*** UPDATE HERE ***
I’m a closet hippie or so I’m told. Who knew this Army girl had earth-lovin’ tendencies? My latest project was homemade laundry detergent. It all started when an Army friend visited and told me all about how her homemade laundry detergent cleaned her clothes better than any name brand detergent. Did I mention she constantly washes the clothes of her marathoning hubby (think sweat) and her three boys (think dirt)? Her description also included easy and cheap… I was in.
There are hundreds of homemade laundry detergent recipes on the internet. I know… I think I looked at almost all of them. I opted for a powdered formula instead of a gel because I didn’t have a five-gallon bucket, nor did I really know what I would do with a five-gallon bucket of laundry goo next to my washer. I also looked specifically for low-sudsing recipes as I have a HE front-loading washing machine. Here is the recipe I used:
3 Cups Fels-Naptha Bar granules (1 cup equals about 2/3 of a bar)
3 Cups Borax
3 Cups Washing Soda
Mix together and store. Use 2 Tablespoons per load (1/2 Cup for regular washers).
You probably just thought, Fels-huh? Believe it or not, I found all of the necessary items in the laundry aisle of my local King Soopers. The borax and washing soda came in powder form and the Fels-Naptha bars were ridiculously easy to grind up. The bars break apart with very little pressure (I used a butter knife) and grind into tiny granules with a few pulses of a food processor. I dumped the three ingredients together in an old plastic bin (first used as a dishwasher tab container) and shook the closed container to mix everything.
Best part of homemade detergent? Two tablespoons seriously makes all of my clothes, even the huge loads, SO CLEAN! Next best part? Fels-Naptha bars smell fabulous. Even the kid at the King Soopers checkout said, “Wow, those smell awesome” when ringing everything up. The bars were $1.30 a piece and the borax and washing soda came out to about 40 cents a cup. If you can’t find the ingredients at your grocery store, I know they are also available on Amazon. The hippie in me loves that the detergent is phosphate free and and the mama in me thinks it’s an added plus that the formula is mild on my boys’ sensitive skin. Did I mention that this stuff really cleans?
Send me your questions as I spent way too much time during toddler naps researching laundry products. Besides a great detergent recipe, I also found out that Mrs. Stewart’s Concentrated Liquid Bluing (small blue bottle also in the laundry aisle) works way better than bleach on light-colored loads and plain old vinegar can replace store-bought fabric softeners. I’m a huge fan of Mrs. Stewart now and haven’t tried the vinegar trick, but I’ll let you know how it goes.
Well, I’m off to my next hippie project, reusable t-shirt grocery bags. We’ll see if hubby’s old shirts stand up to the test!
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