I have been wanting to make homemade laundry detergent, or soap-powder rather, for awhile now. After running out of what we normally use, the 7th Generation brand, I decided to give it a try. The 7th Generation detergent works great, but I knew I could make my own for less money and hoped to make it as natural as possible. I tried a recipe that many people love, would work for my front loading machine and is simple to make. The verdict: it works wonderfully, is very inexpensive and is very simple to make. The downside is that the Fels Naptha bar is not the most natural option (but easily remedied). My instructions and more thorough review follows.
1. You will need: Borax, Washing Soda and a bar of Fels Naptha
2. Grate the entire bar of Fels Naptha, using a non-kitchen grater. (I always label my DIY graters and seperate them from food graters) *When your arm gets tired, ask a kind soul to take over for you while you relax and take pictures
3. The recipe: Mix the grated bar of Fels Naptha with 2 cups Borax and 2 cups Washing Soda
4. Find a container to hold the laundry powder - I had the perfect huge glass jar, which made it look like there isn't much powder in there. But I was surprised how much it made. Give it a good shake to mix all the ingredients together. Don't forget to label.
I use 2 tablespoons per load, put in with the clothes rather than in the soap dispenser on my front loading machine.
- It works really well. Clothes come out clean.
- My husband likes how it smells like laundry soap.
- It is much cheaper per load than store bought detergent.
- I enjoy making my own products and feeling self-sufficient.
- Less plastic packaging than we were using before.
- A more natural option than many store bought detergents
- Takes some time and elbow grease (might be a con to some, although I like that part!)
- That fresh smell is due to some questionable ingredients in the Fels Naptha bar - after some research, found it’s not the crunchiest choice - it contains some chemicals I don't feel good about.
I love it and will use this batch until its gone and then next time, use a different soap bar that is a more natural option - perhaps a Dr. Bronner's soap bar? Happy cleaning!