Monday, July 18, 2011

Laundry Detergent...DIY

So, for a while now I've been thinking about making my own laundry detergent. But even though I'd seen tutorials for it, I had it in my head that it would be a time consuming task not worth the savings. Boy, was I ever wrong. I finally decided to give it a go when I was pinning (Pinterest= lurve!) and found 4 DIY soap options.

1) The ever present powdered laundry soap
2) hand liquid soap (I'm totally making this too)
3) liquid laundry soap
4) Dishwashing detergent

All of these required the same basic ingredients as a base (give or take an item). And were totally plausible. Since I knew that I could make 3 things with basically the same ingredients I decided it was time.

I followed the very easy directions found on Why Not Sew? Quilts website. And it was easy. You need all of 30 minutes of your day to do this folks...take the time!

So, to start. Ingredients are as follows:

1)Borax - 3.00 approx(in laundry aisle at Walmart)
2)Washing Soda- 2.00 approx (same area)
3) Bar soap - 1.00/bar (I chose Dove but I believe any will work)
4) Water-free

1) Cheese grater
2) big pot
3) funnel
4) empty milk jug

First, start by grating your soap. I halved the batch she made in her link because I only had 1 gallon jug free and had no where to put another gallon. So, I grated half  a bar of soap.

The problem I had with this was the soap would stick on the grater and wouldn't grate well after that point.
Like this:

All I did was take a knife to scrap it off.
 No biggie but it did slow things down a little as I could have grated the soap in like, 3 minutes but it took more like 10-15 min with the in between scraping. Again, just a small delay and could be due to the type of soap I got (Dove). In the linked tutorial she states that it was very easy to grate her soap and took no time at all.

After grating 1/2 the bar into the pot fill the milk jug half full with tap water and add to the pot. Set on stove to dissolve soap (med/high heat).

After it dissolved I added 1/2 cup of both Borax and Washing Soda each. Stir in and let boil until it starts to thicken.

Note: I did not see my mixture really coagulating like the tutorial stated (boiled for about 15-20min) but no worries.

After you take it off the heat add another 1/2 gallon of water and let it cool (that's where the thickening came for me).When it's cool take a funnel and add the whole mixture into the jug.

Voila! You're done.

This makes a full gallon (duh) of detergent and if you use her link it would make 2 gallons (wow, look at my extraordinary math skills! I tell you, I should be in Mensa).You only need 1/2 a cup per load when washing.

Put it in a pretty container and you're good to go!


  1. cool!! I haven't tried the liquid soap yet, but will do when I get this batch completed. I'm working on the recipe for dishwasher soap. Just got to find that pesky citric aicd.

  2. by the way forgot to say love your bottle for your liquid soap. Cool!