I decided this week that I would try my hand at making my own laundry detergent. I have a small mountain of laundry from the “Move the Stuff in the Garage to the Basement” project, and we were about out of detergent anyway. So, I figured, what the heck?
I got this recipe from my friend Kim, who in turn got it from the Duggar Family website. (Remember them? They’re the people with 8 million kids on that TLC show? Can you imagine the laundry in that house? Makes my mountain look very insignificant… Seriously though, if they want 8 million kids, more power to them.)
So I made a trip to Rural King to collect the necessary ingredients, and got rolling!
Stir constantly(-ish) until the soap is melted.
It all melted eventually, but it took longer than I thought it would. Next time, I would only add small amounts of the grated soap at a time.}
…add 1/2 cup of Borax and 1 cup of Super Washing Soda to the bucket. Stir to dissolve the powder.
Cover your bucket, and let it sit overnight to thicken.
…just stir it up really really well. The jelly-like soap will un-gel, and become more liquidy again, I promise.
This is actually double-strength detergent now. Using whatever dispensing container you want (I used the last recently emptied store-bought detergent bottle), fill your container with 50% new detergent and 50% tap water. Shake well before each use, as the concoction will gel again in the new container.
For a top-loading washer, use 5/8 cup of detergent per load.
For a front-loading washer, use 1/4 cup of detergent per load.
If you like scented detergents, you can add a few drops of essential oil to your detergent (10-15 drops for every 2 gallons). I would recommend adding fragrance to your smaller “working” bottles, not to the 5 gallons of stock!
I was able to buy all the supplies for this batch of detergent, including a new 5-gallon bucket, for less than $17. For TEN GALLONS of detergent. I have plenty of Borax and Washing Soda left over, so if I ever run out of detergent, all I will need to buy is a $2 bar of Fels-Naptha soap. Remarkable!
I have used this so far on some musty-smelling towels from the garage yesterday, and some “business casual” clothes this morning. So far, no complaints!
Printable recipe card: