For those of you who follow my regular blog, please don’t go away! I am diverting from my normal posts for a series on DIY natural cleaning products. I want to break it into a series of posts so that people can easily find information on specific products later. If you aren’t interested in this topic, please don’t unfollow this blog. I will return to my regular programming after this cleaning intermission. J Email followers, you will probably get a series of about 10 emails in pretty rapid succession as I plan to post these all at once. Once the initial flurry is finished, my blog life will return to normal.
This is the first DIY cleaning product that I saw. Before that, it really hadn’t occurred to me to make my own. My cousin posted this on her blog as a money saving alternative to store bought detergent. When I started researching natural products in earnest, I was surprised to find that this fell into that category. I have chosen to use Fels Naptha soap in this detergent because I felt that a laundry soap would be more effective. However, I have seen variations that call for the milder Ivory soap or an store bought all natural soap (like Bronner’s soaps). It is simple and very inexpensive to make, regardless of what soap you choose.
1 Cup Borax
1 Cup Super Washing Soda
1 Bar Fels Naptha soap
There are many different recommendations on how to mix this soap. I tried several different ways, and after some trial and error came up with the following:
Mix the first two ingredients together. Using a hand grater, grate the Fels Naptha soap. It is yellow so will actually look like grated cheese. Then put the grated soap in a food processor and pulse until it is broken down into a very fine “powder”. Mix with the dry ingredients, close container and shake.
Many of the sites I found said to mix this in the blender, including the dry ingredients. This did NOT work for me, and nearly burned out the motor in my blender. I do not recommend this method. J
I found all 3 ingredients in the laundry soap aisle of Walmart. The boxes of Borax and Super Washing Soda will easily make 6 batches. The total cost for 6 batches (including 6 bars of soap) is about $12.50. High Efficiency washers need about 1 Tablespoon of this. I do NOT have a high efficiency washer so I use about a Tablespoon and a half (use more for heavily soiled clothes). Each batch makes 3+ cups. At 1 ½ Tablespoons per load, this translates to 32 loads. Six batches should wash 192 loads. Total cost per load is $.065 per load.
Additional note: I made some of this for a friend and she asked if it was good for sensitive skin. That prompted me to Google “DIY natural laundry soap for sensitive skin”. This exact recipe popped up in several blogs. Comments on those DIY blogs indicate that it is indeed good for sensitive skin. Some people commented that they have family members with extremely sensitive skin or eczema and that this worked great for them. If you don’t want to take your chances, replacing the Fels Naptha with an different bar soap should eliminate any worry.