Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Laundry Detergent- Updated

The last time I made laundry soap was in December of last year, I made enough for what I thought was 9 months and it lasted around 6 for us.  That being said, for some reason I was soap happy and added sometimes 3 tbsp per load instead of the recommended two.

    The last time I made laundry soap, I also followed a recipe that I found on pinterest and I thought was similar to the Duggars.  I looked up the ingredients only and didn't do the math (for larger batches), turns out the old recipe I used didn't have enough soap in it.  Most large recipes out there actually don't. It cleaned our clothes though and took out tough stains, but yea, kind of gross.  
The recipe here in this post is updated and the correct large amount, which I found from the Eco-Friendly Family's Blog, and I'm sure this will last us a good year or more.

Cloth Diapers:
Want a homemade version for cloth diapers?  Just follow the recipe below but leave out the bars of soap!

Type of Soap you can use:
Fels Naptha (what I used)
Kirk’s Castile

Here's the small batch recipe:
1 cup Washing Soda
1 cup Borax
1/2 cup of Oxiclean
1 bar of soap, finely grated

And the super large batch:
3 Boxes Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (55 oz each)
2 Boxes 20 Mule Team Borax (76 oz each)
1 Large Tub OxiClean (96 oz) (I bought the off-brand)
24 Bars of Soap, finely grated
breathing mask

I grated my bars by hand with a nice big cheese grater, but it took me the length of about a Hallmark movie to do it.  That's where the real work for this recipe comes in.  I've heard that the secret to grating it is to chop up the bars of soap with a food processor (don't push your processor, take your time) and then lay the pieces out on a cookie sheet to dry out for a couple days and do it again so it makes a powder.

I had a huge bucket that I stored Jack's garage toys in that I washed out and mixed the ingredients in.  I layered it, stirred and mixed it back and forth with buckets until I felt like it was mixed good.  I recommend doing this outside while wearing a mask, as the borax can chalk up and make clouds around you and you don't want to breath it in or have it leave residue in your home.  (If you're making the small batch, you don't need to go outside or wear a mask.)

The large batch makes so much I bought a 5 gallon paint bucket with a lid to store it in, and it also filled the Oxiclean tub.  It just BARELY fit into both containers, so you may need another option.  I plan on storing the large tub in the basement and using the small container in the laundry room. 

Using your laundry detergent:
2tbsp per load

The large batch cost me around $45 when all said and done (and the cloth diaper version $20).

Cloth Diapers:
Want a homemade version for cloth diapers?  Just follow the recipes above but leave out the bars of soap!


  1. I found your blog from theandersoncrew...anyway, thanks for the recipe! I've been wanting to make my own laundry soap so I might try this recipe soon.

  2. that's so awesome you have at least a year's worth!!
    you rock!!


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