Thursday, October 14, 2010
So anyone who really knows me, knows that I have this not-so-secret adoration for laundry. It started when I was a freshman in high school, when I realized that there was such a thing as fabric softener. After I made the discovery, I made a beeline for our local wal-mart and spent at least thirty minutes in the laundry aisle scouting out my first scent (I went with ALL brand in the fresh rain scent, if you were wondering). I also purchased the matching laundry detergent, a downey ball, some stain remover, and a tote to carry it all down to the basement in.
But that was then, and this is now. I now have double the clothes to wash, dry, fold, and put away- which I'm not complaining about. In fact, when we got married, I have to admit that I was slightly excited to have more laundry to be in charge of. Only to find out that Brett enjoys a fresh batch from the dryer just as much as I do- so it's actually a chore we kindly bicker about periodically.
But the truth is that laundry care is expensive, and it's not exactly the most earth-friendly, either. My collection of half empty bottles of softener (I like to try new scents) isn't exactly economical, and it's a lot of money that we really don't need to spend. So I decided to make our own detergent, and I'm sharing the recipe here because it's easy, cheap, and it can be customized with your own favorite essential oil scent.
- 1/3 bar of soap (I use Fels Naptha)
- 1/2 C borax
- 1/2 C washing soda
- plenty of water
*You'll also need a 2 gallon bucket with a lid if you plan on storing your detergent in something other than a detergent jug*
**I use an old detergent container with a dispenser, if you plan on using a container like this, get your hands on a funnel!**
1) Grate soap into a medium sauce pan, and add 6 cups of water and stir until the soap melts.
2) Add borax and washing soda and let mixture thicken while you continue to stir.
3) Pour 4 cups of water into the 2 gallon bucket, and then add the soap mixture.
4) Now add 22 cups of cold water to the soap mixture, and stir.
5) Allow detergent to sit overnight, add essential oil (optional) at this stage.
Note: The detergent does not look like tide. It looks like ...goop. One 1/2 cup per average size load is all you need.
The cost cannot be beat, and it's pretty cool to be able to say that you made your own detergent. :)