Saturday, October 2, 2010

Finally! Laundry detergent, homemade edition.

I'm posting this today without photos because my editing rig is on the fritz. I'm going to edit the article to add the photos tomorrow. If you follow at you can hear as soon as I've finished the edit tomorrow!

Hey everyone, I've been saying over the past couple days I was going to post my laundry detergent recipe, so here it is! I've been making this since 2006 and it has saved me hundreds, if not thousands of dollars to date. I've lived in a few states in the past four years so at times the ingredients for making this have been harder to come by. That said, here's what you'll need to make this awesome stuff.

• Fel's Naptha Bar Laundry Soap. This isn't sold in any stores local to me so I had to order it online and have it shipped to a local Ace Hardware.
• 20 Mule Team Borax. A general laundry booster, even if you don't like the end result of this detergent you can use borax to clean many surfaces and to help your regular detergent.
• Arm & Hammer Washing Soda. Again, a general laundry booster, you can use it pretty for most of the same things as Borax.
• 2 Gallons of water. I usually throw my gallon jugs away on accident so typically I buy new ones each time I make this. If you save your jugs you can save even more money with this.

You start out by put six cups of water into a very large pot and set it to medium heat. While this is warming up, cut 1/3 off the bar of Naptha and either grate it or chop it down into smaller bits and throw it in a food processor. I do the second method because it's so much easier. Grind it up until you've got a fine powder with a few larger chunks of soap left. Mix this into your heated water until it is completely dissolved.

Now that's all dissolved, measure out ½ cup each Borax and Washing Soda. Slowly, without increasing the heat, stir these in. If your water is simmering at all it is too hot and this stuff will foam up like mad. Take your time stirring it in as if you stir too violently it'll also foam up. Once foaming starts it's really hard to work with this mix.

Anyway, once you've got everything mixed in let it settle down for a couple minutes, then slowly increase the heat until the mix is boiling. Boil for 15 minutes. While it's boiling heat up another quart of water until it's somewhat hot. When the mix is almost done pour the hot water into a bucket (something 3-5 gallons will work) then add the mixture and stir. Then add enough cold water to bring it to two gallons. Mix it all until it's well blended then let it set for a full day. If done correctly the whole thing will gel!

That's pretty much it! You'll use ½ cup per load and it won't get all sudsy but it works really well. It will separate when it's sitting around since we don't add any stabilizers or anything to the mix so you'll need to shake it up before using. Like I said before if you don't like the end result you can still use the borax and washing soda to aide your regular detergent and you can rub the naptha onto stains to help remove them.

Thanks for dropping by everyone, sorry to keep you waiting on the topic for longer than expected!


• 1/3 bar Fel's Naptha, ground to powder or grated
• 1/2 cup Borax
• 1/2 cup Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
• 2 gallons water

• Heat 6 cups water, mix in Naptha until dissolved
• Mix in Borax and Washing Soda until dissolved
• Bring to a boil for 15 minutes then remove from heat
• In a 3-5 gallon bucket put 1 quart hot water, add soap mixture and stir
• Add enough cold water to make two gallons, mix thoroughly and let sit 24 hours
• Enjoy!

-- The only constant is change --

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