From our Heart to Yours

From our Heart to Yours
Bubba, Bubby, Bug & Lil Bro, Daddy with Baby Bro & Pixie, Sister, Sissy and Mama

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Homemade Laundry Powder

For years I have been wanting to make Homemade Laundry Detergent, but every recipe I found had the horrible warning on it that in the process of it their could be a chemical explosion, so I just opted out.  Sometime while Daddy was gone on his last deployment I found and started following this Blog, Homestead Revival.  It's about a city couple who decided to move their family to the rural country world and how they are learning to live simply and loving it!  Every week they have this thing called Homestead Barn Hop.  In one of those Hops I found The Improbable Farmer.  The Improbable Farmer had made their own Homemade Laundry Powder.  It was simple, didn't involve any chemical explosions, and was made with a lot of stuff I already use in my laundry wash.

So here is the process......

You need 4 Ingredients and a Container.  

3-Ivory (*update we also have use fels naptha & original Melaleuca soaps) Bar Soaps, Washing Soda (check comments for how to make this out of baking soda) Baking Soda, and Borax.  (*update I also use Lavender Flower Powder by grinding Whole Lavender Flowers into Powder) The bar soap and washing soda are the only things I don't regularly use in my wash anyway.

To start take a serated knife and chop the soap bars up.
Then put the chopped up bars into a food processor 1 at a time and chop up.

Set this aside and get your container ready, I used a 5gallon bucket from WalMart.  Next you need 6Cups of Washing Soda, the whole box.  This can be found in the Laundry aisle at WalMart next to the Borax and Baking Soda.

Then you need 6Cups of Borax, this won't take the whole box so set the rest aside for making Homemade Dishwasher Detergent .  Also found in the Laundry aisle of WalMart.  (This is one of the things I used when I cloth diaper to whiten my cloth diapers in the laundry)

Finally you need 3Cups of Baking Soda, this also will not take the whole box so set it aside for Homemade Dishwasher Detergent .  The bulk box can be found in the Laundry aisle of WalMart too.
Pour all the powders into the Container, put the lid on it and shake it up.  (Add Lavender Powder here too, about 1cup)

Take the lid off and put the Ivory Soap Bars in.

Put the lid back on and shake some more.  When you are done shaking it all up to mix it take the lid off and check for big clumps.  The Soap Bars may clump up with the Powders, so take a big spoon and stir it up and break up the clumps, might have to use you hands a little too.

When you are done put the lid back on and it's ready to go. 

You'll probably want to add the how to make and how to use directions on you container.  I printed mine out to make it nicer and easier to read, but you could just as well write them on the bucket.  Though I will say that I have learned that even permanent marker can start to wear off of plastic, esp when handled a lot.

In the picture you can see how you are to use the Homemade Laundry Powder.  You will also need White Vinegar and a Downy Ball.  This is a rinsing agent and the downy ball is made to release it during the rinse cycle of your washer. (Ball not needed in most HE washers)

Now this amount doesn't take the whole 5gal bucket up.  But it is about 1/3 full and is suppose to last 6-8mns.  For a average washing family.  I probably wash WAY more than the average family so I expect it to last about 4mns.  Either way it will be a cost saver.  I will have to let you know just how long it does last me!

The 5Gal and lid were $4, but they will be used over and over so they will pay for themselves after the 5th batch I make.
Ivory Bars, I got 3 for $.75 at Walgreens when they were on sale.  The Washing Soda and Baking Soda were about $6 together, but I still have 1/2 the box of Baking Soda left so I only spent $4.50 on those.  Borax is about $4, but I still have 1/2 the box of that so I only spent $2 on that (besides I usually buy this anyway)
Total Cost:  $7.25 plus the up front cost of the bucket makes $11.25.  That is how much I spend in about 2wks for Store Bought Laundry Detergent.  So in 1mn I will have already made my money back and saved!
This is above my Washer/Dryer were I store my Laundry Supplies.  The Pink Bucket is my Cleaning Caddy, I will have to do a Post on that later.  I plan to make a curtain to go on that bar to cover my supplies, also another post.  I also plan to find a container that is pretty on the eyes to put an at hand amount of Laundry Powder out on top of my dryer.  I will be looking for a container that goes with my decore.  As I con't my House Organizing I will take pics of the Laundry Room in more detail.

Have FUN making your Homemade Laundry Powder and let me know how it works!
Do you have any other Homemade Cleaners you would like to share?


Julie said...

That's great! Thanks for sharing the recipe! I too had not seen any that didn't involve explosions, LOL!

Mama said...

Glad to help! Let me know if you try it and how it turns out! I have usued it in several loads this weekend and love it. I even tried putting the clothes in first and then putting the powder under the stream of water filling up the washer and that seemed to work just as well to disolve the soap as putting it in first and starting the water. I was told yrs ago by a technician that you shouldn't start the water first, you loose more clothes that way. Literally your washer is what eats the sock, not the dryer. lol You should have seen everything we pulled out of our washer last yr when it wouldn't drain. :)

Karina said...

Thanks for sharing, I'm going to give this a try! :)

Mama said...

Hope your's works as well as mine. If you have any questions I will try to help. Also let me know how it goes! :)

Karina said...

Walmart was out of washing soda, so I guess I'll have to wait until I get some! :)

Mama said...

You can make Washing Soda by "baking" Baking Soda

Homemade Washing Soda
Baking Soda

1. Fill a wide baking dish with Baking Soda.
2. Heat in the oven at 400 degrees until all the Baking Soda becomes Washing Soda. Occasionally mix it so this process happens faster and more uniformly.
3. Baking Soda will becoming grainy when it is Washing Soda.

The link below is where I learned this. She has some other great cleaners too!


Unknown said...

Okay, so I thought I'd give this a try since I was already loving the homemade baby wipes and we could use a little extra money! I made the washing powder just like you said and used it for exactly 3 months! I was able to get 113 large loads of laundry done and had absolutely no problems using it! I did add Purex crystals to my wash just to give it a different smell. Although I always buy scented dryer sheets and my clothes tend to smell like those instead of the Purex crystals? All in all, I think it's worth the time and is a way to save money on washing powder/detergent. It went a lot further than I expected for my family of 4 and I enjoyed not having to add laundry detergent to my list every other week and hunt for coupons and special deals at the grocery stores! So, THANKS BUNCHES for the awesome laundry detergent recipe!

Amanda H.

Mama said...

Amanda, So glad you like the laundry detergent!:) I should have added that if you do want a scent to your laundry you can purchase lavander or tea tree oil. Just a drop or two per large load will give a nice scent and will add and extra disinfectant. We don't use scented softners because of sensitive skin here on the homestead and the vinegar in the downy ball is actually a substitue for fabric softner. If I do put my laundry in the dryer I usually throw an unscented dryer sheet in there for added help w/ static.
Be on the look out for more money saving tips of homemade cleaners! :)