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homemade detergent.

26 Mar

Have I told you how much I love the homemade detergent that I made? (what a silly use of the word ‘love’)

I received the recipe from a coworker who also received it from a coworker. I was putting off making in for a while as I had other, store bought, detergent to use up. I made a batch shortly before Olive arrived and haven’t thought to post about it since. I also wanted to make sure it didn’t irritate her skin and that it worked well with her cloth diapers before raving about it. 🙂 Well.. after numerous loads of laundry I can tell you that the soap does not irritate Olive and her cloth diapers seem so clean and white! It’s also incredibly inexpensive.

Here’s what you’ll need:
~ A bar of Fels-Naptha laundry soap (either in the laundry isle or bar soap isle of your grocery store) (there are a few other brands out there, too, I just choose this one)
~ Box of Borax
~ Box of Washing Soda (looks like Arm & Hammer Baking Soda but the box is bigger and it says ‘Washing’)
~ A large pot

Melt 1/3 of the Fels-Naptha bar in 10 cups of boiling water. You can shave the bar into small pieces to help it melt more quickly.

Once melted turn off the heat, add 1 cup of Borax, 1 cup of Washing Soda, and mix. Once mixed pour in a gallon of hot water and continue to stir.

Pour into two gallon containers, keep it in the pot, or put it in whatever works best for you. Some of the detergent will stay liquid and some will turn into a gel.

Use 1/4 cup per load of laundry. (I use less for Olive’s clothing and diapers)

I use this in a high efficiency machine and it doesn’t seem to be a problem. The first time I made this it gelled pretty thick so I squished it with my hand after putting it in the soap compartment as I found some large chunks still sitting in there after completing a load of laundry. This shouldn’t be a problem with machines in which you add the detergent directly to the laundry.

Honestly I have never felt our clothes being quite so soft after using this detergent and the whites seem to come out extremely bright. It also has very little fragrance – the Fels-Naptha bar is scented but you’re using only 1/3 of the bar per about 2 gallons of water so the fragrance is very diluted.

Enjoy! 🙂