Saturday, July 27, 2013

homemade laundry detergent

for quite some time, i've had this 4lb, 12oz box of borax sitting in my laundry room waiting for this very project - making my own laundry detergent! a friend i used to work with told me of how simple it was to make your own and i was instantly intrigued. it took much research, but i finally decided powder detergent would be best for me and my washer, but i finally did it yesterday.

i found a recipe from ask anna, someone i stumbled upon in my research, and felt pretty confident in her recipe.

things you'll need: 
  • 1 (4lb 4oz) box of Borax
  • 1 (3lb 7oz) box of Arm and Hammer super washing soda
  • 2 (5.5oz) bars of fels-naptha laundry soap
  • 5lbs of Arm and Hammer baking soda 
  • Essential oil (I used lavender)
  • a big bucket for mixing all of this together (mine was 2 gallons)
 what to do: 

before mixing all of these items together, you want to make the fels-naptha soap look like little tiny balls of cheese. to do this, simply put the bars into your food processor and leave it on for a while. they don't like to get much smaller than the size of a bb. other recipes i found suggest cheese grating the soap, but that takes too much time and effort.

Zeus really didn't know what to think about all the smells.  
once the soap is grated, add the soap, along with the rest of the dry ingredients into your big bucket. you want all of this to be mixed thoroughly, and the most efficient way to do so (in my opinion) is with your hands. make sure all the clumpy parts are broken up, and that the whole mixture is consistently polka-dotted with the fels-naptha soap crumbles. 

after mixing, move about half of the mixture into another big bowl. put about 20 or more drops of oil into each half of the mixture. after stirring it well, combine the mixture back into your big bucket and mix some more.

[warning: at this point, your nose is going to be so full of so many different pungent smells, that you might need to take a breather outside]

but that's it! you're finally done. now you get to funnel your powdered detergent into air-tight containers for storage (because you're inevitably going to have detergent coming out of your ears for awhile).

fortunately i have an endless supply of jars from our wedding.

and even put some in tea tins to give to my friends!

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