Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Adventures In Detergent Making

so last week i attempted to make some laundry detergent. i was in a crafty sort of mood and plus i'm always in favor of making something if it is reasonable and more affordable. you know the duggar family on tv who has 18 (?) children, this is a modified version of their recipe. this is a very economical recipe for me to follow because i regularly use all of the ingredients sans the bar of naptha fels.


you will need:
a bar of naptha fels
1 cup oxiclean (or washing soda)
1/2 cup borax
4-5 drops of preferred essential oil like orange, peppermint, or tea tree oil (optional)



first i got a bar of naptha fels. i thought it would be hard to find since i had never heard of it but nope, it was perched right on the top shelf in the detergent aisle.


i popped it into the food processor and grated it into the tiniest of bits.


then add the cup of oxiclean


& then the borax and tea tree oil. i love tea tree oil. it is antibacterial, antimicrobial, antifungal - it's so multipurpose i put it in almost every homemade cleaning product i use! just don't drink it :)

this recipe makes about 3 cups of detergent but you only need about 1-2 tbsp per load of laundry. i've been using it about a week or more now and i see no difference in performance from this homemade detergent and the conventionally made kind.

27 comments:

meridith said...

that is so cool!

Matt said...

Was this more affordable?

jenny mae. said...

i had on hand the oxiclean and borax. the tea tree oil is optional but i also had that too. so for me the cost was a bar of naptha fels soap. which for the life of me i cant remember how much it was but i think it was between $2-$3. if someone had to buy all of the ingredients of course the initial expense would be more expensive but consider that over time you'd only have to buy one bar of washing soap per round and i'd put this project at about $2.50. also ill note that for normal loads you only have to use 1 tbsp (2 tbsp for heavy soils) as opposed to 1/4 cup of a traditional brand. im giving this recipe two thumbs up and i think im sticking with it

this wanderer... said...

We just made out own, too--liquid detergent. The powder detergent recipe for us also included fels naptha, though we prefer liquid. Our was borax, arm and hammer washing soda, ivory soap, water... ta-da! We love it, too. And its so cheap to make, and we can divide it up among friends and share the wealth! excellent.

Carly said...

Wow, I'm definitely making this! I use 7th Generation detergent, and I've been fiddling around with the measurements (decreasing them)to see how little soap I can use to still clean my clothes. It lasts me a long while, but I would love to make my own. I've been making my own cleaning products (again, hark! tea tree oil!), so laundry detergent is good next step.

jenny mae. said...

carly - i have done similar experiments with "the good detergents" to make them last. by and large my theory is that normal/lightly soiled clothing does not require the recommended use that bottles give you. i also like to add some calgon or borax to washes to boost their cleaning power too

Kristin said...

We started using this recipe recently, too, and I love it! Good stuff. We didn't put tea tree oil in though-- but I think i will next time. :)

Nathan and Aimee said...

Ooh great idea about the food processor. We've been using a hand grater and it takes forever! We have been using this recipe (with washing soda instead of oxy clean and no ess. oil) for about 6 months or maybe longer and we love it. And I hear that some people use their leftover hotel soaps or ivory instead of the fels naptha, but personally I love the way it makes the laundry smell. So so much cheaper! And Fels Naptha here only costs $1.29 a bar! Aimee

jenny mae. said...

aimee - fantastic idea! my parents have like 34789594 bars of soap from hotel stays. i bet they could spare some :)

Judy Crawford said...

My mom was always a big fan of
Fels Naptha soap. It was pretty much a staple item in our house growing up. She used it for everything. My dad used it for degreasing his hands after working on the car. I get poison ivy REALLY bad every year when preparing my garden beds. It is the only thing that helps poison ivy clear up. Believe me, I have tried everything.

fijimama said...

This is really great! I love tea tree oil too- it's really helped our kids' cloth diapers to stay fresh. Oh, and I have the same blender/food processor as you & its groovy :)

rachaeldear said...

aww man, i love those duggars!

mandi said...

do you put all the ingredients in the food processor? do the clothes smell like tea tree oil? do you think i could use dr. bronners bar soap?

thanks for the recipe. i'm over spending so much on natural detergents.

Anonymous said...

jenny,
love the recipe. do you think it would be okay in a HE washer?
jennifer anderson

jenny mae. said...

mandi - i just use the food processor to grate up the naptha fels bar. the rest i just toss by hand since it's powder. and yes dr. bronners would be awesome! but more expensive. no i do not think the clothes or detergent smell anything like tea tree oil. it is an optional thing i like to add bcs of its antifungal, antibacterial, antimicrobial properties and i dig the smell. any essential oil would be fine or none at all. the original recipe had no oil


jenn - i think this would be a great HE compatible recipe because it is low sud. that's part of the deal with the detergent right?

Anonymous said...

you got it! thanks, i am going to try this.

jennifer

jenny mae. said...

jenn - if you think a liquid would be better here is the way to make this recipe as such.

http://www.duggarfamily.com/recipes.html

Susanna... said...

ahh i need to try something like this...but i don't think i can find those ingredients here...with all our wash though, i should go on a diligent search! thanks for sharing!

rachaeldear said...

btw, how do you feel about your food processor? i'm in the market for a new one...

jenny mae. said...

susanna - where are you at? i bet you could get this stuff almost anywhere!

rachael - very satisfied. how much and for what purposes would you use one? i use mine a moderate amount and the only thing i would improve on was the capacity of it, but i like its attachments.

Anonymous said...

you ok? it's been a week since this post and we were getting worried about you :)

jenny mae. said...

yes i am well and good just extremely busy. ive picked up a second (or third if you count the work that goes into being at home with my children) job freelance writing. this in addition to medical transcription work that i do from home has kept me uber busy. sorry for the lack of updates!!

Anonymous said...

No worries! Glad you are well! Life > Blogs :)

Being a stay at home mom is an enormous amount of work! You are an extremely brave woman juggling two other jobs. Hopefully you also get a moment to yourself every now and then :)

Anonymous said...

I too am wondering when the next post? Love, Jane A
Smile, smile, smile

Anonymous said...

I found this site using [url=http://google.com]google.com[/url] And i want to thank you for your work. You have done really very good site. Great work, great site! Thank you!

Sorry for offtopic

Anonymous said...

Side-effects cloud nine bigprx Sale cymbalta Pharmacy ultram Side-effects combivir No prescription trimox Discount lotensin

Anonymous said...

wpw wolff parkinson white syndrome [url=http://usadrugstoretoday.com/products/relafen.htm]relafen[/url] sexy downs syndrome http://usadrugstoretoday.com/products/benicar.htm naproxen diflucan http://usadrugstoretoday.com/products/nexium.htm
diet lose weight [url=http://usadrugstoretoday.com/products/brand-amoxil.htm]brand amoxil[/url] breast mammogram [url=http://usadrugstoretoday.com/products/biaxin.htm]dental xray breastfeeding[/url]