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Chasing Babies... Growing in Grace: Homemade Laundry Detergent

Friday, March 26, 2010

Homemade Laundry Detergent

Departure is one week from today (ok, tomorrow, but grandparents arrive a week from today). I wish I could say that I have completed more from my list at this point (I'm updating as I have it done), but it just doesn't seem to be true. Still, I have done some of them. One of those is to make laundry detergent. I knew I wanted to make some before we left because we were close to the end and I wanted to make sure there was some available if Grandma needed to do any laundry (with night time leaks and accidents, laundry is a normal thing around here... even if we have plenty of clothes and underwear!) What I didn't expect at the time is to run out before then. I did the last possible load of laundry last night... and still had some to do. This isn't even considering that there is still a week before we leave and there will be plenty of laundry created in that time. Alas, "make laundry detergent" moved to the top of my priority list!

And since we (read: I) did it today, I thought I'd share the recipe with you all!

I don't know where I originally found the recipe online, but after I'd been using it a while (double batch = nearly 70 loads) I needed to make more and didn't know where the recipe was online. So I searched. I searched the ingredients I knew were in it and found Modern Cottage and her recipe for detergent! As of today it's written out and taped onto the side of the jar! :) Now anyone can make it for me if we run out and I'm down for the count (or in the first days/weeks postpartum... it's the same thing right?) Mostly though, it's so that I don't have to look up the recipe online by searching the ingredients every time I need it. That was getting old!

Today I made a single recipe, which about half fills our 2 quart jar. Sometimes I make a double batch to completely fill the jar, but then the measuring spoon doesn't fit inside, so I don't do that so often anymore.

Laundry Detergent
1 bar fels naptha soap, grated
1 cup Borax
1 cup Washing Soda
1/4 cup oxi-clean

Everything is pretty straight forward. Just measure and combine the powder ingredients. I have found that to get the fels naptha soap fine enough to mix in is a two step process. First I grate it with our Family Grain Mill's fine grater attachment. When that is done, I pour it into our food processor. I do recommend the two step process over just doing it in the food processor. When we did it the first time, putting chunks of soap bar in the food processor, it mostly just melted and mushed the soap and made a mess. With the already grated soap, it just makes it finer. A much nicer product!!

That's it... mix it up. Sometimes I use a spoon in a bowl first, but I don't think you need to. Usually I just put it all in the jar and shake it together really good. It doesn't seem to matter if it doesn't look evenly distributed. We've been using this for a year or more and it seems to do well on all sorts of laundry!

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At March 26, 2010 at 1:10 PM , Blogger Irene said...

Just wanted to say thanks for posting so much...I love reading your blog, I always learn something and am challenged. You are doing such a great job being a Biblical, wise and thrifty wife and mother. Love you friend!

At March 26, 2010 at 5:22 PM , Blogger Nikki said...

This recipe is similar to one that I used to use. I used Ivory soap instead of the naptha, and I didn't know to add the Oxiclean. I found that I could buy detergent for about what it cost to make it, and now I'm just out of the habit of making it.


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