Thursday, July 10, 2014

DIY Laundry Detergent

I posted this recipe before, but it's hard to find and tucked in with a lot of other random topics.  So here goes.  There are ways to make this detergent more exciting, but I'm writing this purely from a "cheapskate" point of view.

You will need....
- 1 box of Borax (4 lb 12 oz)
- 3 bars of Fels Naptha
- 1 box Arm & Hammer baking soda (4 lb)
- 1 box Arm & Hammer super washing soda (3 lb 7 oz)
- 1 container of Oxi Clean (1.3 lb, but you can use a larger size if you want.)
- 1 container of scent crystals (I use Purex because they're cheap, but Downy Unstoppables are good too.  Size doesn't matter - the more scent you want, the bigger the container you buy.)

I buy all ingredients at Walmart.  They're all together in the laundry aisle - you can't miss them.

Step 1: Grate the Fels Naptha
Use a cheese grater. I don't want my cheese tasting like soap, so we use a grater that we found at the dollar store for, well, a dollar.  Grate the bars into a freezer-safe container.  ***If you do not have a food processor, you will need to finely grate the bars.  Also, you should probably just buy a food processor.

Step 2:  Add some baking soda, then stick in the freezer.
I add about a cup of baking soda and mix with my hands.  This keeps the Fels Naptha from sticking together, and makes Step 3 a bit easier.  Seal the container (so your ice cream doesn't end up tasting like soap) and stick in the freezer for about an hour.

Step 3: Grind up the Fels Naptha in a food processor.
Once the Fels Naptha has had a chance to chill in the freezer, dump it all in your food processor and flip the switch.  I use the default blade, and process until the Fels Naptha is ground into a coarse powder.   It doesn't take long.  ***If you do not have a food processor, obviously skip this step.  

Step 4: Combine all ingredients.
I use an old kitty litter container, because it's a good size and a free byproduct of having cats.  (Side note - don't buy Tidy Cats LightWeight litter. It sucks.)  Try not to breathe in the dust, especially from the Borax!  Once everything is added, close the lid and shake it all up.  You want all the ingredients to mix as evenly as possible.  Save the Oxy Clean scoop!  One full Oxy Clean scoop is all you need for a load of laundry, so keeping the scoop saves you the trouble of finding another scoopie-thing for your detergent.

That's all there is to it!
Seriously, it's that simple.  A double batch will fill a big Tidy Cats tub and will last 1-2 years (or longer, if you don't wash your bedding very often. Eww.)  I've used it for nearly two years, and I've never been disappointed by this recipe's cleaning and stain lifting power.  I use it on clothes, delicates, towels, bedding, dog blankets... it works for everything.