All day today I have been catching up on washing clothes,folding clothes and putting away clothes. I am sure everyone loves to do the same. I realized this morning that we are very, very low on our homemade washing detergent. We usually make this detergent about every two months. We have been making homemade detergent for some time now. The recipe we use came out of the Duggars book entitled "The Duggars: 20 and Counting!" As agreed with the Duggars, this laundry detergent saves a huge amount of money. There are seven of us so, as you can imagine, we have lots and lots of laundry to keep up with.
Not everyone will like homemade laundry detergent as it is a watery gel that produces very low suds. It doesn't have a refreshing smell like the store bought brands but we add essential oils to the finished product to give it a nice, clean smell. We usually use Lemon grass essential oil. We have also in the past used Lemon, Tangerine and Orange oils. The ingredients for this detergent is available in the laundry section at most supermarkets. We have found all of them available at Walmart and Kroger.
1 Fels Naptha soap bar, grated
1 cup washing soda
1/2 cup borax
Grate the soap into a small saucepan. Cover it with hot water and cook it over medium-low heat, stirring continually, until the soap is completely dissolved.
Put washing soda and borax in a 5-gallon bucket. Pour in the melted, hot soap mixture and stir well, until all the powder is dissolved. Fill the bucket to the top with more hot tap water. Stir and cover securely, and let sit overnight. The next morning, stir the mixture. It will be gel. This will be the time you want to add your essential oils. After stirring the gel mixture, add your oils and stir to combine.
For top-loading machines: Use about a cup of the soap mixture per load.
For front-loading machines: Use about 1/3 cup of the soap mixture per load.
We also make homemade Pre-Wash Spray:
1/2 cup household ammonia
1/4 cup baking soda
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/2 gallon water
Essential oils (optional)
Mix all of the ingredients together and put the mixture into a small spray bottle and spray liberally onto clothes where needed.