When I first heard about this, I was skeptical. After all, I’m all about saving money, but I don’t want to look and smell too, er, well…RIPE. Finally, my curiosity got the best of me and I decided that a half hour of time and less than a $10 investment was a good gamble. I mean, if it turns out, how fabulous is that? So, I collected both the ingredients and the recycled containers to store it all in. (The recipe makes 2.5 gallons!)
Now that I’ve made it, I wish I would have thought of it myself. But I didn’t. Making your own laundry detergent is simple, economical, and is like the real thing, only better because you can create whatever scent you personally want.
Essentially, you just need a few easy to find (and cheap) ingredients. I found them all at my local Win-co grocery store and a box of each of the ingredients is enough to make several batches.
Here’s all you need:
1 bar of soap–the kind is up to you and will create the scent of your detergent. I used Mrs. Meyer’s Lemon Verbena.
2 cups washing soda (made by the baking soda people, but not the same thing–you’ll find it in the laundry detergent aisle at the store.)
2 cups borax (found right next to the washing soda)
1/2 cup epsom salts
a few drops of essential oils (This is optional, to help scent your detergent. I just picked a scent of soap I liked and went with that and it worked just fine.)
Other stuff you’ll need: a big pot, a cheese grater, a big stirring spoon, and some containers to keep it all in.
Remove from the heat and add the other ingredients, stirring until dissolved.
Add an additional 2 gallons of water to this mix. Stir well. And wah-laaaa! You’re done!
And don’t forget to feel good about yourself. D.I.Y soap. Just like the pioneers. Only much easier to make on your electric stove, and much nicer smelling (I’m sure), plus you can dump into washing machine and walk away. (Okay, maybe not so much like the pioneers! But DIY none the less!)
See how easy that is? I made one batch of 2.5 gallons, but have all the ingredients (minus the bar of soap) to make at least a couple of batches more. So, all told, you can easily make 7.5 gallons of laundry detergent for less than $20. How’s that for a bargain? (Maybe even the pioneers would be impressed with that!)
PS This soap is naturally low in creating suds. Don’t let that freak you out! But if it helps your confidence, add a bit more to your laundry when you’re washing clothes. Also, you can add more grated soap to the mix if you’d like it ‘stronger’.