If you've done the grand internet-tour of homesteading blogs, I'm sure that you've seen this recipe posted one million times.
Lucky for me, not all of my readers do just a thing. So I can sound innovative and frugal and smart when I bring them…
*Drum roll please*
Homemade laundry detergent.
Having been previously disappointed with my homemade recipes, I turned to my Mom's recipe (which I have found to be quite lovely and deliciously fresh) – two things I quite admire in a load of laundry.
There is nothing more that I hate than having to purchase a $10 container of “green” laundry detergent. For one, usually there is a ton of chemicals in it anyway. And for two, who wants to spend $10 on laundry stuff! I mean, I can justify spending $10 on a nice cooking oil, or an aged vinegar, or a nice loose-leaf tea…maybe even a fine bottle of wine on occasion. But laundry soap? No thank you.
Please disregard the fact that I just defined a $10 bottle of wine as a fine wine. I know my role in this life and I'm fine with that. The end.
My point being (yes, there is a point!) making your own laundry detergent takes five minutes and saves you that precious $10 so that you can spend it on something more useful and exciting. Like new knobs for your salvaged furniture. Or that organic cocoa powder you have been eyeing for months.
Homemade Laundry Detergent
You will need:
– Five gallon bucket
– 1/2 cup borax
– 1/2 cup washing soda
– 1 bar washing soap (available in the laundry soap aisle), shredded on a cheese grater
– Essential oils of your liking (I used tea tree oil and lavender)
– Big, long spoon for stirring
Step One: In a pot on the stove, heat up 2 cups of water. Add your shredded washing soap bar. Stir, stir, stir until it's all good and dissolved in the warm water.
Step Two: Add your borax and washing soda to the mix. Stir, stir, stir to combine.
Step Three: Pour the mixture into your five gallon bucket. Add water until the bucket is three-fourths full. Stir, stir, stir (work those biceps, ladies!) At this point, feel free to add any essential oils that you would like. I put in about 10 drops of tea tree oil (antibacteria, antifungal, and smells delicious!) and about 10 drops of lavender oil.
Step Four: Allow the mixture to sit for 24 hours. It will gel into a nice blobby, gooey lookin' mixture. Yummy. Feel free to give it a couple of stirs during this time as well.
Step Five: That's all! See how fabulous and frugal you are! What a stud!
Use about 1/2 cup per load of laundry, or more for heavily soiled loads. It's important to note that this soap will not have the “suds” that your typical laundry detergent has, but honestly, does it matter? Maybe those suds are just an invention used to doop us into thinking our clothes are getting really clean! This soap does a fine job of cleaning our clothes. If you need to treat a stain, it also works to just rub some of the detergent right on the stain and then let it sit for a little while before washing the garmet.
I don't know about y'all, but I am thankful to be able to save money any way that I can. This five gallon bucket of laundry soap that cost me, I dunno, maybe $1.00 (or less) to make,helps to keep our costs down. And I'm all for that! Plus, as previously stated a thousand times, I am thankful to know all the ingredients in the products that we use. This helps to moderate the amount of chemicals and toxins that we are exposed to every day without even knowing it.
So there you have it. Laundry soap on the homestead.
I am so enthusiastic about homemade soap that I am going to go wash some poopy, stinky, smelly, urine-saturated diapers right now!
Okay, so maybe I'm not THAT enthusiastic.
Have a wonderful Wednesday, my friends.