With a baby in the house - especially a baby in cloth diapers - we go through laundry detergent like it's going out of style.
I met someone recently who shared this recipe for homemade laundry detergent with me. It uses all natural pure soaps, although it's not an organic recipe (I hope to experiment with one in the future).
I initially was interested in it because you have to use a special detergent for cloth diapers - something that doesn't leave scent or any kind of residue after you wash them (or else it won't absorb moisture properly). There are detergents you can buy specifically for cloth diapers, but they can get a little pricey. Added bonus? It's pure and natural, doesn't leave any dyes, scents or chemicals touching your skin, and it's super cheap!
Fels Naptha laundry bar soap – 1 bar - $0.97
Borax – 76 oz (9.5 cups) - $3.38 ($3.38 / 9.5 c. = $0.36/cup)
Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda -- 55 oz (6.875 cups) - $3.24 ($3.24 / 6.875 c. = $0.47/cup)
Total cost per batch (½ gallon) (128 loads) = $1.80 per batch
$1.80 / 128 loads = $0.014 per load
(I purchased all these ingredients at Walmart, so those are the prices that are reflected. You can also purchase on Amazon.)
Ingredients You Will Need:
1 bar Fels Naptha soap
1 c. Borax
1 c. Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
4 c. hot water
Place 4 cups water in saucepan on high heat.
Mix Borax and Washing Soda together and set aside.
Grate Fels Naptha with a cheese grater or by cutting into small chunks and running through a food processor.
(I just used a cheese grater.)
Add soap to the saucepan, stirring almost constantly. Reduce heat to medium.
Dissolve soap (about 15 minutes, DO NOT let boil over).
Remove from heat and add powder mixture, stirring constantly until dissolved and not grainy.
Pour equally into two 1-quart mason jars.
Add water to the jars, bringing the contents to the shoulders of the jar (about 1 ½“ head space).
Put lids on jars and set them upside down for 4-5 hours, until the layers separate.
Whip until smooth and creamy (about 1 minute).
Use 1 Tbsp. per load.
(Makes about ½ gallon, which yields approximately 128 loads.)
Fun Facts & TIPS:
- The soap can be stored indefinitely.
- Adding ingredients at the wrong time makes it grainy and it won’t dissolve well.
- Because the soaps used are pure, they will not make suds in the washing machine.
- Can also add a small amount of vinegar to washer in addition to 1 Tbsp. detergent if desired.
- Can also add a small amount of tea tree oil to washer in addition to 1 Tbsp. detergent if desired.
(If you are using this recipe for cloth diapers, this step is especially good if baby has thrush or yeast infection.)
So go have fun, smell great, and save money!
2/10/2014 02:01:07 am
Is this HE washer safe as well
Jil M. Powers
2/15/2014 03:19:00 pm
Hi Virginia! Good question. I know it's safe for them, but the consistency is a bit thicker so sometimes doesn't always dilute well enough for HE machines. I am going to try to tweak the recipe though for my next batch and see if it's better. (More water maybe?) Let me know if you try it! :)
3/26/2021 02:30:44 am
Thanks for this blog poost
8/21/2022 07:11:51 am
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