One of my goal’s for 2010 was to try making homemade laundry detergent. I am happy to say that January has nary gone by and I have not only attempted my first recipe, but it was a resounding success. And not only did I make detergent for laundry, but for the dishwasher as well!
There are many recipes floating out there around the internet. I found this recipe for a powder detergent, because I’m just a powder laundry detergent kind of gal. Plus, it looked easier than the gel recipes I found.
Powder Laundry Detergent: 1 Tablespoon/load
- 1 bar Fels Naptha soap
- 1/2 cup Borax
- 1/2 cup Washing Soda
I found a dishwasher detergent recipe from a blogger who also makes her own laundry detergent, but I noticed her recipe for that was a bit different from the one above. (Feel free to try both recipes and let me know the difference!)
Powder Dishwasher Detergent: 2 Tablespoons/load, divided
- 1 cup Borax
- 1 cup Baking Soda
- 1 Tablespoon Lemi Shine
I made the laundry detergent first. First, I grated the Fels Naptha.
And I grated.
I highly recommend doing this while watching a good show — “24” works well. Jack Bauer keeps the adrenaline pumping.
I finally called in a willing backup.
Whew! Now that’s done, time to add the Borax and Washing Soda and stir.
It finally occurred to me that I might have found a good use for my sifter.
Again, I highly recommend some Jack Bauer to keep the adrenaline going. This took a bit.
The finished product.
At 1 tablespoon a load (2 for heavily soiled), this ought to last awhile.
I tested this right away on some, um, soiled sheets. My 5yo had just gotten a cold… Ever since he contracted e-coli back in August, every cold or little sniffle he gets seems to go right to his bladder control, poor mom guy. I was washing sheets every morning for a couple of days straight. The new detergent worked like a charm. I even stuffed my face in them and took a big whiff.
The dishwasher detergent was easier than making oatmeal. You just mix these:
Into the finished product:
Again, it works fine. I’ve also followed a tip to add a little vinegar as a rinse agent. Just today I found some name-brand rinsing agent buried under my kitchen sink. I’ll go ahead and use that up; I’m curious if I’ll notice a difference.
I’m not going to try to cost-compare a batch of this stuff vs. a batch of store-bought detergent — just not in the mood to geeky-crunch numbers right now. Based on the cost of buying the ingredients in bulk, it’s pretty darn cheap.
Ingredients for Homemade Laundry and Dishwasher Detergent (powder versions):
- Box of Borax: $2.79
- Box of Washing Soda: $2.05
- Bar of Fels Naptha: $1.29
- Box of Baking Soda: $1.99
- Thing of Lemi-Shine: $3.19
I found everything but the Fels Naptha at the commissary on base. The super wally-mart here didn’t carry it either– they looked at me like I was from another planet when I told them what I was looking for. I finally found it in the detergent aisle at Kroger’s.
Any homemade cleaning recipes you’d like to share? I’m kind of on a roll here.