Sunday, July 7, 2013

Homemade Laundry Detergent {Guest Post}

I love how Facebook can connect you with people you would never be able to meet in person! My friend Rachel posted about making her own laundry detergent and it ends up the recipe came from her cousin in North Dakota! After many technical difficulties, here, finally, is her guest post and please visit her blog, Modest Handmaidens.
Since posting my recipe for Laundry Detergent on my Modest Handmaidens blog and Facebook page, I have been amazed at the number of ladies who have been eager to try this!

Rachel G. in Pennsylvania made the following comments:

“Made this today!! We did 4x the recipe: $16 for 320 loads of laundry!!  ($0.06 per load)”

“It is cleaning beautifully, even my hubby's work jeans!...Which I was most skeptical about!”

I am so glad that Rachel calculated out those costs!  I have been purchasing the ingredients, as I needed them, for so long, that I didn’t have that information handy to pass along.

I have been using this recipe (with a few tweaks along the way) for the past three years.  Just by having a few basic ingredients on hand, you'll be able to make detergent quickly and easily, whenever you need it!  
Thank you, Laura, for giving me the opportunity to share this with your readers!
So let's first gather what we need!

These are the ratios that I use.  You can easily adjust for larger or smaller amounts.

3 Cups Borax
2 Cups Washing Soda (or OxiClean Powder can be substituted)
16 oz. Baking Soda (about 2 cups)
1 Bar of Soap (Fels-Naptha or Ivory)

Grate the soap.  I use an old cheese grater that is designated just for this purpose.  And make sure the kids know it's not cheese so they don't try and sneak a taste!

I have found that I prefer the Fels-Naptha for a couple of reasons.  First it is a drier soap than Ivory, so when I grate it, it becomes more powdery.  If I do use Ivory, I will let it sit out unwrapped for as long as possible (a couple of weeks) to try and get it to dry out.  If the Ivory is still soft when grated, you will need to try to crumble it with your hands as you add it in.  I have also noticed that Ivory may not fully dissolve in a cold wash, whereas, I have never had that happen with the Fels-Naptha.

I use a Rubbermaid cereal container to store the detergent.
I start by adding the 3 cups of Borax.

Then the 2 cups of Washing Soda.

Followed by one 16 oz. box of Baking Soda.
The Baking Soda may not even be necessary, but it's good for your laundry and helps the detergent stretch further!

Put your grated soap on top!

I prefer to mix by hand.

And here it is....your own homemade laundry detergent!
For a full-size load, you only need 1/8 of a cup.  How's that for economical?
This batch will last me quite a while!

Here's the finished product!

For my machine, the detergent goes in first, then the clothes, 
then start the machine to begin filling with water.

***Just a note, I do not have a new washing machine that requires "special" detergent.  Mine is top-loading and still works great!  The Duggar Family website has a similar recipe that says it can be used for front loading machines.  Click here to view.

God Bless; Happy Laundering!!

Article contributed by Eve Mercer, owner of Modest Handmaidens specializes in vintage and hard-to-find sewing patterns, as well as promoting modest living.  She lives in Hebron, ND with her husband, Michael, and seven children (ages 9 years to 6 months).  Eve enjoys homeschooling, sewing, pattern design, and serving in her local church.

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