Sunday, November 2, 2008

Making Laundry Detergent

After being inspired to make laundry detergent the other day, I went to my local Woodman's and found all of the ingredients. I had to go around the detergent aisle 3 times to find the washing soda, but finally I found it. Here's what I spent:

$0.89 Fels-Naptha soap
$2.99 Borax
$2.29 washing soda

I used 1/3 of the bar of soap, but only the smallest fraction of the other two boxes of powder, so I'll have to buy more Fels-Naptha if I intend to make more detergent once I get through the 2 gallons of liquid laundry soap I just made.

I followed the recipe given on the second website I mentioned in my last post. I wanted to make a powdered soap, but after I had it mixed, I discovered that the soap shreds don't like to stay mixed with the Borax and washing soda. In the end I decided to turn it into liquid laundry detergent.

Can you say easy? This was one of the easier "make it myself" projects that I've tried lately. It took me less than 5 minutes to grate the soap and only seconds to measure out the Borax and washing soda. The longest part of the process was heating the water on the stove to melt it all!

A had a great time counting with me to keep track of the cups of water I had to add to the 5 gallon bucket to get the right concentration. She counts up to 11 these days, which was especially useful as I needed 1 gallon plus 6 cups of water (which broke down to exactly 11 fillings of my 2 cup measuring cup!) She counts, but she doesn't know what the numbers mean, unfortunately. It's like a song or a rhyme for her still. Soon, though, soon she will understand numbers and colors.

All in all, it was a successful project. In a few weeks, I'll try out the detergent to see if it works as well as people say it does. I'm excited to find out.

1 comment:

Ira said...

A low cost, green eco friendly, healthy natural way to clean laundry is to put 3 or 4 soapberries in a pouch in the laundry. They grow on the Chinaberry tree and have been used for thousands of years. They work very effectively.