New and improved laundry ingredients

If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile, you know that one of my first forays into the world of homemade health and beauty products was homemade laundry detergent, which you can read about here.

Since then, I’ve decided it was time to come out with homemade laundry detergent 2.0, or a new and improved homemade laundry detergent recipe, in part because I moved to a house with VERY hard water, and I needed an extra boost to get my clothes clean.

(You might be wondering why I don’t just buy a water softener. Good question, and I would love to buy one, but this is not a long-term house for us, as told in detail here, and even if we decided to buy one, there’s just no place to put it. The house is that small.)

new-and-improved-homemade-laundry-detergent

So, new and improved homemade laundry detergent it is. 🙂 The biggest changes to my original recipe are the addition of baking soda (in addition to the super washing soda), Purex Crystals (for an extra scent boost), and little more Oxiclean.

Here are the ingredients:
1 cup Borax
1 cup Super Washing Soda
1 Fels Naptha bar
½ cup baking soda
½ cup Oxiclean
½ cup Purex Crystals

(Note: As you can see from the photo above, I always double this recipe to make it last longer.)

Here’s how to make it:

cutting the fels naptha bar

1. Cut up the Fels Naptha bar in chunks for grating.

cheese-grated-fels-naptha

2. Grate the Fels Naptha bar with a cheese grater. (Note: This would be much faster with a food processor, but I don’t own one, so I just use some elbow grease instead. I don’t really mind, because it only takes a few minutes to grate by hand, and it would take me even longer to load everyone into the car to buy the branded detergent whenever we run out. We’re saving money, here, folks!)

fels-naptha-in-blender

3. Blend the Fels Naptha in your blender (or chop it fine in the food processor).

washing-crystals-and-sodas

4. Add all other ingredients to a large mixing bowl.

mixing-in-bowl

5. Pour in the grated Fels Naptha and blend all the ingredients with a spoon.

mixed-laundry-crystals

6. For extra-fine crystals, blend the entire mixture, one cup at a time, in the blender until fine.

new-and-improved-homemade-laundry-detergent

7. Store in an air-tight container. I’ve found that a recycled coffee can works great. I’ve even added an old measuring Tablespoon on the side as a handy scoop.

Here’s how to use it:

I usually add 3 – 4 Tbs. per load. You might want to experiment with what works best for your typical load, type of washing machine, and level of hard water. At this rate, and by doubling the recipe, a typical batch will last me anywhere from 4 – 6 weeks.

And the savings? Depending on how much you use per load, and whether or not you shop with coupons (which you can snag by clicking here), you can easily cut your laundry detergent budget in half. (That’s on the conservative side of things. I’ve known the top brand to cost as much a five times per load of homemade detergent!)

While I love saving money, I love it even more that I’m making my own cleaning products. If it was good enough for Grandma, it’s good enough for me!

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