Saturday, March 9, 2013

How To: Powder Laundry Detergent

The Reluctant Farmer and I have been saying that we wanted to make our own laundry soap for several weeks, however we had just not done it yet.  Finally, after laundry had reached an ultimate high, and the amount of detergent we had on hand  had reached an ultimate low, we decided to make our own laundry soap.  This recipe is so simple, and fast that there is no excuse not to give it a try.

You will need:

1 cup of Borax
1 cup of Washing Soda
1 bar of soap
A marge mixing bowl
A cheese grater
A blender
A container for your finished product

Grate the soap into small pieces.  Add the soap to the blender.  Then add the washing soda to the blender, and blend until the product is in a semi-powder form.  Put the borax into a large mixing bowl and then stir in the soap/washing soda mixture from the blender and you are finished! 


My friend Maria adds Purex Crystals to a similar recipe for add scent, and she loves it.  So, if you decide you want extra scent give that a try!

The Reluctant Farmer has played around with this recipe and in the second batch that she made, she added 1/3 cup of Oxyclean to the mixture for extra stain fighting properties.  

You should use heaping tablespoon of soap per regular load of laundry, although you can use 2 tablespoons of your laundry is extra dirty or a large load.

Not only is this soap super effective, it is super cheap to make!
The boxes of Borax and washing soda run $4.00 each.  The bar of soap cost me about $1.00 per bar to make.  You should get 192 loads of laundry for about $8.00 and still have a few cups of Borax left over for your next batch.  That equates to $0.04 per load of laundry!

I swear that my clothes feel cleaner and lighter than they do when washed in my regular detergent.  On top of that, saving money makes my wallet feel lighter too!

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  1. What bar soap did you use and does it dissolve in cold water? Thank you so much for your time.

    1. Eunice, I used soap that I had made myself but technically you could use whatever you have available. (We used soap from our local soap shop too and it worked fine as well...)

      Yes,it does dissolve in cold water because of the blender. The original recipe did not call for the blender and that did not dissolve as well. We wash most of our clothes in cold water so this was important to us!

      Good luck!

    2. So as long as we process it well in a blender then it should be ok in cold water? We use pretty much all cold water too. I know for us I am going to use Dr. Bronner's soap bar to try first, it's one I have seen in a lot of laundry soap recipes but they are almost always liquid. I just don't have a way to store liquid soap like that well. Thanks for this powder soap recipe!

    3. We only use cold water except for "undies" and it has worked great! No residue and dissolves completely! We tried another recipe and didn't use the blender and that did not work well at all....

  2. I've been making my own laundry detergent for about the last 6 months. I haven't tried the scents crystals. Will hav to try that.


  3. when I first found this recipe it called for fels naphtha soap which I have used for years for a variety of purposes. I find it doesn't foam too much and is gentle enough for gentle clothes yet still strong enough to make them clean.

    I think the reason your clothes feel lighter is because commercial detergents add a type of polymer (plastic) and that actually coats the clothes with a layer that actually sticks to the dirt! People who use commercial dryer sheets are adding not only chemical artificial scents but these are mostly polymers.

    For scented laundry I use Therapeutic Grade essential oils of lemon or lavender, 1-2 drops into the water before adding clothes. For very dirty clothes or when there has been illness, I also add one capful of Thieves Cleaning Solution bc it has cinnamon and other oils that will kill bacteria safely.

    For fluffy drying when I can't hang on the line I put 1 cup white vinegar in the center cup of the washer. This mixes into the rinse cycle. Then in the dryer I use those bumpy balls and they dry faster and come out fluffy.

    I enjoy your writing