would have taken to walk to the over-priced corner store and lug a heavy jug of it home up the great big hill that is my driveway.
There are lots of great things about making your own laundry detergent.
In my opinion the ingredients will only cost a dime to make an enormous batch. I surfed online so that my prices were approximate, but I believe some of these items will be able to be bought nearby at a lower price. You can typically find all or most of the ingredients at Wal-Mart. If not, I’ve located them online for you.
- Borax 20 Mule Team Detergent Booster, 76 Oz $3.97
- Arm & Hammer Baking Soda, 64 Oz $2.24
- Oxiclean Versatile Stain Remover, 5 Pounds $9.47
- Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda 55 oz $3.24
- Zote Laundry Soap Bar Pink 14.1 oz (Pack of 3) – $8.75 (I know that it is closer to $1 a bar at Wal Mart but I couldn’t verify that online.)
- Fels Naptha Laundry Soap $1.99
My price was about $20 for a huge tub of laundry soap – about 20 pounds of detergent. The instructions say to use 1-3 tablespoons per load. The amount I made will probably last our family for 6 months or longer, doing a load per day. My best guess is about 250 loads – I’m going to keep track of it. If that is the case, we’re looking at about about 8 cents per load of laundry.
It’s incredibly easy.
Everything is a time-saver. The only thing that took quite a long time was cutting up the soap. I used the dry container for my Vitamix and it took about 10-15 minutes to get the job done. The rest followed as: tearing the boxes of the individual ingredients open, dumping them into a tub, and stirring.
You can adjust the recipe for allergies and sensitivities.
If you have a family member with sensitive skin or allergies, you can easily adjust this recipe. Several recipes I found online did not contain the Oxy-clean, for example. You could also choose different soap and use Ivory or Castile soap.
Whatever your needs, when you make the item yourself, you can switch things around until it is perfect for your family.
This is what you need:
- 76 oz box of Borax
- 5 lb container of Oxy-clean
- 55 oz box washing soda
- 64 oz box of baking soda
- 3 bars of laundry soap
Split the soap into pieces about one inch. Initially, I was using the dry container of my blender for just the soap but it was getting gooey instead of roughly chopped. I addressed this by adding a half cup of baking soda and handful of cut up soap and mixing the two items together.
Don’t overdo on the blender, or it will still result in sticky chunks.
The Zote soap is much moister than the Fels Naptha, and in the future, I’ll most likely stick with the Fels because it chops into a nice powder. Another lovely-smelling and natural option would be Dr. Bronner’s Castile soap.
This is the absurdly easy part: put all the ingredients into a container with room enough to mix all of it. Once mixed, transfer it to a container that you will use for storing your homemade laundry soap.
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