Whenever I’m chatting with “normal” friends and family (you know, the ones who don’t obsessively read food labels and milk their own goats…), I often will get some blank stares when I mention drinking raw milk, brewing water kefir, or soaking my whole grains.
Buuuuttt… as soon as I mention my recipe for super
cheap, errr, frugal laundry detergent, they are usually all ears!
If you spend any amount of time online reading frugal living blogs, there is a good chance you’ve already come across a recipe similiar to this one.
However, in the small chance that you haven’t tried this recipe yet, I feel compelled to share!
While I don’t have a cost breakdown for this recipe (yet!), believe me when I say it is an incredibly frugal option! It comes out to merely pennies per load.
I’ve also been pleased with the effectiveness of this soap so far. It seems to clean our clothes (and even Prairie Baby’s diapers!) just as well as the store-bought detergent I was purchasing before. Plus, it doesn’t contain a bunch of hard-to-pronounce ingredients!
Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap
- 1 bar of soap (Zote or Fels-Naptha brands are usually recommended. I can’t find either in my local stores, so I use Ivory for now. You could also use homemade soap here!)
- 1/2 cup Borax
- 1/2 cup WASHING Soda (this is different than BAKING soda! Look for it in the laundry aisle (might even be near the Borax) of your local grocery store)
- 5 gallon bucket
Grate the bar of soap with a cheese grater. Place the shreds in a medium saucepan with several cups of water. Heat and stir until the soap pieces are dissolved.
Add in the Borax and Washing Soda. Stir until thoroughly incorporated and dissolved.
Pour into a 5 gallon bucket. Fill 3/4 of the way full with hot water. Give it a good stir, then allow it to sit undisturbed overnight.
Your finished product will be a gloppy (yes, I consider that a word), chunky gel.
I like to store the bulk of the soap in the 5 gallon bucket in the basement. I use a smaller plastic bucket to store a smaller quantity in my laundry room. (Need a good source for plastic buckets?)
Use 1/4-1/2 cup per load of laundry (less for cloth diapers).
**UPDATE** There is some great discussion on this post happening over on The Prairie Homestead Facebook page. After doing some further research, it appears that homemade detergent is safe for both HE machines and septic systems. However, there is some question as to whether it causes build-up when used with hard water. I plan to continue to research this!
I really don’t enjoy doing laundry, but I like it a little bit better when I know I’m not spending an arm and a leg on expensive detergent!
Note: I am aware of some controversy over the safeness of Borax. It seems to me that some of the issues were caused by confusing Boric Acid (NOT safe) and Borax (different than boric acid). At this point, I am comfortable using it in the laundry room, but I do avoid it’s use in the kitchen or near our food, just as an added caution.
This post is a part of Simple Lives Thursday