Friday, December 30, 2011

Homemade Laundry Detergent (easy and $0.06 per load!)

Well I am starting to settle back in after the holidays, so now it's time to start blogging again.  

So, I ran out of my wowgreen laundry detergent and now it is time to give a homemade version a try.  ;-)  Today is my third time making this laundry detergent and I can tell you that I LOVE IT!  My clothes are super clean and super soft and when I think back to my days of using Tide and Downy, I cringe.  There are so many bad things in most commercially sold laundry detergent.  I always wondered why I had a rash on my arms where my shirt lays on my skin...when I stopped using detergent from the stores.....the rash went away.  And most commercially made detergents do not get rid of the dirt in your clothes, they simply cover your clothes in artificial fragrances.

So, if you have 5 minutes or less, you can make this detergent.   

You can see how it separates.  So shake well.
It will look cloudy.  That is normal.

I bought this shot glass/measuring cup at WalMart.  It has oz and tsp.

I leave my measuring cup in there so it is always clean and ready.

What you need......
Gallon jug/jar of some kind (if you use a milk jug, clean well with white vinegar, soap just does not kick the milk smell. I use a white vinegar plastic bottle and I love it.)
1 cup Dr. Bronners liquid castile soap (baby soap-no fragrance) (Target, Whole Foods and sell)
1 cup baking soda or washing soda (I use baking soda)
1/3 cup salt
2 cups of warm water
White vinegar- make sure you only buy vinegar made from corn, Target sells. the bottle will say what it is made from.  Non-gmo is the best if you can find it.  
5 minutes of your time

Whisk or stir with a fork the salt and baking soda into 1 cup of the water, making a roux.  Continue adding the remaining 1 cup of water, pouring while whisking or stirring until the baking soda and salt are dissolved (this will minimize any clumps).  Pour this warm water, salt and baking soda solution into your 1 gallon jar or jug.   Pour the 1 cup of Dr. Bronners into the gallon jar or jug.  And fill your jar with water.  

Shake your jar or jug like crazy before pouring detergent into your washer.  You will see how the ingredients separate.  Use 1/4-1/2 cup per load when you wash.  Depending on how dirty the load of clothes is.  Add a tablespoon or 2 of the white vinegar to your wash during the rinse cycle.  This works as an effective fabric softener and disinfectant.  

All of the amounts (detergent and white vinegar) will depend on the hardness of your water.  You may want to use less water when making your detergent to make it concentrate, or increase how much you use per load and the same with the white vinegar, increase or decrease depending on the hardness of your water.)

We have a water softener, a front load He washer and I am using 1/4 cup detergent and white vinegar every other load.  (I started just using the detergent and no white vinegar, I just wanted to see what the detergent would do on its own, and it did great.  I have had a few loads with static problems, in which I throw a Melaleuca fabric softener sheet in (used only in the winter months, Melaleuca still uses artificial fragrance in their fabric softener sheets, so I don't use unless our clothes snap crackle and pop when I take them out of the dryer.  :-) )

If you want a little fragrance to your clothes, add a cotton ball with drops of essential oils on it to your clothes in the dryer.  Lavender smells amazing.  But don't expect your clothes to smell like they did when you were using Downy fragranced softener.  :-)  The essential oils give a subtle, soft fragrance to your clothes.

I have no complaints and I have been using this recipe for homemade detergent for 2-3 months now.  Like I said earlier though.....SHAKE WELL before using. :-)

-Do not add essential oils to your washing machine.  This could break down the fibers in your clothes, which would lead to holes.  Not a good thing.
-Reviews show that this recipe does not work well on cloth diapers.
-I have a friend that LOVES Charlies Soap.  Fyi.  Works awesome on cloth diapers too.

Gallon jug/jar---Free. Recycle here.
8oz/1 cup Dr. Bronners liquid castile soap (baby soap-no fragrance) (Target, Whole Foods and sell)---Whole Foods $14.00 for 32 oz, Target $16.99 for 32 oz.  $0.44 per ounce----Total $3.50
8oz/1 cup baking soda or washing soda (Arm & Hammer 2 lbs $1.12).  2 cups in 1 pound---so 4 cups in 2 pound---$0.28 per cup.  Total $.28
1/3 cup or 2.66 ounces salt (Morton brand 26oz $.58).  $0.02 per ounce--- Total $0.05
2 cups of warm water
White vinegar--Target $3.99 for 1 gallon (128 fl oz.....2 tbsp = 1oz) $0.03 per oz.  You are using 1-2 tbsp per load of laundry $0.06
5 minutes of your time--priceless
Add it up $3.50+.28+.05+.06$=3.89 per gallon...I use 1/4 cup or (2 oz) per load that equals $0. 06 per load!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

$0.06 per load!!!!  Are you kidding me?!  AWESOME!! LOVE it!!!

Let me know what you think?

Information shared by my friend Jesicas from the blog Passionate Homemaking  An excellent blog!