We're not just about cutesy crafts around here--we love making practical things, too. Making your own laundry soap is economical and earth-friendly (recycle your old laundry soap containers or milk jugs). And it's pretty darn easy!
We tried a couple different recipes and came up with our own version of liquid laundry soap. It works out to be about $2.50 (or less) for 5 gallons of detergent. Pretty sweet, eh?
Liquid Laundry Detergent Recipe
What you'll need:
*Box of Borax Natural Laundry Boost (this can be found in the laundry soap aisle)
*Box of Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (baking soda will NOT work as a substitute)
*1 bar of Fels-Naptha soap, a stain removing laundry soap (ANY bar of soap like Ivory, Dove, et. will work, but we like the extra stain-fighting in this one)
*Scented oil of your choice (optional)
*Five gallon bucket
*Empty laundry detergent bottles or milk jugs
Instructions for 5-gallons of liquid detergent:
1. Grate your bar of soap with a cheese grater. Careful, the Fels-Naptha soap really looks like cheddar cheese--kids will want to eat it!
2. Put the grated soap in a sauce pan with 6 cups water. Heat soap and water until the soap melts.
3. Add 1 cup washing soda and 1 cup Borax and stir until dissolved. Remove from heat.
4. Pour 1 gallon hot water into your 5-gallon bucket. Add your soap mixture and stir well. Add about 3 1/2 more gallons of hot water to the bucket and stir again. Add your scented oil now if you choose to. We used about 2 tsp. honeysuckle essential oil. Just add enough until it smells good to you.
5. Pour the liquid mixture into your empty bottles (you might want to try a funnel). Or, leave it in the 5-gallon bucket--it will just be a little more difficult to use. Let the mixture sit for about 24 hours. It will thicken almost to a gel.
6. Shake your bottle well before each use. Use 1/2 cup of detergent for large loads.
The Arm & Hammer Washing Soda was about $3 to $4, and the Borax about the same price. The Fels-Naptha bar ran us about $1.25. You will get about four 5-gallon buckets of laundry detergent from one box of each. With tax, we figure that works out to be about $2.50 for 5 gallons. Sweet! That could cover about 160 loads of wash! You can't get a better deal than that.
So you've just saved a ton on laundry detergent. How about an easy way to save on dryer sheets? Good Mama has an easy tutorial to make felted wool dryer balls that will take care of static cling in the dryer. Check out the ones we made. They were easy and fun--a great project for older kids to help out with! Now go tackle that mountain of laundry that's been waiting while you were making one of our "cutesy" crafts!
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