Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Make your own detergent

Many of my friends have made their own detergent and I've seen it all over the 'net. But I'm always late to the party. So I didn't give it a go until this past weekend. Here's what we did:

I modified a recipe found on Padded Tush Stats. This is a great link as it breaks down what people have found work best for washer type and water type. Part of why I waited so long to test this out myself was being unsure of it's effect on cloth diapers. What Padded Tush Stats put together really makes it easy!

We went with the front loading, moderately hard water. 

1/3 bar Fels Naptha *original recipe calls for full bar
1 bar Hulababy Sweet Knee *original recipe does not call for this, I chose to add it
1/2 cup washing soda
1/2 cup Borax

Grate the bars up(used my cheese grater on fine), then put all of the above into a 3-4 quart pot on the stove and add 2 1/2 quarts water. Use whatever temperature you feel comfortable with; I did medium. Stir until it's melted. Then in a 5 gallon bucket put 2 1/2 gallons hot water. Add your melted soapy water to this and stir. Leave the lid off overnight to allow it to 'set'. It's going to be kind of jello/jelly like. 

Now it's ready to use! You may need more or less, but something less than a 1/4 cup should suffice. I've been using mine for a few days now and it may be my imagination, but it does seem like things are getting more clean than before.

For a bit I considered adding essential oils to the mix for a nice smell. After much searching I determined it wasn't worth it as the smell would wash out. Instead, what it seems most recommended is to add a little scent to your wool dryer balls or even a cotton cloth and throw that in the dryer. If you use it at the end when everything is dry, on No Heat, the scent sticks around. I had fun trying different scents. Even though I know 'fragrance' in product is bad, I sometimes miss the smells. But those can be achieved much more safely with essential oils. Just a matter of learning how to use them!

***Edit to add: I'm using a Downy ball with vinegar in it to ensure the Ph balance is proper after washing.

And now, for your viewing pleasure, pictures:

My ingredients!

Shredding soap is kind of fun...

I used one of the buckets my MIL gave me for food storage!

There is a lot of space left; you could get away with a smaller bucket in my opinion.


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