Friday, March 26, 2010

Homemade Laundry Detergent Experiment

Not only did I get two loads of laundry done last night and came home this afternoon to an empty washer (this is big for me), I remembered my list and picked up supplies to make my own homemade laundry detergent.  The original recipe can be found here, but I did tweak it based on different articles I read online.

My recipe:
  • 1/2 cup Borax
  • 1/2 cup Washing Soda (instead of baking soda, it's supposed to work better)
  • 1 bar of Dr Bronner's Magic Soap (I used the Tea Tree Orange)
The first mistake I made was using the big tub I'm used to pouring powder detergent into.  I had the image in my head that I was making a huge concoction when this is the end result:
I grated the bar of soap using the medium set of holes on a box grater.  I did swing by the dollar store and pick up a grater that will only be used for soap just to be safe.  Once that was done, all that was left to do was add the washing soda and Borax.  Before using, I gave the container a shake (the small container) to make sure nothing had separated and settled.

I have issues with measuring spoons, so I grabbed a spare 1/4 cup scoop and filled it less than half way.  The original recipe calls for 1-2 tablespoons depending on the size of the load and the grunge factor.  I was sure it wasn't going to work, but this is trial and error, right?

This is what happens when a 4 year old Bug tries to do a "science project" while mom is taking care of her brother.  1 cup of water mixed with 2 kool-aid packets, promptly spilled on the floor and wiped up by taking her pants off to clean the floor.  And then hidden so mom won't get mad.  With more than a little doubt, I threw these into the wash to test my homemade laundry soap.  This is what came out:

I couldn't remember exactly where the stain was, but I know it was all over one side of the pants and the waistband.  As you can see, it came out!  This is definitely going to be my detergent from now on!  I'm going to keep track of how many loads I get out of this batch in my sidebar and I will figure out the cost per load when everything is gone.

Paid so far:
Borax: 3.19
Washing Soda: 2.49
Dr. Bronner's soap: 3.29

I barely touched the first two ingredients, so it'll be a while before I need them again. So far, I've spent 8.97.  That's less than I would have spent buying detergent for a few weeks and I have supplies left over!  I'm going to like this experiment!

1 comment:

The Queen of Chaos said...

I use a liquid version of this recipe. I made a 5 gallon concentrate about a year about for like $10 and I'm still not done w/ the concentrate, I've even shared it w/ friends!