Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Dirty Laundry Truth

I have always bought Arm and Hammer liquid laundry detergent.  Some of our laundry can be pretty stinky now with all the animals.  Of all the detergents I have tried Arm and Hammer has showed the best results.  I can say I have always bought the biggest jugs I could find too.  This way it would last through to the next shopping day.  I have found lately that the size of the bottle is shrinking and the price is rising.  I decided it was time to finally make my own detergent.  
For less then what I pay for one jug of Arm and Hammer liquid detergent I was able to buy everything I needed to make even more then a regular large jug.  Plus I can still have the same freshness I was used to.  Now it was just a matter of finding the time to make it.

Today I did it!  I finally made my own laundry detergent (insert happy dance here) and it was easy and took no time at all!  No way, I was expecting it to take forever but it didn't and I was done in no time.  Plus an additional bonus that I wasn't expecting is now the house smells so fresh and clean now too from melting the soap.

I have to admit I have been putting it off for a while now.  I was sure it would take half the day plus it was so much easier (or so I though) to just grab another jug at the store, which I did last week.  I had the supplies sitting on the counter for two weeks now and the directions sitting there with them.  But still could not bring myself to make it.  The thought of grating a soap bar and waiting for it to melt was probably the biggest deterrent for me to actually start making it.  Let me just say it was done and ready almost quicker then it took me to get the 5gallon container and the water ready.  Note to self have everything on hand and ready next time.  I completed the whole process in maybe 15-20 minutes. 

For anyone who has wanted to make their own but has been putting it off for one reason or another like me you will be glad you did it.  I have to say that I'm feeling a little ashamed now that I bought the jug last week rather then just making it when I already had the supplies on hand.  Guess I will just toss it up to a lesson learned.  I will also be sure not to make that mistake again.  Not only was it not all the "Hard Work" I was expecting but I actually had fun doing it.

Here are the directions I followed to make my detergent (liquid). With a thank you going to for them.

Homemade Liquid Laundry Detergent
Things You'll Need
  3.1 oz. bar of soap
  1 cup 20 Mule Team Borax
  1/2 cup Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
  5-gallon container
  Knife or grater
  Pot large enough to hold 6 cups of water
  Long stirring stick or spoon for 5-gallon container

1  Use the knife/grater to shave the soap into small pieces. Then place 5 cups of water into the pot and heat the water on the stove.

2   Place soap into pot and begin stirring until the soap melts. If the water begins to boil, turn the stove off to prevent it from bubbling over.

3   Place 3 gallons of hot water into the 5-gallon container once the soap has melted.

4   Pour the melted soap mixture into the container of hot water. Stir.

5   Add 1/2 cup of washing soda. Stir until the soda dissolves, and then add 1 cup of Borax. Stir until dissolved.

6   Add fragrance, if necessary.  from your favorite scent. (I did not add fragrance as I liked the way it smelled as is).

7   Cover the container and set it aside. Let it sit overnight so it can cool and gel. The detergent will not gel uniformly; it may appear watery and clumpy.

Tips & Warnings
1/2 cup of detergent is sufficient to clean a full load of laundry.

Homemade laundry detergent is low sudsing and thus perfect for high-efficiency, front-loading washing machines.

This recipe makes 442 oz. of laundry detergent. At 4 oz. per load, you'll be able to wash 110 full loads.

If you're using a high-efficiency washing machine: Prior to adding the homemade laundry detergent to the dispenser, stir it to break up large lumps. This ensures the detergent will fully dissolve in the normal wash cycle.

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