Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Liquid Laundry Detergent

I've had a few friends ask for this recipe, and so I decided to post it here for ease of sharing.  A fellow liver mom shared this recipe with me.  I haven't changed it at all from what she gave, but I'll add in my tips on how I've figured out how to make it easy!

Liquid Laundry Detergent

  • 6 cups of tap water
  • 1 bar of soap (you can use any soap you like; I used to use Dove's plain soap since the boys have eczema, and that was all their bodies could handle.  Now I use my cousin's homemade soap.  Want some?  Go to 504 Soap and get some!  I use the Nue 504P for my laundry detergent.  I use the Classic 504P for the boys in the bath, and the Peppermint Rosemary 504P for myself.)
  • 3/4 cup of Arm and Hammer Washing Soda
  • 3/4 cup of Borax Laundry Powder
  • 4 cups hot tap water
  • 1 gallon + 6 cups tap water
  • 4+ gallon Tupperware container with lid

First off, buy all of your supplies and keep them separate from your cooking supplies.  Why?  Because you don't want your food to taste like soap.   Trust me on that.  Go to the Dollar Store and buy a cheese grater, cheap pot, spoon, ladle, and funnel.  Buy a generic brand Tupperware container.  Don't spend a ton of money on these supplies.  It's just laundry detergent, people!  The idea here is good detergent on the cheap.

Grate the bar of soap into a large pot.  Add the 6 cups of water and heat it until the soap melts.  I do this over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until all of the little soap pieces melt.  BE SURE that all of the soap pieces melt.  This will take anywhere from 5-10 minutes.  Also, don't stir vigorously.  You'll make suds and then you won't be able to see into the pot.  Trust me on this - I'm a vigorous stirrer.  Break the habit.  Also, don't let this boil.  Boiling is bad.

While you're waiting for the soap to melt, grab two plastic Solo cups.  No, this is not a drinking game.  Measure out the washing soda and Borax.  Pour them into the cups.  Mark on the outside of the cup where your washing soda and Borax top off.  Next time, you won't have to measure exactly.  Just get to that line and you're good to go.  

Once the soap melts, add the washing soda and Borax.  Keep the heat on medium, but be sure that this doesn't boil.  Stir until the powders are dissolved.  You can HEAR when it's dissolved.  It no longer sounds "crunchy" when you're stirring.  This stuff will get a little thick.  DON'T FREAK OUT LIKE I DID.

After the powders are dissolved, turn off the heat. Pour the 4 cups of hot water into the Tupperware container.  Add the soap mixture.  Stir all of this together until well combined.  Add the 1 gallon + 6 cups of water to the bucket.  I like to rinse my laundry pot with this water, just to make sure I get all of the soap off of the sides.  Stir it all up, and if it looks like watery snot, you've done it right.

Cover the Tupperware container and let it rest for 24 hours while it gels.  And when I say 24 hours, I mean it!  Don't touch that container.  This stuff has to thicken into a Jello-like consistency.  Eeeew.

After the 24 hours are up, I break out my immersion blender and mix this stuff up until there are no chunks - I make it become a liquid again!  I'm magical.  Then I use a ladle and funnel and pour it into 5 orange juice containers I've washed out.  Cheap, folks.  I'm nothing if not cheap.  Also, be sure to give it a good shake/stir before you use it each time.  You could just leave it in the container, instead of measuring it out.  I prefer to put it in the OJ bottles because it's easier to pour, and then my container is empty and ready for me to make more when I start using the last OJ bottle!

So, grab some dirty clothes and get to washing!  Use about 1/2 of a cup per load of laundry.  I use a tad less, because my HE Front Loader Samsung Washing Machine has a max fill line.  I've found that works perfectly for me.  

This stuff doesn't create suds like normal detergent does.  Don't be alarmed by that.  Be proud of the fact that you've avoided the additives that detergent companies put in their detergents to MAKE them foam.  :)

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