Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Two Ingredient DIY Laundry Detergent

I attended a cloth diapering class at my birthing center recently and they provided me with this recipe. Thanks to The Rebecca Foundation! They are a great local organization that helps low income families with cloth diapers as well as educating the community about using cloth. But that's another post! I have been using this on my regular laundry to test it out and I have been thrilled with the results. I used a free and clear brand before with lackluster results. My laundry has been AMAZINGLY clean. My towels have been SO fluffy. It makes sense because the purpose of not using regular laundry detergent on cloth diapers is to prevent oil buildup that will eventually affect the absorbency, as well as make the diapers stink.

I won't claim to be an expert and I know there is controversy surrounding various ingredients of DIY detergents. But I know this works well with my washer on my laundry and it's the simplest I've seen so far.  It may be worth noting that my water is not very hard. These recipes have a reputation for not working great with hard water.

Without further delay though, here is the recipe:

I feel kind of strange calling this a "recipe". It only has two ingredients. Here is what you need:

  • 1 bar Fels-Naptha or Ivory soap. I used Ivory. At Kroger it was around $1.80 for a three pack here in Tennessee. (sixty cents a pop!)
  • 2 cups baking soda (they were very clear NOT washing soda) One 16oz (1lb) box of baking soda is two cups. A box should run you less than a dollar.
  • You will also need a jar or something to keep your detergent in. It should be air tight. This one is, it's just prettier without the seal and clips.
  • A cheese grater is also needed. I don't see any reason why you shouldn't use the one you cook with. It's just soap, and the ivory rinses easily off of mine.
  • Something to mix it with, you could always use your hand. I used the scoop I use for the detergent.

Step one: Grate the soap. I used one of the finer grits on my grater and it works great. Here is what it looks like grated.

Step two: Add the box of baking soda

Stir it up! Here is what the final product should look like:

Use 1/2 a teaspoon for small loads. I have a heavy duty giant washer (I use a whole mounded teaspoon if it's full. Which is usually.) On the recipe The Rebecca Foundation gave me it says this does 250 small loads (1/2 tsp). Which means 125 large loads for about $1.60. If you do about two large loads a day, this should last you two months. That's a years worth of laundry for less than $10! A sixty load package costs more than that with some brands. And in my opinion they do not clean nearly as well. I have been using this for about a month now and have hardly made a dent in my first batch. I am very happy about my new detergent!

Thanks for stopping by! Let me know if you have tried this and if it worked for you. A piece of advice my cloth diaper instructor gave me is to try adding water softener before giving up on this recipe if it is not working. You should be able to call your energy company and ask if you have hard water.

1 comment:

  1. Hmm, I wonder if high sulfur content equals hard water, or if it's other minerals and stuff. I'm curious to try it. :)