Laundry is a tiresome, boring, thankless task. It's even more painful when we have to pay ridiculous amounts of money for laundry detergent. Yet we all must wear clean clothing. Sometimes you can get detergent for less by couponing but it still puts a strain on the wallet. Why not make your own detergent? I've got a homemade laundry soap recipe that I've tweaked over the years that is easy to make, affordable and actually works! The following recipe makes a 1/2 gallon of concentrate. You will only need to use one Tablespoon per load. It works in either hot or cold water! I let the water start filling in the machine, then add the soap and then the clothing. This soap doesn't make suds but suds do not equal clean. Trust me on this. Your clothes will be fresh and clean! You should be able to find these ingredients at WalMart or you can order them from Amazon.
You will need:
1 bar Fels Naptha
1 cup Borax Laundry Booster
1 cup Super Washing Soda (NOT baking soda)
4 cups hot water (plus more as needed)
Note: Follow the directions very carefully. If you add the ingredients in the wrong order you will get a grainy detergent that will not dissolve in the washing machine.
1. Grate the Fels Naptha. You can do this several ways: you can cut it into smaller chunks and then run it through a food processor or you can grate it with a hand grater. I use a hand grater.
2. Heat the 4 cups of water to boiling over high heat in a saucepan.
3. Add the grated soap to the water, reduce heat to medium. You need to stir the soap almost constantly to ensure that it doesn't boil over. If you notice that a lot of bubbles are forming, you need to reduce the heat. DO NOT let it boil!! Just let it simmer. It takes about 10-15 minutes for the Fels Naptha to dissolve.
This is a good amount of bubbles: 4. When the Fels Naptha has completely dissolved, remove the pan from the heat and add the Borax and Washing Soda. Stir constantly until the powders are dissolved. You will be able to feel the grainy powder on the bottom of the saucepan as you're stirring. Once you no longer feel the graininess, the powders are dissolved. Take the extra time during this step to ensure that you don't under stir because the soaps will not be incorporated fully and you will end up with grainy soap.
5. Pour the liquid equally into (2) 1 qt Mason jars. It will work out to be about 2 1/2 cups each.
6. Add enough hot water to bring the contents to the shoulders of the jar, giving it about 1" of head space. You can see where in this picture:
7. Put the lids on the jars and turn them upside down to let the liquids separate. Let them sit for a few hours but not overnight.
8. Take the lids off of the jars and use a knife to cut up the solidified part of the soap. If you don't do this step the solidified soap won't whip nicely.
9. Screw the bottom part of your blender onto the mouth of the jar. Place it on your blender and give it a whirl! If your jars don't fit on your blender you can use a hand mixer. The goal is just to whip it up into a nice consistency!
Your soap should have a smooth and creamy consistency, like mayonnaise.
Add 1 Tablespoon to any type of washer--conventional, front loading, high capacity and high efficiency. Do not add the detergent to the detergent compartment but rather directly in with the dirty clothes.
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