I love to know what materials, ingredients and labor went into the products I use and consume. However, like most of the industrialized world, the research required to know 100% of this information 100% of the time is nothing less than paralyzing.
Thus, when able, I like to make items from scratch. Be it a chocolate chip cookie, or growing a tomato in the garden, this is most easily accomplished with food (although, let’s be real, even the chocolate chip cookie recipe contains oodles of ingredients I did not produce on my own – no cacao bean trees nearby and all).
In this case, I decided to make my own laundry detergent. You can do it, too, without much work!
If you want to get fancy, you’ll also order essential oil.
You must also have available:
Large pot (think boiling water for a pound of pasta)
Larger pot/bucket (can be a mop bucket or 5-gallon bucket depending on the quantity you decide to make)
Bottles for storage
*Funnel (not completely necessary, but definitely helpful)
1/2-1 bar of soap
6-8 cups water (for boiling)
1/2 cup Washing Soda
1/2 cup Borax
2-4 gallons of water (for mixing)
Shave the bar soap into a pot of boiling water.
Mix in a little at a time so the soap does not immediately re-clump together. Taking your time at this step helps to avoid lumpy detergent at the end.
Once you have achieved a smooth blend, prepare your “larger pot/bucket” by filling it with tepid – warm water and stirring in the washing soda and Borax. Give the pot of melted soap a final swirl and then pour it into the “larger pot/bucket” mixture.
Set in a dark corner where zombies won’t find it, and cover. Leave for 12-24 hours.
The next day, uncover the larger pot/bucket, stir til you reach a consistency you desire and distribute to your bottles.
My detergent does separate in between uses, though it reincorporates quickly with a brisk bottle shaking.
Honestly, this process just got too quick and too boring to continue taking photos. Plus, this process has been blogged to death and there is a wealth of photos and videos at your fingertips if you just use Google. I provide two links below to the blogposts I relied upon to make my own detergent.
Amazingly clean clothes with scents and odors under my control!
Don’t get me wrong, I am not completely fooling myself here. I used products made by huge multinational conglomerates and I supported the very bottom line that I am trying to undercut. Yet, there is a sense of accomplishment in making laundry detergent for such little money and effort.