My husband and I are hippies at heart. I also have a lot of skin allergies. I know of one laundry detergent I can use without breaking out into hives and I’m not adventurous enough to try other brands. Because I am a hippie at heart and I love do it yourself projects I decided to look into making my own laundry detergent. I found a recipe online and gave it a go.
My first time making the soap was disappointing. The soap didn’t gel at all and I wondered if I had done something wrong, it did seem to get the clothes clean and I don’t like to be wasteful so I went ahead and used it. The initial investment seemed a little pricey, but I had all the ingredients on hand and knew that if I kept using them it would be cheaper in the long run. The second go round was much better. The soap was more like a gel. I was excited. I now knew how to make my own laundry soap! The recipe I used is the same one the Duggar family recommends. (This is the link from their blog http://www.duggarfamilyblog.com/2011/03/duggar-recipe-liquid-laundry-soap.html)
Homemade liquid laundry soap
4 cups hot tap water
1 Fels-Naptha soap bar
1 cup washing soda
½ cup Borax
Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.
Fill a five-gallon bucket half full of hot tap water (I use an empty cat litter bucket). Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax. Stir well until all powder is dissolved. Fill bucket to top with more hot water. Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken.
Stir and fill a used, clean, laundry soap dispenser half full with soap and then fill rest of way with water. Shake before each use. (It will gel.)
Optional: You can add 10-15 drops of essential oil per two gallons. Add once soap has cooled. Ideas: lavender, rosemary, tea tree oil.
(Note: I definitely recommend adding some essential oils. Tea Tree oil is great for disinfecting, but the smell is an acquired taste, so I usually combine it with another oil for yummy smell factor. Lavender is always a good go to, but you can use which ever scent you prefer.)
I have a friend who is in appliance repair and he recommends this laundry soap recipe (that I passed along to him) to people all the time. It is safe to use with high efficiency appliances! Last time he came for a visit he gave a tip to help keep your high efficiency washer in tip top shape. He said to run the clean cycle on the washer religiously once a month using either countrytime lemonade or vinegar. He says to start the clean cycle and then let the machine fill a bit with water before adding either the lemonade (about ¼ cup) or the vinegar (about 2-3 cups).
Cheers and Luck with DIY!
FTC disclosure: I may receive monetary compensation for my endorsement/recommendation/testimonial and or link to retail products in this article to support my blogging habit. I will never link to a retail provider I have not used. I will only link to providers I would personally recommend.