I know . . . I know . . . every blogger in the world has put a post on about their homemade laundry detergent–at least that’s what it seems like!
But it fits my thrifty theme–and it involves fun for the kids.
Huh? How’s That?? How is making homemade laundry detergent fun for kids?
Well–let them grate the soap! That’s right! I actually have a stand mixer that could grate the soap for me, but the kids think it is fun to grate it themselves so much so that I have to regulate who’s turn it is! Imagine that–with all the toys we have, they think grating soap is fun! In fact, my oldest daughter once made this soap all by herself and was quite proud of herself. (And I thought it was great too–one less job for me to do!) Well, why don’t you give it a whirl and see if your kids think it is fun!
Anyway, it definitely is thrifty. When my second daughter was four I started using Melaluca laundry soap as she had excema and asthma. I thought using a natural soap might be beneficial to her. But talk about expensive! Now that I have 5 children, our family does a lot of laundry. (I think that last sentence is a bit of an understatement!) Well, I had her tested, and found out that she was allergic to glycerin, so once we stopped using lotion on her that had glycerin in it, her “excema” cleared up.
Now that her skin condition was under control, I started rethinking my use of such an expensive laundry detergent. If you are lovers of Melaluca–no offense–it is great soap; it was just not in our budget. So my mom used the recipe that the Duggars have on their website, and she really liked it.
The first time I made it, I made it just like the Duggar recipe using the Fels Naptha soap. After a few weeks, my son got a rash across his shoulders. I continued to use the laundry detergent as it wasn’t that bad; and the rash didn’t get worse, but it didn’t get better either..
One day, I was talking to a friend who also made homemade laundry detergent, and she said that she used Zote as she liked the scent of it. So I looked it up, and it appears to me after my very surface study of Zote vs. Fels Naptha that Zote has less bad stuff in it. I know I shouldn’t use the word “stuff”, but I don’t know what else to call the big words on the labels.
Now some people are strong advocates of just one or the other, and some people can only can find fels naptha or vice versa, but I can find both at very cheap prices. ($1 a bar of soap.) The other ingredients last for several batches of soap and can all be found at Walmart — if you have one in your area. The last couple of times I made the soap, I used Zote, and Joshua has not gotten any more rashes. I also put about 1/2 cup Oxyclean in the soap, which the Duggars do not do.
So here is how I make my soap:
- Grate 1/2 bar of Zote (or 1 bar of Fels Naptha)
Stir the grated soap into a saucepan that has 4 cups of hot water
- Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.
Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of hot tap water. Add melted soap, 1 cup of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (not baking soda), ½ Cup Borax, and ½ Cup Oxyclean.
- Stir well until all powder is dissolved. Fill bucket to top with more hot water. Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken.
- The next day, I take a yardstick and stir up the soap. (It is a little thick.)
- Then I pour the soap into old laundry detergent containers (I only have one of those) and into old milk jugs. I dip my 8 cup measuring cup into the detergent and pour it into my bottles. It was hard to get the soap into the milk jug with my kitchen funnel as the soap was so thick, so I just bought a funnel that is usually used for oil off of Amazon for my next batch of soap. I think this funnel will make it so much easier to get the soap into the containers. You could also leave it in the 5 gallon pail and stir it every time, but I’m afraid of my little ones getting into it, and it’s easy to shake a closed bottle than stir it every time!
- The Duggars say to only fill the jugs halfway, and then to fill the jugs up the rest of the way with water. Then you shake the jug before you use it. I fill the jugs up all the way way up. Then I shake the jug before using it and use about half of what they say to use. (So I only use about 3/8 of a cup for my top loading machine.)
Here is what the Duggars say about the details of this homemade detergent:
- Yield: Liquid soap recipe makes 10 gallons. (diluted–5 gallons if it is not diluted)
- Top Load Machine- 5/8 Cup per load (Approx. 180 loads)
- Front Load Machines- ¼ Cup per load (Approx. 640 loads)
- Works well in traditional or HE machines.
- Low sudsing. It is the ingredients in the soap, not the suds, that does the cleaning.
- Clumping and geling of the detergent is normal. Stir before putting in dispenser, and shake before each use.
Here are the ingredients of Zote:
- Sodium tallowate (beef tallow)
- Sodium Cocoate (coconut oil)
- Fragrance (citronella oil)
- Optical Brighteners
- Dye (Pink and Blue Bars only)
Do you make your own laundry detergent? What do you use? I am always open to change!