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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Homemade Laundry Detergent - it's AWESOME!

For several years, I've heard about home made laundry detergent. I don't like the chemicals that are in the products we purchase at the grocery store, but I wasn't sure I wanted to start making my own detergent. That sounded like an awful lot of work and I was worried I'd spend a lot of money gathering ingredients only to find out they didn't take way the smell in football jersies or basketball socks. Boy - was I wrong. I LOVE this stuff. It smells so good and works great! And - the cost is about 2-4 cents per load! WOW........................... If I buy the ingredients at the local high-end grocery store, the price is higher. But - I can find some ingredients at the dollar store, so that's where I buy most of it.

To give credit where credit is due, I got the recipe from here: JABS

1 bar of Ivory Soap.
1/2 cup Borax
1/2 cup Washing Soda

The recipe calls for Fels-Naptha soap, which I guess is a laundry soap??? Although we had this brand at the store, I used Ivory. I buy Ivory by the case at the warehouse store because that's what I use in the shower, so that's what I had.

I wasn't sure about the Borax or Washing Soda, but I went to our local grocery store and they had both items! These items were in the laundry aisle near the stain fighters. They were at the bottom shelf, so they weren't easily seen at a quick glance.

The washing soda is an Arm and Hammer brand product, but it is NOT the same as baking soda. Make sure you don't substitute one for the other. They are not the same thing. If you are having trouble finding washing soda, call your local pool supply store and ask for soda ash. I'm told it's the same thing, but you will probably want to double-check first. Also - if you can call Arm and Hammer (google the company) they will gladly tell you what stores in your area stock washing soda.

So - here are the instructions:
Shave your bar of soap. I take a hand-held food grinder - the kind I use to grate lemon or lime rinds for recipes and grate the bar of soap. I can grate a whole bar of soap onto a plate in about 20 minutes while I'm watching TV. If you have a food processor, you can use this too. The whole idea is to get the bar of soap into tiny little pieces that will be easily dissolved.

Add the half cup of borax and the half cup of washing soda. Stir well.

Use about 2 Tablespoons per load, although if my load is small, I will use a little less.

The great thing is: no chemicals, no additives, no processing. Your clothes smell clean and look great, all for less money and healthier for you and your family.