With two young and rambunctious boys, one can only imagine that we wash A WHOLE LOT of clothes! It seems like we are always doing laundry! And, doing that much laundry requires a lot of detergent.
When I saw this "recipe" for a years worth of homemade detergent for under $40 I figured I had nothing to lose. All of the ingredients were easily accessible at my local Walmart, and at under $40, if it didn't work, I wasn't breaking the bank. But, surprisingly, this detergent DOES work pretty well. And, last July, when I made our first batch, I was also a little skeptical that it would last a year. A YEAR? Well, almost 11 months later, we are reaching the bottom of our detergent box. So, YES, it does last nearly a year! And, that's with a load or two a day!
Unlike a lot of the homemade detergent recipes floating around Pinterest, this detergent is POWDER. Now, I used to use liquid but decided to try this since it's easier to store. And, you only use 2, yes TWO heaping tablespoons per load.
To make this detergent you will need (and I priced out the current prices at my local Walmart):
- 3 bar of Fels Naptha (.97 each)
- 1 76-ounce box of Borax (3.38)
- 1 4-lb box of Baking Soda (3.24)
- 1 3-lb 7-ounce box of Washing Soda (3.24)
- 2 containers of Oxyclean (7.52 each) (I used 1 5-lb box of Oxyclean, plus about 2 cups I had left over from another container - 9.47)
- 1-2 bottles of Gain Fireworks Crystals (9.97) (or any "scent" laundry crystals)
Last year, when I made this detergent for the first time, I grated all three bars of Fels-Naptha by hand. Urgh, don't do that. It's no fun! This time I cut the bars up into cubs, put it in my food processor with a little bit of Washing Soda. I simply washed the food processor bowl out with SUPER HOT water to make sure to get out all of the Fels-Naptha, which melts really fast! Now, THAT's the way to do it. Not only does it do it faster than hand grating, but it grates it really fine! And, if you've never heard of Fels-Naptha, it is an awesome stain remover. I love that this "recipe" has it in it!
|This is how I cut the Fel-Naptha and pulsed it with Washing Soda|
I really like the smell of Gain, but you can use any of the scent crystals or none at all! I know Purex makes some lovely scented laundry scent boosters also!
To assemble the detergent, you simply pour all of the ingredients into a big container and mix. I have a big Rubbermaid box that I store the bulk of the detergent in my garage (my garage smells so wonderful, just like clean clothes, too!). I keep a wooden spoon in the box to mix and scoop it into an empty Gain Fireworks Crystals bottle, which I store and dispense from. I simply give the entire storage box a shake before filling my bottle. When using, I eyeball 2 tablespoons into the cap of the Gain Fireworks Crystals bottle and pour right into the washing machine as it is filling with water.
THAT'S IT!!! I swear, that is all there is to making this detergent. It really is no harder than buying the products to assemble it! So, why not give it a twirl! Use the money you save to buy some more clothes to wash!!!