We’ve recently had a whirlwind of house guests, some arriving one right after the other and some overlapping so much that we re-arranged rooms in our little Case de Hotel. It’s been fun and our family is always up for energy and excitement, and yet now that the house has quieted (somewhat) we’re all taking a collective exhale and a deep breath in. It’s the inevitable calm after the storm, the receding of the tide that leaves only a trace of the upheaval that once happened, though the memory remains.
During one of the final days of my mama’s visit, and she always likes to help with something while here, she found a recipe online for a stovetop free method of making laundry detergent. With only three ingredients, plus water, I was game to try it! We’ve been using it for almost a week now for all of our loads and loads of laundry, and it’s been working just fine! We haven’t actually noticed a difference between our homemade detergent and the brand we’ve been buying… which is a great thing!
We’ve both been looking for that original recipe ever since, so that I could link to it and haven’t found it… but once I do, I’ll post it back here.
1/2 C Borax
1/2 Washing Soda
1/3 Fels Naptha Bar, grated
1 C hot water, plus more for mixing
Yields about 1 gallon of laundry detergent
We spent about $9 on all of the ingredients from our local grocery store (all found in the laundry aisle), and could probably find each item for even less, but I just picked these up while I was gathering other things for dinner. With the amounts that are used, the Fels Naptha Bar would give you three gallons, the Borax would last for 19 gallons of prepared detergent and the Washing Soda would yield about 14. Needless to say, the $9 worth of ingredients will last me awhile, especially compared to paying almost that for one of these half-gallon containers (of which I’d been saving the empty cartons so that we could use it for our own homemade mix).
To make, my little bed-headed assistant mixed in the grated Fels Naptha with one cup of water and we put in the microwave for three minutes, stopping every minute to stir. Once the three minutes had passed, not all of the bar was melted into the water, but he set right to stirring, and soon it was a smooth and soapy mix. We then slowly stirred in the Borax and another cup of hot water, and then the Washing Soda along with another cup of hot water.
Since I was using my two empty half-gallon containers, we set those in the sink with a funnel and then poured half of our mixture into each container. Then just filled with more hot water, capped and shook the bottles for a couple of minutes.
After the mixture has cooled, you could even add in a few drops of essential oil for scent and for further disinfectant qualities. I wanted to try it right away without anything added just to compare it to our usual detergent, and clothes come out of the washer clean and fresh! I just give the bottle of soap a little shake each time before I use it, though it hasn’t seemed to gel up or separate too much.
Voila! Easy and homemade laundry detergent on the cheap… and without making a big mess in the kitchen.