It’s Friday (a plastic free Friday..hopefully) and I’m cutting one more plastic container from my home, the laundry detergent jug. I did a little research on making your own and it turns out this is a great way to reduce toxins that feed back into our water supply, save money and I even prefer it over commercial products.
I found this recipe on pinterest and had to make some slight adjustments – noted below.
Step 1: Put 4 cups of water in a large heavy saucepan over high heat. While that is heating, mix the borax and washing soda together in a bowl, mixing well, set aside.
Step 2: Grate the Fels Naptha- I used a box grater and it worked great.
Step 3: Add the grated soap to the boiling water, stirring almost constantly. Reduce the heat to medium, It will take about 10 – 15 minutes for the Fels Naptha to complete dissolve.
Step 4: Once the fels naptha has completely melted, remove the pan from the heat and add in the Borax and the Washing Soda, stirring constantly until the powders are completely dissolved, this will take about 3-5 minutes.
Step 5: Pour the liquid equally into (2) 1 quart Mason jars.
Step 6: Add just enough water to bring the contents up to the “shoulders”, leaving 1 ½ inches of headspace.
Step 7: Put the lid on the jars and turn them UPSIDE DOWN and let them sit a few hours (about 4 hours). The reason for this is that the soap is going to separate into two layers while it’s resting.
Step 8: Mix in blender or food processor. My soap layer turned very hard and I had to use a metal spoon to get it out. I tried both my blender and food processor and had to add a little more water to get it blended through each machine. So my mix is slightly more diluted than in the original recipe, which is why I recommend using 1/8 of a cup versus 1 tablespoon. My batch made 3 quart mason jars full of detergent. It smells great and works amazing!
A few more tips:
-wear clothes multiple times – this lengthens the life of your clothes and saves water, time, money, and electricity
-use the gentle cycle as much as possible – this reduces the amount of microfibers released from your clothes adding more plastic and toxins to our water supply
-hang your clothes to dry, which is pretty obvious but so many people don’t….