Just Do It…Yourself -Homemade Laundry Detergent

Before you start telling me that I’m crazy, don’t. I’ve already heard my fill. I will blog about that someday in a highly emotional and distressful post. That day is not today, however, because today we are talking about how simple and effective it is to make your own laundry detergent. So simple a monkey, or even a boyfriend, could do it if they felt so inclined. (Pretty simple, eh?)

First of all, I have always used Gain detergent. Mostly due to the fact that my little brother has eczema and it was one of the few brands that smelled wonderful and didn’t give him a rash. Up until a few months ago, I was somewhat of a Gain junkie. At one time, I had Gain laundry detergent, dryer sheets, dish soap, and Gain scented Febreeze. Overkill? Maybe…

Then, I saw the light! You don’t have to spend half of your part-time, college student paycheck on commercial laundry detergent. It was a revelation. So I found this recipe for homemade laundry detergent and I haven’t looked back.

Pretty simple, right? Told ya!

Personally, I like the scent of the Fels Naptha. Do you remember Fruit Stripe gum? The one with the colorful zebra and the temporary tattoos?

Well, Fels Naptha smells just like it. It is heavenly. It’ll cost you about a buck for a bar of this stuff, which can add up if you are making a big batch of detergent. What I do is, buy one bar of Fels Naptha and then buy a big package of Ivory. Just plain Ivory soap from the hygiene aisle. I like the FN for its scent, but I like the Ivory for its price. I use the entire bar of FN and then a bar or two of Ivory and then use Ivory for each supplemental batch until I run out of FN in the mix.

Bonus: the Ivory makes my clothes really soft! Don’t tell E, but I don’t use dryer sheets anymore! Just kidding about the don’t tell E, he will read this and know and he will say he can tell the difference, but I know he can’t. He would’ve said something already if he could. So, Ha!

If you live in Jonesboro and you are reading this, Wal-Mart carries all the ingredients necessary to make this recipe, and Kroger has everything except the FN.

Also, some other notes to keep in mind:

Make sure you get SUPER WASHING SODA. It is not the same as baking soda. It is made to clean laundry and you will find it on your laundry detergent aisle.

Even if you use FN, your clothes will not have any scent when they come out of the dryer. They will just smell clean (aka wonderful). I just like the fruit stripe-y scent while it is hanging out in my laundry closet.

Don’t worry about your cheese grater, the soap won’t hurt it. I did try to use the lemon zester once, but it took a really long time and my arm was hurting so I quit. I thought the smaller shreds would work better, but both dissolve pretty easy. The FN is harder to grate because it is a harder soap. Ivory is easy-peasy. Don’t try to take the easy way out and put it in your blender or food processor. Word on the street is that it turns into a gooey mess.

Remember that this is a powder laundry detergent, so it isn’t safe for high-efficiency washers. Sorry y’all. There is a liquid recipe out there, but I have always used powder, so I can’t be bothered with the liquid.

These are my ingredients. I already had some made up with FN, so it was supplemental. That is why I only used Ivory.

I grate my soap on a sheet of wax paper so I don’t have a mess to clean up.

This is my Ivory pile:

This is what it looks like after you are finished:

Actually, this was the fancy little jar I put some in to give to my friend, Kasey. Mine is just in a Tupperware container with the lid with 4 snaps, you know the one.

At last, this is what it looks like that one rare time you get all the laundry done and you have a plethora of empty baskets you don’t know what to do with:

I like to build a tower.

Don’t be nervous about trying this. It won’t hurt your clothes or your wallet. Plus, it smells really good. So, go forth and conquer that pile of laundry!


3 thoughts on “Just Do It…Yourself -Homemade Laundry Detergent

  1. When you get really hard core and decide to make the soap to go in the detergent, give me a holler. 😉 Also, handmade honey soap or honey-oat soap is amazing!

    • Oh my geez, why have I never thought of that?! I’m sure it’s amazing! I’ve never made soap, but I’m sure I could learn. I still have to try those honey caramel covered apples. My mind is going into overload.

  2. Lol, it’s like an addiction. I love to make stuff, sometimes just to see if I can- Marshmallows, mayo, soap, yogurt, hot dog buns, and on and on.

    May have already commented on it, but glad to see you on the AWB list. 🙂

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