Around the House

Have you ever made your own laundry detergent?  How did it work?  I have tried a few doingthelaundry-2400pxrecipes, and after tweaking one, I think I am happy with it. Here is the recipe I have been using – and I think it cleans very well.  I still put the Borax directly on any grease stains, but for normal cleaning its fine by itself.  I love the fact that it is totally unscented.  You can add a drop or two of an essential oil if you like scented detergent

  • Ingredients

    • 1 cup of Borax
    • 1 cup of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
    • 5.5oz Fels Naptha soap (you can also use castile soap)
    • Hot water
    • 5 gallon bucket with a lid
    • Essential oil for scent (optional)


    1. Grate the Fels-Naptha soap using a cheese grater. Add the shredded soap to a pot with 4 cups of hot water. Put the heat on medium-high, & stir until melted – about 10 minutes.  DO NOT LET IT BURN.  I’d suggest using an old pan – maybe from a yard sale or thrift store – not your favorite  (ask how I know this…)
    2. Fill up a 5 gallon bucket 1/2 with hot tap water. Pour in the melted soap mixture & give it a quick stir. Stir in the borax & washing soda. If you’re using essential oil, now is the time to add it. Lemon, wild orange, clove or Thieves are good choices. You can add about 1/2 oz or so, depending on how scented much scent you prefer. Stir the contents again.
    3. Fill up the bucket with hot water, close to the top – and stir again. A paint stirrer, or clean stick works well.
    4. Snap on the lid,( If you don’t have a lid – cover with plastic and tie around the edge.) & let it sit for 24 hours to gel up. It will be ‘gloppy’, not real smooth.  That doesn’t effect how well it works.
    5. You can put into smaller containers – old detergent jugs, milk jugs, quart jars, etc.  I make mine and share it with family, so quart mason jars work well.

Some thoughts – if you don’t have a 5 gallon bucket handy, cut the recipe in 1/2 and use a pail or huge bowl.  This is great for those with sensitive skin, and for washing ‘unmentionables’.  Its gentle but great at getting things clean.

I’d love to know how yours turns out, or if you have a different recipe you love.  Comments welcome!