Sunday, January 22, 2012

Homemade liquid laundry detergent!

If you're interested in dry laundry detergent I have a tutorial on that as well 
otherwise, continue on!

That's right we are moving to making all our own stuff. Once you realize how much you pay for a bunch of caustic additives in your laundry/dish soap/ deodorant/toothpaste really start to re-think plucking them off the shelves in the store and bringing them into your home especially when they are ridiculously priced. So today my sister, my mom, and I started phase 1 of making everything homemade. Phase 1 is laundry soap. how did we choose that first? I'm sketchy on all the details but I think the deciding factor was that my sister just ran out of laundry detergent. My sister Britta also did much of the appreciated research so she also made the decision of what recipe to use. She ultimately decided to do it Duggar style. The following chronicles our adventures in laundry detergent making.

Here is what we did:

We got 5 gallon pickle buckets from firehouse subs. They are only $2 each for bucket and lid and they are great quality buckets and they are being reused if your interested in being a good steward of the environment. They also donate all proceeds to firehouse funding so its a great cause.
*They are also pretty cool looking buckets for storage if your little boy has a fireman theme room too.

Our three ingredients for each 5 gallon bucket are:

 1/2 cup Borax ($4/big box at Kroger; makes plenty of batches)

 1 cup Arm and Hammer super washing soda ($3/big box at Kroger; makes plenty of boxes)

1 bar Fels-Naptha Heavy duty laundry bar soap ($1 dollar a bar)
* you can really use almost any bar soap but we wanted to try to the original recipe first for pragmatic purposes. Next time we make I think it is unanimous that we are using dove cucumber soap for the scent appeal and softness. The good news is its 1 bar per each bucket so if you do it in a big group everyone can just bring the soap that they like for theirs.

Step 1: use a cheese grated to shred your whole bar of soap.

Step 2: heat 4 cups of water on medium low heat and pour your shredded soap in while stirring constantly until completely dissolved.

Step 3: fill 5 gallon bucket half way with warm water. add all ingredients and stir until completely dissolved. It will get frothy!

Step 4: fill the bucket to full and re stir.

* The kids were really interested in what we were doing and wanted to help. This could be a really good home school chemistry lesson too but just make sure your careful with the little ones around the hot water!

step 5: let sit overnight. It will turn into a gel and use 1/2 cup-1/4of gel per load (adjust as needed for yourself)

*Britta's research has said stuff settled and they had to shake it up later. I will let you know how this goes with us but it might be worth storing the 5 gallon bucket in a closet and keeping some in a cute little jar so if it does settle it won't be so hard to shake. Plus then you can cricket label your cute little glass jar and all of a sudden your cleaning supplies are also a pretty decoration. yay!

We made 15 gallons of laundry soap for super cheap in a matter of minutes. It's super easy and fun to do. Let me know if you have any notes or questions and keep looking for more homemade stuff!

Ps. if you're concerned about it being HE washer friendly, Britta reassures me that is most definitely is because its low sudsy. It just can't get more awesome than that!

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