About four years ago, I decided to try making my own laundry detergent. There were lots of reasons – because I wanted to save some money, and because I was curoious about whether or not it would really work, and because I’d been trying to go natural with so many things.
Since then, I think I’ve bought detergent only once, and it was mainly because I needed to make more, and I was in a hurry. I still have most of that small bottle left. At first, the Fels-Naptha smell was too strong. Now, I actually prefer it, and find the smell of regular, store-bought detergents overpowering and too fake. I also add a bar of Irish Spring because I like that scent and the way it mixes with the Fels-Naptha, but you can feel free to leave it out.
I love that I can make this 2-3 times a year and save money, while cleaning my clothes just as well as with store bought detergents, but I know what’s in it. I have really sensitive skin, which also makes it a bonus!
The hardest part of this is grating the soap. Since I got married, I now sic my husband on that job. Otherwise, you just measure, grate, dump and stir! Plus, it takes 1-2 tablespoons per load – not much at all, which is why it lasts so long! And you can use any leftover chunks of Fels-Naptha as a stain remover. Just wet the bar a bit and rub it on the stain before throwing it in the wash!
I do keep a dollar store set of measuring cups, a wooden spoon, and grater just for this purpose. While I’m sure you could wash these thoroughly and still use it with food, it makes me feel better to have separate utensils for these things. You can also add a small container of Oxyclean if you like. I’ve done it, but I don’t always do it, and I don’t feel like my clothes are any less clean.
Do make sure its in an airtight container, or it will draw moisture and clump. When we move the next time, I’m buying a new container with a better sealing lid!
DIY Laundry Soap
- 2 cups borax
- 2 cups super washing soda
- 1 bar Fels-Naptha
- 1 bar Irish Spring
- 1 container of Oxyclean (optional)
- Grate your soap. I do this over a sheet of wax paper or freezer paper so I can just pour it into my container.
- Measure out the borax and soda into the container.
- Add the oxyclean (if using) and then stir!
- You’re done! Add 1 to 2 Tablespoons of the mix to each load of clothes. I use a little more if its a particularly dirty load.