homemade detergent.

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! :)

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5 comments
  1. evon kishi said:

    you are just amazing, my girl. I will have to try this about it would make so much for me. It may do wonders on Daniel’s baseball pants since they are white.

    I agreed with your other post yesterday about getting dresed first thing in the morning. I often still do not do this as I work and home and then when it is time for me to get up and run out the door, I remember I haven’t showered, etc., so if you can get in the habit of doing it, espcially so you can have some bathroom time by yourself, because these will be over for quite a few years (he he), I would try to get in the habit. They say if you do something 21 days in a row you should have broken a bad habit or added a new one to your life.

    Send me a picture of you and the baby.

    Love you, me

    • oneowl said:

      Let me know if you use it for Daniel’s baseball pants. I’m interested to know how it works for that!

      I’m trying to get better at getting ready right away in the morning. Sometimes I’m shocked to find it’s 1.5 hours after I woke up by the time I get my pants on. Crazy!

  2. judy said:

    I’ve had all the ingredients for some time, but haven’t gotten it made yet. Your post inspires me…and the store bought detergent will be gone soon!

    • oneowl said:

      Let me know how it goes after you try it. I think it’s great.. I guess you could tell that from my post..

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