Laundry for Six

10:39 AM

Making my own laundry detergent for a family of six has saved a lot of money over the past seven years. We make this liquid recipe every 4-5 months for a family of six!  I don't have to measure a 1/2 cup for each wash anymore because my washing machine now has a cup in it to fill.  I keep my laundry detergent in a recycled juice bottle, so it's easy to mix with a few shakes and pours easily into the machine's laundry cup.  

One suggestion I would make is to use a whitening agent like bleach for your whites.  After several washes your whites will begin to look dingy. I've tried a variety of whitening agents, but bleach seems to work the best (you can use non-chlorine bleach as well). 

Also, all of these ingredients can be found at Walmart on the isle with laundry detergent now. When I started I had to order the ingredients.  If your supercenter does not carry these items and you have to order them online, don't worry the boxes of Borax and Washing Soda will last for literally years!

· 2/3 a bar of Fels Naptha Soap
· 1 cup 20 Mule Team Borax
· ½ cup Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
· Water
· 5 Gallon container
· Knife
· Pot large enough to hold 5 cups of water
· Long stirring stick/spoon (for 5-gallon container)
Shave the soap into small strips and place it in the pot with 5 cups of water. Bring the water just shy of a boil and stir until the soap is completely melted. When the soap is just about melted, pour 3 gallons of hot water into the 5-gallon container and let it sit until the soap in the pot is totally melted. Once all of the soap shavings are melted, pour the mixture into the 5-gallon container and stir.
Once the soap and water are thoroughly stirred, add the ½ cup pf washing soda and stir until dissolved. Once the washing soda is dissolved, pour in the cup of borax and stir again until dissolved.

Now you've got a huge container of hot soapy looking water. Cover the container, place it somewhere out of the way and let it sit overnight. Once it's cooled it will gel. It will not gel uniformly so it will be lumpy and watery. It may not be very attractive, but it works. It's best to find smaller storage containers for convenience.

 Although I've never found this to actually make my clothes fragrant others have suggested you can use Essential Oils for fragrance by adding a few drops to your recycled container and shaking. Again, I've never been able to smell the scent on my clothes.

Usage: ½ cup per laundry load is adequate to clean your clothes. This homemade laundry detergent works well in high-efficiency washing machines since it is low sudsing.
One word of caution, if using a high-efficiency machine: Before pouring the lumpy gel into the detergent receptacle, stir it to break up the lumps. Very large lumps may not fully dissolve, stirring the detergent with a spoon, pencil, or whatever you have available (or your finger), works fine.
This recipe yields 442 oz of laundry detergent, of which 4 oz are required per laundry load. With this recipe you should be able to wash 110 ½ loads of laundry.

*This recipe came from . An excellent blog for natural household recipes!

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