Homemade Laundry Detergent

English: Fels-Naptha

English: Fels-Naptha (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I think I’m getting crunchier in my old age.  A few months ago I switched to wool dryer balls and I love them.  We cloth diaper the baby and I love it.  We recycle, and I plan to start composting as soon as I can get the compost bin in our backyard cleaned out (the previous tenants filled it full of trash).

One thing I’ve tried before was homemade laundry detergent. I used what I made but I wasn’t impressed with it at the time.  I decided to try again be cause it’s a good way to save money and reduce chemicals used in the home.

Here’s the recipe I used:

  • 1 cup borax
  • 1 cup washing soda
  • 1/3 bar of Fels Naptha, grated
  • 1/4 cup oxyclean type detergent  (I used the dollar store brand, and 1/4 cup was all I had left in the container)

I put the borax, washing soda and oxy in a quart Mason jar.  I grated the Fels Naptha bar on the smallest setting of a cheese grater (grated my right index finger knuckle in the process) and then ground up the grated bar in a coffee grinder.  I’m sure there are better ways to do that, but I used what I had on hand.

I added the ground up soap to the dry ingredients in the jar, put the lid on it and shook it up really well.  I use the oxy scoop which is a tablespoon measure to put it in the laundry.  A regular sized load gets one scoop and an extra large load gets two scoops.  We have one of those extra large washing machines so I usually use two scoops for a full load.

I love the smell of the Fels Naptha.  It doesn’t linger in the clothes but it smells good while it is washing.  The clothes get clean, and we’re saving a bit of money – I’m estimating between $4-$5 a month on laundry detergent, since I usually used the store brand free and clear.  It’s not a ton of money, but it’s a little something, plus the reduction in chemicals makes me feel better.

Next up? Homemade dishwasher detergent!