Tuesday, May 11, 2010


It's laundry day.  And I have been lacking motivation in a bad way.  Somewhere in all the travel I fell off the wagon and never got back on.  But today I have a new project.  I had been hearing some rumblings of a way to make your own laundry detergent.  I hadn't thought too much of it, until my mom started using it and said it was great and that it worked so well it even got my brother's blacksmithing clothes clean.  And all of that for just about a penny a load!  This I must try.

The recipe calls for Fels Naptha soap, washing soda and borax.  I knew where I could get the borax, but the washing soda and the Fels Naptha, hummm.  I called all over the county and beyond on Friday.  Turns out when I called the Fairview Hardware, you know, the place that has the Christmas Party/VIP Sale, they carry all of them.  In fact, when I asked about it, the lady on the phone said, "yes, we have washing soda and Fels Naptha, and the Borax too."  I didn't tell her what I needed it for.  

Apparently, the girl in charge of ordering the cleaning products makes her own detergent, so she always keeps them in stock!  Oh, and when I went to get the ingredients, they just happened to be having a grill sale and they were grilling chicken legs.  The lady insisted I take one on my way out the door.  So funny.
So here's the scoop...

1/3 bar of Fels Naptha soap, grated with your cheese grater
1/2 cup washing soda
1/2 cup Borax

Oh, and you are going to need a container that will hold 2 gallons of liquid.  I forgot to mention, this is a liquid detergent. This is what I came up with, not too bad!

Grate the soap and put it in a pot.  Now add 6 cups water and heat it until the soap melts.  Add the washing soda and the borax and stir until it is dissolved.   Pour 4 cups hot water into whatever container you are using.   Add your soap mixture and stir.  Now add 1 gallon plus 6 cups of water and stir.  Let the soap sit for about 24 hours and it will gel (kind of, not like you are thinking, more like egg drop soup at a Chinese restaurant).  Use 1/2 cup of detergent per load.  

You won't have any real smell to your clothes, which is perfect for us!  But you could add some essential oil to it if you wanted.  Oh, and I am not using this for our cloth diapers.  I have read you should say away from soaps for cloth diapers so they don't start repelling the liquid they are suppose to absorb.

So there you go, my motivation to get the laundry done today.  I know, weird, but you got to find something!


  1. i have the stuff to make our own detergent, but we haven't done it yet since we're using other people's washing machines. i can't wait to try it out, and i've read\heard the same thing about CD'ing. in fact i called the store where we bought ours and they said definitely don't use it on them.... have fun!

  2. Heidi FitzgibbonMay 11, 2010 at 10:56 PM

    I just made this same recipe last week! But mine said I could use any kind of soap so I used Ivory...I ordered the washing soda from Alice.com They give you free shipping if you order I think $5 worth of stuff (or maybe it's 5 items?) It's worth it as they have other things we use. I was super excited about our soap too :) The guy on simpledollar.com said it breaks down to about 2 cents/ load vs. 15-20cents........ CAn't wait to see you all in early June! - Heidi

  3. I will have to try that, thanks for sharing!


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