Today's Quote

“If people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny.” Thomas Jefferson

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Homemade Laundry Detergent

I have two recipes for homemade laundry detergent. The first is for a liquid and the second is for a powder. I have used both and both work fine. Currently I use the powder because I have a 2 year old that was constantly getting into the 5 gallon bucket of liquid and I got tired of tripping over the bucket. So I use the dry. Here are the recipes.

Liquid laundry detergent:
2 bars ivory or castille soap
2 cups borax
2 cups washing or baking soda
5 gallon bucket with lid

In a big pot on the stove heat 8 cups of water while grating the soap into the water. Stir on medium until all soap is dissolved. Take special care to watch closely as it will boil over fast. Be prepared to adjust the temperature as needed. In the bucket add 3 gallons of hot tap water, the baking soda and borax and stir. When the soapy water is finished add to the bucket and stir. Put the lid on the bucket and let it sit overnight. I did find that if I occassionally stirred it while it was sitting it set up better. Weather and temperature can affect the way this soap sets up and keep it from setting up uniformly. That is another thing that I did not particularly like. If the weather wasn't just right then sometimes the detergent wouldn't set up well. It still cleaned and was fine. I used 1 cup per load and for extra dirty clothes would add and extra 1/2 cup.

Dry detergent:
3 bars ivory/castille soap
2 cups borax
2 cups washing or baking soda

Grate the soap with a cheese grater and mix with borax and soda. Store in a sealed container. Use 1/3 of a cup per load of regular laundry, extra dirty stuff I add an extra tablespoon or so. Clothes come out clean and fresh. The one thing that I have found with the dry is that it is best to add it to the water before putting clothes in. Otherwise sometimes bits of the soap get stuff in folds in the clothes. An extra rinse will take care of this, but I don't like wasting the water or the electricity for the extra rinse. So I add it to the water and then put my clothes in the wash.


Anonymous said...

A low cost, green eco friendly, healthy natural way to do laundry is to make a homemade liquid from soapberries which grow on the Chinaberry tree and have been used for thousands of years. They work very effectively.

Kat said...

Thank you. Yes soapberries are wonderful and I do highly recommend them. However, for many people they are not easily obtained. I would recommend checking it out though and deciding whether soapberries might be for you.