I love finding homemade alternatives to items I previously purchased in a store...my new favorite one is homemade laundry detergent. The soap recipe I used is found in the book, The Duggars: 20 and Counting! Now, here is where I reveal how clueless I am. :) One of the ingredients is "washing soda" and I had no idea what it was. I actually thought it might even come carbonated in a bottle!!!! I hope that some of you reading this can relate to me right now, and secretly don't have a clue either! I would imagine that there are others laughing at me right now - it's all good, I love to learn new things! Anyway, after doing some internet research I found out what washing soda was and how it is similar to baking soda. So after searching all over town and realizing that no one had washing soda, I found that I could substitute baking soda. Since I was so clueless in my initial endeavor, I thought I would share how to make laundry detergent and describe it as simply as possible. Therefore, I decided that I would try to take after my sister-in-law and post pictures with instructions...Katie, I hope I do you justice! :)
Needed: 1 Fels Naptha Soap Bar, grated
1 Cup Washing Soda (I used Baking Soda)
1/2 Cup Borax
5 Gallon bucket with cover
That's it! That's all you need for (...wait for it...) 10 GALLONS of laundry detergent! No kidding, you will seriously get TEN GALLONS of laundry detergent!!! The best part, is that the whole things costs LESS THAN $2.00 to make! I even saw that Wal-mart is now carrying the Fels Naptha soap bars so they're easy to find and cheap - around a buck. Okay - so here's how to make it:
Grate the soap bar into a small saucepan. (notice the thumb? Hee-Hee)
Mmmm...this Thumby Mummy thinks it looks yummy enough to eat...but DON'T DO IT! - remember it's soap! :)
Cover the soap with hot water.
Cook over medium-low heat, stirring continually until soap completely dissolves.
Mix equal amounts of soap concentrate and water in a smaller laundry detergent dispenser or container.
I now have containers neatly stored in my laundry drawers and enough laundry detergent to last a LONG time!
Before each use, shake container. Top Loading machine requires 1 Cup per load and Front Loading (High Efficiency) machines only need 1/3 Cup!
I should add that I laundered several loads in my front loader machine before putting the instructions on my blog. I washed sheets, stinky socks, clothing, winter coats, hats and mittens - everything came out clean and fresh!
Good luck - I promise it's easy to do!