Our family began to find ways to cut cost on household items. One of the first things we started to do was make our own laundry detergent. It takes roughly 30 minutes and the savings are great.
Most of you might think this is crazy and thats okay. I hope your opinion of that changes when you see the savings a family can have. The average cost for one load of laundry detergent by leading brands is $0.40 to $0.50 a load. The average family household does 400 loads a year. That is a cost between $160 and $200 a year. The recipe I use makes enough laundry detergent for 680 loads in a front loading washer. It will last us approximately 18 months. The best part about this detergent is that one batch of 680 loads cost a whole $2.00. Most families spend around $240 to $300 for 18 months of laundry detergent; my family spends $2.00. Store bought laundry detergent is mostly water so why pay so much for it.
I know you must be thinking does it really work? Is that possible? Yes, it does. I hope most of my close family friends will vouch for me on this but we don't smell and our clothes our clean (please feel free to comment if you feel differently.) It doesn't take a degree in chemistry to make. I bet if you can make jello you can make your own laundry detergent.
You will need a large 5 gallon bucket to make it in and store. You will need a dispenser, I have a laundry detergent bottle from a leading brand that has a spout on it. I keep this full in my laundry room for easy access.
The ingredients are: 1 bar of soap (preferably one without dyes or perfumes; I use Ivory)
1 cup of Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda (don't use any type of substitute, I find this at Kroger)
1/2 cup of Borax
You are going to grate the bar of soap. I have been very successful using the grating plate on my food processor. Add this to a medium size sauce pan filled with water on medium heat, stirring continuously until all the soap is dissolved. Fill the 5 gallon bucket approximately half full with hot tap water. Add the melted soap, washing soda, and borax. Stir until it is all dissolved. Then fill the bucket to the top with more hot tap water. Let this sit undisturbed for 24 hours. During this time the process of saponification will occur; the process of soap making. The mixture will turn into a slimy gel. If you would like you can add essential oils to scent the detergent at this point, I use a scented fabric softener. When you get ready to use the soap you will need to give it a good stir or shake before each use. Fill your dispenser with half water and half soap. For front loading washers use 1/4 cup. For top loading machines use 5/8 a cup.