I love making my own detergent. I know I have saved hundreds of dollars over the last few years by doing this. I’m still using the original ingredients that I purchased almost 4 years ago. I also like knowing what ingredients have gone into my detergent.
When I first looked into making my own, I quickly decided that I wanted to have separate utensils for this process. I went to the second-hand shop and found an old cheese grater, a wooden spoon, an old pot, spoons, and a couple of cups. One of the cups is for making the detergent, and the other stays in my laundry cupboard for measuring the detergent on wash day.
It’s a good idea to use rubber gloves when making the detergent. A little baking soda in your gloves means they won’t be sticky or smelly.
- 6 cups of water
- 1/2 bar of inexpensive soap, grated (find a soap that smells good to you)
- 3/4 cup washing soda (not baking soda)
- 3/4 cup of Borax
- 10-gallon bucket for mixing
- 4 1/2 gallons of water
- Pour 6 cups of water in an appropriately sized pot and place on low heat.
- Mix in the grated soap and continue to heat until the soap has completely dissolved.
- Add 4 ½ gallons of water to the 10-gallon bucket. Add the soap and hot water mixture to the bucket.
- Now slowly add the Borax and washing soda while stirring.
- Continue stirring until the mixture thickens.
- All the work is done; just let the concoction sit for 24 hours and it’s ready to use.
An Alternative Liquid Detergent
I like this mixture so much that I also use it as a dishwashing liquid. Please note that this detergent does not foam up like a commercial liquid, but it definitely gets things clean.
- 1/4 cup soap flakes, I use Lux Soap Flakes
- 2 cups hot water
- 1/4 cup glycerine
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon essential oil
- Mix the soap flakes and the hot water together and stir until the soap flakes are thoroughly dissolved.
- Cool until just lukewarm.
- Add the glycerine and the essential oil.
- As it cools down, this mixture will gel. When it is cool, break it up a little with a fork.
- Spoon the mixture into an old jar or plastic container with a wide neck.
- I keep a cup and spoon close by.
- Optional: I spoon a dessert spoon into the cup, mix with hot water, and then pour the liquid into the washing machine or into the water while the kitchen sink is filling.
- Combine all ingredients in a plastic or glass bowl one at a time in the order listed. Make sure to mix each one thoroughly before adding the next ingredient.
- Add the vinegar very slowly to the baking soda; it will bubble up and may overflow.
- When you add the liquid castile soap, blend it all together immediately. If you wait, the solution will get hard and really tough to stir.
- Store in a non-metal container with a lid. Use approximately ¼ cup per load of laundry.
- If you prefer fragrance in your laundry soap, you can buy scented liquid castile soap or add 5 to 6 (or more to your liking) drops of essential oil to each batch.
Next time you’re at the second-hand shop, pick up some items to help you make your own detergent. Then make your choice of which detergent to make and start saving money!