Now you might ask why would I make another "recipe" for Homemade Laundry Detergent so soon after I just made the "no-grate" laundry detergent, well the truth of the matter is that I just couldn't help myself. When looking for recipes I had decided on the Sauce and the No-Grate, and thought it would fun to compare. Yes, yes indeed, I just used the word fun relating to laundry! I promise I'm not crazy, and laundry is by no means my favorite chore, with 6 kids (multiple involved in sports) an Army husband, 2 dogs & 2 cats, laundry piles up every minute. Trying out new things in the laundry helps at least keep it a little more interesting.
I was intrigued by the fact that this is a laundry sauce, not a true liquid. I was drawn to the idea that it didn't fill a big 5 gallon bucket. It fits in two, 1 quart mason jars or into a Tupperware container that can fit on your shelf. I opted to put mine in a Tupperware container because it is thick and I didn't want to get it all over my hands when I got to the bottom of the jar.
I didn't take super detailed pictures of the creating process, because the folks over at Budget 101 have a super detailed tutorial along with pictures of every step. It's really simple, and it didn't take me long to make at all.
1C Washing Soda (not the same thing as Baking Soda)
1 Bar of Fels Naptha
4C Water (with additional water added in later)
Gather everything you need. Ignore all the extras in the picture (we'll consider this my "stock" photo of my laundry supplies)
First thing your going to do is put 4 C of water in a saucepan and bring it to a slight boil. While your water is heating up your going to grate your bar of soap. This is where things can get tricky. Some people like to cut the bar into chunks and use their food processor to do the rest, others have put in through their salad shooter. I personally have come to like putting the bar of soap in the microwave. I put it in a Ziploc bag (not sealed) and heat in 30 second increments. Your bar will start to foam and crack, once this happens it becomes easy to break. I took my bag out of the microwave, let it cool for a few minutes, then sealed the bag. Once the bag is sealed and you have gotten the air out of the bag you can use a rolling pin, hammer or any other means to "beat" the bar of soap. Because it's been dried out in the microwave it usually crumbles pretty quickly.
Add your soap to the boiling water and stir. You will have to stir pretty constantly to keep the soap and water from boiling over. It took me about 10 minutes to completely melt the soap. Once this is done remove it from the heat.
Stir in your 1 C of Borax and 1 C of Washing Powder. I had to stir for about 4-5 minutes. Stir it till you no longer feel like there is sand on the bottom of your bottom pan. Washing Soda is a lot more coarse then baking soda and takes longer to melt and blend.
Once I decided against using glass jars I realized I needed another method to figure out how much water I needed to add in the next step. It took a little math. There are 4C in 1quart. You were supposed to pour your liquid into 2, 1 quart jars evenly. That would be about 2 C in each jar, so to fill your jar you would be adding around 2C more of water. So to add water to my whole batch without separating into jars I needed to add 4 C of water. Could you follow that? Lol, I had trouble just writing it (too early in the morning!) So add 4 C of water and stir it in. Then just let your mixture cool a bit.
Mine didn't take long to cool at all because I threw mine out on the deck for a few minutes.The freezing temps we are having might have something to do with that. Now you can see that it looks weird, it is separating and looking slightly grainy, don't sweat it. We are going to take care of that in the next step.
You can use a blender, immersion blender, or a mixer, whatever is the easiest for you. I used my immersion blender.
Just mix up your detergent. I mixed mine for about 3 minutes. It should start to look like a pudding texture. It's really weird when you remember this is going in your laundry.....
I just threw mine in some extra Tupperware containers. I have a front load HE machine. This recipe is a low suds recipe and is safe to use. The thing to remember is you only use 1Tablespoon per load and you do NOT put it in the detergent dispenser, but directly into the drum. It is too thick to go through dispenser properly.
So far I have used this in 6 loads of laundry, and it has worked just fine. I haven't noticed any difference between this and any of the commercial detergents I have used. I do like this slightly better then the no grate. I don't know that it ACTUALLY does a better job, but it just feels like it must do a better job since it's so thick!
This recipe supposedly makes enough to wash 128 loads. I paid about $1.00 for my bar of soap, but I can't tell you the price of my borax and washing soda, since they are the same boxes that I have had for about a year now, and have used to make various cleaning recipes.
If you are wanting to try a homemade detergent, I definitely recommend this one!
*I am by no means an expert in anything, so use caution when trying any new cleaning recipe. I can only share my experiences.