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Thursday, July 26, 2012

DIY Laundry Detergent

Wow, it seems like forever since I've posted on the blog.  It's been a rough road physically, but I'm ready to get back in to the swing of things.  One of the projects I've been dying to try out, is making my own home made laundry detergent.  You see it all over Pinterest and other blog sites and being that I'm all about saving pennies here and there, I thought well, why not, I'll give it a try.  So here it is:

Here are my ingredients:  Note that the Arm & Hammer is SUPER WASHING SODA and not your kitchen Baking soda.  


2 cups - Super Washing Soda
2 cups - Borax
2 cups - Zote Laundry Flakes
1/4 cup - Fragrance (optional)
1 Quart - Water plus additional

In a stock pot heat Washing Soda, Borax and Zote flakes, just until all ingredients have dissolved.  Do not allow ingredients to boil.

Once ingredients have dissolved, transfer contents in to a 5 gallon pail. It will look a bit chunky.

Fill the rest of the 5 gallon pail with water.

At this point, you have the option of adding additional fragrance.  Alone it smells like Ivory soap, which is nice too.  I added this as I like my laundry to have that fresh scent.  I added 1/4 cup of fragrance oil. (Sunwashed Linen).

I covered the 5 gallon pail and let it sit overnight.  The next morning, I checked it and it still looked a bit chunky so I used my stick blender and schzoozsh it around for a couple minutes until it was creamy and well incorporated (sorry I forgot to take a picture of this step)

VOILA!  Here it is.  I use the same amount I would normally use with regular detergents.  By the way, this works well in high efficiency machines as it isn't super sudsy.  I saved some old laundry detergent bottles and I've been filling as needed.  Of course, I had to experiment so I did a test with my son's socks.  Here are the results:

The sock on the right was washed in Gain with 1/2 cup of bleach.  The sock on the left was washed in the same amount of my DIY detergent and 1/2 cup of bleach.  I couldn't believe my eyeballs!

So here's the cost breakdown for ya:

Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
Zote Laundry Flakes


I use 4 oz (1/2 cup) of detergent per load.  The 5 gallons of laundry detergent I made will give me 160 loads.  I didn't use all my supplies, I could easily make about 15 gallons of laundry detergent for $11.27.  So if I broke it down even further this detergent only cost me $1.33 per gallon!  Isn't that insane?

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