Thursday, February 10, 2011

Homemade Laundry Detergent

The latest thing in the Gazelle home is homemade laundry detergent and dishwasher detergent. Aside from taking a few shreds of thumb with the grater, we are pleased with the results. It's easy, cheap, and made from natural ingredients.

You'll need:

  • a box of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (way expensive on Amazon, I found it at my local WinCo grocery for $2.99 a box. Also at Ace Hardware for about $3.99)
  • a box of Borax (find it at your grocer or even Target. Again, Amazon is super expensive.)
  • a 14oz bar of Zote laundry bar soap (paid 89 cents a bar at the local Save Mart. Please note that you can use any brand of bar soap you like.)
  • Optional: 1 pound boxes of baking soda (generic was about 50 cents each at WinCo)

Here's what you'll use for a batch of detergent:
  • 1 bar of Zote laundry bar soap grated (take it slow with the cheese grater so you don't lose a finger)
  • 4 cups of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
  • 4 cups of Borax
  • 2 one pound boxes of baking soda
Mix it all up in a plastic bag or bucket and you've got your detergent. I use just less than 1/4 cup for a large load, and half of that for a small load. If you're like me and want your bar soap to be chopped finer, put the shreds of grated soap in your blender or food processor with a bit of baking soda and blend it up.
This is a great alternative to commercial detergents, especially if you are trying to eliminate dyes and chemicals. I haven't touched the cheap Wisk I got a few weeks ago, 'cause I love this homemade stuff so much better! I'll keep the Wisk around in case I ever run out of laundry soap.
Oh and the dishwasher detergent? A cup of borax and a cup of super washing soda. Want it to smell good too? Blend these ingredients with 2-3 drops of essential oils and you're golden. I put mine in a vintage glass jar on the counter. 1 tablespoon in each compartment of your dishwasher does the job. If you notice a film on your dishes, use less. Rinsing agent? White vinegar. Cheap.

Give 'em a shot and let me know what you think!


Del said...

Thanks for the post. :)Today I did a search for homemade fabric softener cuz I was low and didn't wanna get out of the house. Plus, it would have cost me an arm and both my legs at walgreen's or kmart. lol All i used was 1/4 cup of white vinegar in my downy ball. I was worried at first so I tried it on my bathroom rugs. It worked out great! No vinegar smell! No static! No charge!:)

SheGazelle said...

What a great idea! I never thought to use the vinegar in the Downey ball! That's better than checking on the machine every so often to see if it's on the rinse cycle so you can put in the vinegar.