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Sunday, March 3, 2013

Cafe Lily Makes....Homemade Laundry Detergent


Ok, so better late to the party than never arriving, right?

This isn't a new concept by any means however, I finally got brave and decided to try this over the weekend.
I have an HE washer and did some research to find a homemade recipe that would work for my particular washer.

The ingredients are basic and I found all of them at my local Walmart, in the laundry aisle, all next to each other!  However, if you have no interest in searching out the ingredients, you can simply order a "kit" on Ebay.   

I went with the powder recipe for the sake of time and shelf life.  There are two basic recipes I found.  If you want to make a small batch to start out with you would need:


*1 bar of soap (Fels Naptha was my choice)  Do a search on the Internet - others have used Ivory, Zote, Pure & Natural, etc.


*1 cup Borax



*1 cup washing soda  (COMPLETELY different than baking soda!)




*1 cup baking soda (optional)


How To Make: (original directions)

Using a cheese grater, shave the bar of soap into small flakes.

Mix the soap flakes with the Borax, washing soda, and baking soda until blended.

Store in a labeled, air tight container.

This mixture yields approximately 32 ounces of detergent, using 1 - 2 Tablespoons per load.
(yes, you read that right - you will only need 1 Tbsp per load.  2 Tbsp if it's really dirty!)


*Cafe Lily's Shortcut:

Here at the Cafe, time is precious so one reason I avoided this for so long is thinking it would be so time consuming to make.  Grating that bar of soap?  Not as easy as you think.

I hated it.

So I got the bright idea to ditch the cheese grater. I simply cut the bar of soap into cubes (similar to cheese cubes) - about 1 inch pieces.  I tossed a few at a time (maybe 4-5) into the blender with about 1/2 cup of the washing soda to help grate it up.  I used the "ice grater" setting on the blender and whipped that puppy into a fine powder mixture.  LOVELY!   I will never hand grate a bar of soap again.

I mixed all the ingredients well and stored my laundry powder in a Tupperware container.  I labeled it with the date I began using it, so I can see how far we get with this recipe.  It cost me around $10 total for a large batch.

Want to make a larger, bulk batch and get it over and done with?  Here's your recipe:

1 (4 lb) box of Borax
1 (4 lb) box of Super Washing Soda
1 (4 lb) box of Baking Soda
3 bars of Dr. Bronner, Kirk’s Castile, Fels Naptha, Zote, OR Ivory soap (Shredded)
- See more at: http://www.abowlfulloflemons.net/2013/02/daily-cleaning-101-step-5-the-laundry.html#sthash.fkFoDnWC.dpuf
1 - 4 lb box EACH of Borax, Washing Soda and Baking Soda

3 bars of soap (your choice), shredded (or grated the Cafe Lily method)

1 (4 lb) box of Borax
1 (4 lb) box of Super Washing Soda
1 (4 lb) box of Baking Soda
3 bars of Dr. Bronner, Kirk’s Castile, Fels Naptha, Zote, OR Ivory soap (Shredded)
- See more at: http://www.abowlfulloflemons.net/2013/02/daily-cleaning-101-step-5-the-laundry.html#sthash.fkFoDnWC.dpuf

1 (4 lb) box of Borax
1 (4 lb) box of Super Washing Soda
1 (4 lb) box of Baking Soda
3 bars of Dr. Bronner, Kirk’s Castile, Fels Naptha, Zote, OR Ivory soap (Shredded)
- See more at: http://www.abowlfulloflemons.net/2013/02/daily-cleaning-101-step-5-the-laundry.html#sthash.fkFoDnWC.dpuf
Mix up the exact same way as the first recipe, store in a large, air tight container. 


Want to get all fancy schmancy with this? 

Based on the batch size you are making, you can add in Oxy Clean. If you want some additional scent, you can add in Purex Crystals or Downy Unstoppables.  Just be consistent with your recipe.

If using 1 cup of the Borax, washing soda, etc then go with 1 cup of your add ins.  If making a big batch, then go with a 3 lb tub of Oxy Clean and a whole container of your scented product.  Either way, from all of the reading I have done, this is WAY more cost effective (even with add ins) than buying laundry detergent.


Want a natural fabric softener to go with your homemade detergent?  1/4 cup of vinegar per load, in your fabric softener dispenser!



Dave Ramsey, may we make you proud.



 

1 comment:

Suzanne said...

I've been wanting to do this. I may get into it at some point. Have to find truly natural options though....