I have been on a DIY kick lately. That is sort of the standing joke around the house, I want to DIY everything! I thought i'd start with some of my less ambitious projects like making laundry detergent. I had looked up several tutorials online and I thought it would be simple to do. I am really pleased with the final result for several reasons: it is much more cost effective and you know exactly what is going into your soap.
1 bar of your favorite natural/organic bar soap
1 cup borax
1 cup washing soda
30 drops of your favorite essential oil ( I love grapefruit or tangerine or whatever citrus blend you like)
4 gallons plus two quarts of water
5 gallon bucket
one mixing bowl
immersion blender (optional)
One tall pot
containers to store your detergent in
First, grate the bar of soap using the cheese grater. Add the grated soap to your pot with two quarts of water. Let it simmer but do not let it boil, stirring frequently until the soap has completely dissolved. If you are opting to use essential oils, now would be the time to add them. Add 4 gallons of very hot water to your 5 gallon bucket and add the borax and washing soda and blend until dissolved. Next add the soap and water mixture from your pot. At this point, I blended it everything well. Let the mixture set for 8 hours or overnight. You'll notice some separating and there might be clumps of congealed soap. I used the immersion blender to mix all of the ingredients well. Pour into your containers.
I use about one cup of detergent per load. One of the containers I used was the empty bottle of detergent I had just finished using. I use the cap to measure the detergent and it has worked just fine. This recipe is also HE washer safe. You will notice that over time the ingredients do separate a bit. Just make sure to leave enough space in the container so that you can shake it vigorously before using- that will re-incorporate the ingredients. Also, this recipe yields a very low-lathering formula, but don't worry, this detergent cleans exceptionally well. I used it on my cloth diapers yesterday and they came out smelling really fresh, I think in part because the formula washes out without leaving a lot of residue. You'll notice this when you rinse all of the equipment and your sink- it washes right out.
This was my first attempt at making detergent and I must say that I am really pleased, it was pretty straight forward to make and worth the effort in my opinion.