*January 2016 – I’ve now been using this laundry concentrate for almost 6 years and on average I think that I make 2 batches a year. The author of the recipe whose blog is linked in the original post below – and you really should read her post because she has helpful hints – say’s that if using 1 Tablespoon per load of laundry, 1 two-jar batch of concentrate will last 128 loads of laundry and estimates that the total expense (again for 128 loads of laundry) comes down to $1.76. Total. Can we just think about that for a second? And this is a great alternative for those of you with sensitive skin issues in your family, just try it!
I’ve been making my own laundry detergent for about 4 years now. It is incredibly easy, VERY cost efficient, and really reduces the number of chemicals and “who know’s how to pronounce that” ingredients that make up most store bought detergents.
In A Beginning of a Crunchy Conservatives Guidebook I linked to a website that has 10 different homemade detergent recipes, both powdered and liquid, and talked about how I was using the Fourth recipe. I have since started using this whipped laundry concentrate, or Liquid Detergent Recipe from Budget101.com. You can click the links in the previous sentences to go to pages. However for those of you that want to read it right here, I’ll tell you ^_^
Things you’ll need:
- To make sure that you have 4-5 hours of wait time. Don’t begin this process before bed!
- 1 bar of Fels Naptha Laundry Soap
- 1 cup of 20 Mule Team Borax
- 1 cup of Washing Soda (veeeery different than baking soda, do NOT try to substitute)
- 4 cups of hot water
- 2 quart size small mouth canning jars
- Blender with a detachable blade that can screw onto your quart jars (hint – most blenders are this size 😉
- Large heavy saucepan
- 2 Mixing Bowls
- Cheese Grater (For the soap, or you could food process it)
- Solid spoon, like a wooden spoon, or a wisk.
Now that you have all of your supplies and ingredients together you can begin! It’s easy peasy.
- Put 4 cups of water in the large heavy pan and turn it up so that it will boil
- While water is heating, thoroughly mix the Washing Soda and borax in your mixing bowl
- Grate the soap into your other mixing bowl, then add it all at once to your now, boiling water, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom of the bowl until it has completely dissolved, approximately 10 – 15 minutes. DO NOT LET IT BOIL OVER, you should have a nice rolling boil with limited foaming that doesn’t grow when you stop stirring.
- Remove the pan from heat and stir in the bowl full of Washing Soda and Borax, stirring constantly until dissolved (about 5 minutes). You shouldn’t feel any grit on the bottom of the pan. If you do, keep stirring.
- Pour liquid equally into your two jars.
- Add water in your jars, but make sure that you have a good 1.5 – 2″ of head space at the top. (I put hot water in the pan that I’ve mixed it in, swirling it around to get all the soap residue off and used in the detergent)
- Put the lids on the jars and let them sit UPSIDE DOWN for about 4-5 hours. The liquid will separate into layers and crystalize on the bottom, which, if it is right side up, will be the actual bottom of the jar and will NEVER come off.
- After 4, but no more than 5 hours, flip your jar right side up and take the lid off. Unscrew the bottom and blade off of your blender and screw it straight onto your mason jar.
- By the time I went to blend the “top” or bottom layer was REALLY hard, so I used a butter knife and cut an “X” through the top layer because blending wasn’t really working. It worked fine after that.
- Whip for about a minute until the contents of your jar are smooth and creamy dreamy.
- Scrape down the blade, without hurting yourself, put the contents back in the jar, screw the lid on.
- Repeat with second jar and viola! You have 2 jars of smooth, homemade laundry concentrate. Use 1-2 T per load of laundry, it works fantastic and last F-O-R-E-V-E-R.
**Added January 2016 – Tips and Tricks!
- You really do want to mix the ingredients in the order she lists. I’ve accidentally done it out of order or tried to combine steps to save time and it does NOT turn out correctly.
- Doing laundry for just myself, I make 2 batches a year. That’s it! And I tend to use 2 Tablespoons vs the recommended one Tablespoon, just for good measure. If you have a bigger family you could easily double the recipe and make 4 jars at a time. Just see how long it will last you! Since there is so much stirring involved this may be a job you’d want to incorporate your kiddo’s in on, or assign as one older child or teenagers specific responsibility to make. Make sure they’re using a bandana around their mouths & noses if they are vigorous stirrer’s as the powders can get in the air.
- My laundry day is Sunday. When I’m just about out I will make a note in my phone that I need to make it the following week. I start it in the morning and that way I have time throughout the day to whip it and still get my laundry done.
- When the jar is almost empty I put a little bit of hot, hot water in it, screw on the lid and shake it until all the residue comes off, then pour the water in the washer. The jar is clean and all the detergent used!
- Our laundry room is in the basement and not heated so it can get pretty cold in the winter. I generally have no problem with the detergent dissolving in the wash water unless it’s REAL cold, or the wash water is cold. In which case I put some hot water in a cup or small jar and add the measured out concentrate. Then stir, or add a lid and shake until dissolved and pour it in. Easy peasy.
- I use it plain, but you could easily add a couple of drops of your favorite essential oils if you want it scented. ** I made a batch today and used EO’s in both jars. I used 10 drops in the first jar before blending and literally can’t smell it a bit. I used 30 drops in the second jar before whipping and can juuuuust barely catch a whiff that maybe it smells like something other than FN. So if you are planning on using EO’s just know a head of time that you will need to use a lot!
- I have tried this recipe with Zote a couple of times – another bar form of laundry soap – and it did not work as well. Since then I’ve stuck with FN…..however as I type this a friend who sells her homemade soaps is mixing up a batch of homemade laundry soap bars that is made with far more natural ingredients than FN. She will be sending me some to try and I’m excited to review it here!