HOMEMADE POWDERED LAUNDRY DETERGENT

I blame this post on my daughter.

In general, I’m not in agreement with preppers whose main focus is 100 year old pioneering skills. Take a bar soap as an example. I wonder why you would buy and store all the components to make bar soap when you can go to Costco and buy 12 large bars of Irish Spring for $8 (let alone the time you would spend making the soap).

If I was going to make my own soap, the finished product would need to work at least as good and cost much less than the store bought soap and it would need to be easy to make.

Several months ago my daughter gave me some laundry detergent she made from a recipe she found on online. http://www.howdoesshe.com/cheaper-and-better-diy-laundry-detergent.  My wife and daughter are laundry detergent . . . well . . . snobs.  They want white whites, bright colors as well as soft, great smelling clothes. This laundry detergent recipe even pleases them.

At about the same time I found a very simple recipe for powered laundry detergent on a survival blog. It only uses 3 basic ingredients, nothing fancy, just basics that work and work well.

I’m not going to try and re-invent the wheel. You can do a search online and find information as to what role each ingredient plays in the detergent. I am just going to give two recipes and hit some highlights.

Basic Recipe
1 1/2 Cup: Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda – Found in the detergent aisle
1 1/2 Cup: Borax – Found in the detergent aisle
1 – 5 oz Bar of Fels-Naptha or Zote Soap – Found in the detergent aisle

Grate bar of soap by hand or with a food processor. If grating by hand, make pieces as small as possible. With a food processor, first grate soap bar using a grating blade. Switch to a chopping blade; add Washing Soda and Borax, process until well blended.

Use 1 Tablespoon of detergent for a regular load of laundry. That’s right, use only 1 Tablespoon. This small recipe will do up to 80 regular loads of laundry.  Use 2 Tablespoons of detergent for more soiled laundry. Use 3 Tablespoons for really dirty laundry.

Daughter’s Recipe
1 (3 lb 7 oz) Box of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda- Found in the detergent aisle.
1 (4 lb 12 oz) Box of Borax- Found in the detergent aisle.
4 – 5 oz Bars of Fels-Naptha or Zote Soap – Found in the detergent aisle.
1 (4 lb) Boxes of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda- Found in the cooking aisle. (Removes odors)
1 (3 lb) Container of OxyClean- Found in the detergent aisle. (For bright colors)
1-2 (28 oz) Bottle of Purex Crystals Fabric Softener- Found in the detergent aisle. (Makes clothes soft and good smelling)

Grate soap by hand or with a food processor. If grating by hand, make pieces as small as possible. With a food processor, first grate 1 soap bar using a grating blade. Switch to a chopping blade; add 2 to 3 cups of Washing Soda or Borax, process until well blended. Set aside and repeat with other bars of soap.

Put processed mixture and other ingredient in a large container (a 5 gallon plastic bucket works well) and mix well.

Use 1 Tablespoon of detergent for a regular load of laundry. Use up to 2 Tablespoons of detergent for more soiled laundry. Use 3 Tablespoons for really dirty laundry.  This recipe will do 6 regular loads of laundry each week for almost a year.

This detergent will not create suds. Don’t worry, it is working, you do not have to add more detergent to the laundry. This is one reason this detergent works well in Front Loading Washing Machines.

Now for the cost. I bought everything at Wal-Mart.
3 lb 7 oz Box of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda – $3.50
4 lb 12 oz Box of Borax- $3.50
4 – 5 oz Bars of Fels-Naptha Soap – $4.00 ($1 each)
4 lb Boxes of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda- $2.25
3 lb Container of OxyClean- $5.00
28 oz Bottle of Purex Crystals Fabric Softener- $4.75 ($9.50 if you use 2 bottles)

Total – Under $25 with tax for close to a year’s worth of laundry detergent that can be stored in a 2 gallon plastic bucket.

 

Ed Rogers

Copyright “Keep It Simple” 2012.  All rights reserved

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