DIY Laundry Detergent (Big Batch!)

diy laundry det
Hi blog.  Have you missed me? Sorry I was gone all week, I was busy raising people.
I have alot of friends who make their own detergents and I finally decided to try it after realizing how much we spend on laundry detergent!  I asked my friends for their recipes and scoured the internet and picked a handful to try.  After making some scaled down batches, this one is my favorite.  I definitively didn’t care for the dry powdered detergent, even though it was easier to make.  I found the liquid got the clothes cleaner.  I adapted the recipe to make a large batch so I don’t have to make it very often at all.
It’s ridiculously cheap to make, and I’m kicking myself for not starting sooner!

I was a little leery since both me and my youngest have super sensitive skin. (I mean really sensitive, I don’t even wear makeup because of it).  I’ve always used “free and clear” detergents (and well, everything) and wasn’t sure if the Fels naptha would bother us, but NO problems!   I use the Fels naptha to pre-treat stains as well, just wet the stain a little and rub with the bar.  Works great!  I keep one in a dish on a shelf above my washer just for that.  You can also put a small amount of the detergent on stains and work it into the stain as well.

You’ll need just a few things: a large bucket to mix/store it in (I bought one at United Grocers Cash and Carry, you can find them at most kitchen supply stores), Washing soda (NOT baking soda!) :), Borax, and Fels Naptha.  You can find the washing soda, borax, and Fels naptha in the laundry section.  I’ve found them at both Walmart and Winco Foods here.
My bucket measures up to 20 quarts, but holds more than that.

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You can also add essential oils if desired, just add them with the borax and washing soda.  I would recommend adding it to your smaller container to be sure you really want to, or use wool dryer balls and add a few drops of it on those.

DIY LAUNDRY DETERGENT (BIG BATCH)

1 bar FelsNaptha (grated or shredded)
1 1/2 cups washing soda
1 1/2 cups borax
(and water)

Heat 3 quarts (that’s 12 cups) with the grated FelsNaptha over medium high heat, until soap is completely dissolved.  (before and after below, note the soap is totally dissolved when done).
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Pour into your bucket and add washing soda and borax along with 3 more quarts hot water.
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Mix well.  Add 4 gallons and 1 quart (that’s 17 quarts) hot water.
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Let sit overnight.  Now it should appear kind of gelatinous.
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Mix really well.  (I break it up with a long spoon, then use my immersion blender to get it smooth, stirring occasionally to get any lumps on the bottom.)
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I pour some into an old detergent bottle to use in the house, and store the big bucket in the garage.  Every time I refill it I mix it up a little as well.
Use 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup per load, depending on how dirty/big your load is.

Recipe Source: adapted from my dear friend Kristy M.

DIY Laundry Detergent (Big Batch!)

Ingredients

  • 1 bar FelsNaptha (grated or shredded)
  • 1 1/2 cups washing soda
  • 1 1/2 cups borax
  • (and water)

Instructions

  • Heat 3 quarts (that's 12 cups) with the grated FelsNaptha over medium high heat, until soap is completely dissolved. (before and after below, note the soap is totally dissolved when done).
  • Pour into your bucket and add washing soda and borax along with 3 more quarts hot water.
  • Mix well. Add 4 gallons and 1 quart (that's 17 quarts) hot water.
  • Let sit overnight. Now it should appear kind of gelatinous.
  • Mix really well. (I break it up with a long spoon, then use my immersion blender to get it smooth, stirring occasionally to get any lumps on the bottom.)
  • I pour some into an old detergent bottle to use in the house, and store the big bucket in the garage. Every time I refill it I mix it up a little as well.
  • Use 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup per load, depending on how dirty/big your load is.
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    Comments

    1. I do NOT recycle my glass jars bseuace our recycling company won’t take glass and I’m too lazy to drive them to a collection center myself. We have a compost bin that I haven’t used since the time several summers ago I opened it and discovered critters using it as a home. Isn’t the soap great? Although I imagine importing the ingredients would seriously cut down on the savings. If it helps, we discovered that you could use 1 bar of the soap with 2 cups each of the borax and soda with good results which would stretch one of the ingredients a bit.

    2. I’m shocked that I found this info so easily.

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