In my never ending quest to save money, I’ve decided to make my own laundry detergent. No big deal, you say, recipes are all over the internet and it’s not uncommon at all these days for people me make their own. True! But for me, this is a second attempt. I tried it once before, about 15 years ago. Neither hubby nor I were satisfied, and if he has an opinion on laundry, there must be something to it. His usual opinion involves little more than asking, Do I have clean underwear? So when he said he hated it, I stopped using it. We went thru 2-3 batches before I quit, wanting to give it every chance. But the clothes looked dingy and felt stiff. At that time, I was too broke to buy the recommended Fels Naptha soap to put in it so I was using hotel soaps given to me by my sister-in-law from her many travels. I hope those soaps were the problem but I’ve never been sure so this time, I sprung for the Fels Naptha.
I used this recipe, halved:
Apparently I don’t own a grater (???), and the baby was asleep in the living room so I didn’t want to use the food processor, so I chopped the soap with a knife. I melted it down in water on the stove, then added the washing soda and borax. After letting it cool a bit I poured it into my old laundry detergent container. I paid for that, I might as well get all the use I can out of it, right? Then I filled it to the top with cold water and shook it up.
I’m curious how thick this will be. When I made it before it was a very thick gel. I have a high efficiency front-loader, and I wanted something a little less thick, so I kind of did some overkill with the water. I hope it gels enough, I don’t want it runny either. Admittedly, this first batch is total experiment.
During this process Hubby asked what I was doing. I explained, and he looked skeptical because he remembers how we disliked it the last time. But I explained about the change in soap and how I hope that makes a difference. I also explained that a jug of detergent from Sam’s costs me $12 and this same jug, filled with the homemade stuff, costs about 15 cents a gallon, according to the website. Maybe less because I used more water. He perked up and said he’s interested to know how this turns out. I also read on that website that it might help to use a vinegar rinse, so we’ll do that as well. I never use fabric softener but I do sometimes do a vinegar rinse on my laundry so this really isn’t a change but HE doesn’t know that. And I don’t remember ever using a vinegar rinse on it when I made the laundry soap before.
I’ll post updates as we start to use this stuff. Wish me luck!