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Stuttering Shell: the one about laundry detergent.

Friday, January 20, 2012

the one about laundry detergent.

i stopped buying & using store bought laundry detergent a few months ago.

my first attempt at making homemade laundry detergent was a success. i followed the recipe that just about everyone uses:

1 cup of borax
1 cup of washing soda
1 grated bar of soap like fels naptha

blend ingredients together in a food processor and use two tablespoons per load

i was pleasantly surprised by how effective this detergent was and how cheap it was to make. i made a second batch and i fell even more in love with homemade laundry detergent. i thought everything was perfect.

but then i read a blog post that made reference to another blog post...and my love for homemade laundry detergent was taken to a new level.

behold, gel-ish laundry detergent:

{detergent i gave to my favorite beach bum}

making this detergent used exactly the same recipe as the one above except i needed to use my stove instead of a food processor. i also needed a five gallon bucket. oh, and a lot of water.

for the exact specifics on how to make the detergent, please check out this blog post at she-laughs.

honestly, making the detergent took no more than a half an hour one evening. i did require my husband's help {he poured the hot detergent mixture into the five gallon bucket for me while i stirred}. and, i'll be honest, i had a hard time waiting the full twenty-four hours for the detergent to congeal. but, the payoff has been great...and bountiful, too!

{that funny looking spot towards the bottom of the picture? yeah, i stuck my hand in the jelly-like detergent.}

{i now have five gallons of laundry detergent}

yes, you read right...five gallons of laundry detergent. well, it's close enough to five gallons. five gallons equals to 640 ounces {correct me, please, if i'm wrong!}. do you know what it cost me to make this much laundry detergent? less than $2. say what?!

i realize prices will vary by state and store, but those pictures above show what i paid for each item at my local wally world. and, just so you know, the five gallon bucket cost me roughly $5 from the home depot. so, yeah, for less than $2 {$7ish if you count the bucket} and about a half an hour of my time i have an approximately six month supply of laundry detergent. six months. y'all, i was spending like $20 a month or so on detergent {i do a lot of laundry}

my thoughts:
  • this detergent cleans well. i'm going to start adding in a scoop of washing soda for an added boost. you can use oxyclean, but clearly, washing soda is cheaper.
  • i call this detergent gel-ish because it is. honestly, it reminds me of chunky snot {hey, i'm a mom}. you have to stir the detergent after it sets for the initial 24 hour period. i can't seem to get the chunks out. but, the chunks don't take away from the just makes for some interesting pouring.
  • this detergent is safe for high efficiency/front loading machines. speaking of h.e./front loaders, my washer has two loading options for detergent, one for powder and one for liquid. i use the powder option.
  • i try not to go into the five gallon bucket in an effort to keep it air tight. i keep a stash of the detergent in a smaller container on my washing machine. i was asked if this will mold or mildew. i honestly don't know. 
  • call me crazy, but i've noticed a change in my skin since using homemade laundry detergent. i don't have sensitive skin, but i would guess that this detergent is safe for everyone to use.
if you're feeling adventurous and looking to rev up your budget and be more conscious of the products you are using, i urge you to make homemade laundry detergent. if you don't want to go the gel-ish route, definitely try the powder detergent {same ingredients, super easy to make}.

if you have any questions, just ask. i'll do my best to answer them. 

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Blogger Megg said...

I really, really want to do this, but I'm not gonna lie. I'm terrified. I have NO idea why, because everyone says it works great, but something about it just scares me!
But....I think I need to give it a try. Which method did you prefer? And...does the pot you used ever come clean? That seems a little gross to me. Oh, and can I let it "set" out in the garage, where it's freezing, or do I have to keep it in the house?
I think I'm going to try! Eeek!

Jan 20, 2012, 7:03:00 PM  
Blogger Erin said...

Now I reeeeally wanna try the gel! I love the powder (I've started doubling the washing soda for an extra boost), but there's just no denying that FIVE GALLONS for the same price is a smart financial move :)

Jan 20, 2012, 8:25:00 PM  
Blogger Suburban Princess said...

Sounds interesting! I do a lot of laundry too and my son has very sensitive skin so I am always having to cross the border to get Dreft. I wonder what sort of ingredients this has.

Jan 21, 2012, 11:04:00 AM  
Blogger Nicole @ she-laughs said...

Ooooh! I love it!! Reading how excited you are about laundry detergent makes me want to go make some more right now!!! :)

Jan 22, 2012, 12:21:00 AM  
Blogger Jules said...

Ok seriously?!?! I have no lie been keeping an eye out for Washing soda for the last few years at the local stores so I can try making my own in the world can you find it so easily!! NO FAIR!! LOL I have tried the grocery stores, target and wal-mart...Now that I know you found it, I am on a mission!!!

Jan 27, 2012, 11:44:00 AM  

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