Tuesday, April 7, 2009

#45 Make your own detergent

Back up to the wash cycle again.  I have been wanting for a while to try making my own laundry detergent, and now I've finally gotten around to doing it!  It was really easy and so far has been working great.  Here is the recipe I used:

1/2 c. borax
1/2 c. washing soda
1/2 bar soap, grated
about 2 gallons water

Place part of the water in a pot and bring it to a boil.  Add soap (I used Lever because that's what I had around) and other ingredients until dissolved.  Take off heat, add to the rest of the water.  Stir.  Use 1/2 to 1 cup per load, depending on how soiled your load is.   I estimate the cost for this entire batch at $0.40.   I used an old cat litter bucket to put it in.

As a side note:  a lot of recipes for laundry soap include Fels Naphtha soap.   I was going to try this, as it has been praised for it's effectiveness.  However, the ingredient list for this soap is "cleaners, soil and stain removers, chelating agents, perfumes, and colorants."  Can it get any more vague than that?  What is really in that stuff??? Sorry, don't trust it.

Pros:  Cheap, effective, much less packaging than prepared soaps.  No added chemicals, dyes, or perfumes (or at least you can choose what you want to add by what kind of soap you use.)

Cons:  Doesn't really have any stain removal power, so I must be diligent in my use of oxi-clean as a pre-wash stain treater.  Also, homemade detergent must be stirred before use.

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