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Old 06-09-2016, 06:33 PM   #1
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Homemade Laundry Detergent - My final revision...I think!

I promised I'd post this today, so here is my "new and improved" homemade laundry detergent recipe.

This recipe now includes OxiClean because I really like the stuff and a cup of it over 10 gallons of laundry detergent is a cost-effective way to use the product.

First, here are the ingredients as I use them:

1 (5 1/2-oz.) bar Fels-Naptha soap
1 cup Arm & Hammer washing soda (NOT baking soda)
1/2 cup 20 Mule Team borax
1 cup granulated OxiClean stain product

Now, here's what I do...after years of tweaking and tweaking and tweaking. Part of my final solution came from realizing that many people don't have the space or ability to work with 5-gallon buckets, lots of boiling water and storing gallon bottles of detergent.

First, drag out your trusty old knuckle grater (box grater) and grate up the bar soap. In the future it will be easier to grate if, when you bring it home from the store, you unwrap it and store it on an open shelf. This allows the soap to dry out a bit and it becomes a bit harder. I do this with all our bar soap. It lasts longer, especially in the shower.

After the Fells is all grated up, put it in the large bowl of a food processor and add the remaining ingredients. Whiz the bejeepers out of it until it is fine, fine, fine. If you don't have a food processor, you can use a blender but you will have to do the whizzing in smaller batches and, then, whisk to evenly combine the batches together.

I use my digital kitchen scale and divide the powdered mixture into 10 equal, or as equal portions as I can get, and put into zipperlock plastic bags, then store in a large FoodSaver canister that I vacuum seal. If you don't have a kitchen scale, you can measure out, to the best of your ability, 10 portions.

When I need a gallon of detergent, I empty a packet of powder into an 8-cup, or larger, measuring bowl/mixing bowl and pour about 6 cups of boiling water over and whisk with a wire whisk until the powder is dissolved. Doesn't take too long.

I let it cool. It will gel. Then I get a gallon jug (I use a Gatorade one because they're strong.) and add several more cups of the hottest tap water to the detergent concentrate. Whisk again to break up the gel and to get a silky liquid and pour into the jug. Put the top on the jug and shake, shake, shake. Let the foam/bubbles dissipate and add more hot water to achieve a full gallon capacity. Shake some more.

I've always shaken my detergent bottle before measuring out into my washer and find this is a good thing to do because the detergent has a tendency to thicken a bit. Nothing to get concerned about. That's just the me in me.

I've been following this plan for a long, long while and have not found any difficulties or flaws with it. The pluses are that the mixing has been brought down to next to nothing and no large buckets or jugs have to be stored. I simply make sure to have 2 one-gallon containers. One filled with the detergent I am using and one to prepare another "recipe" before the first one is empty.

If you have one of those new high-efficiency washers, you can use this product because you need very little and it does not suds up. It's also great for cleaning upholstery.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

I welcome any questions. Love this stuff and I used to be a dipped-and-dyed liquid Tide user.

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Old 06-09-2016, 09:04 PM   #2
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Genius Katie. I'm on this!
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Old 06-09-2016, 09:45 PM   #3
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Genius Katie. I'm on this!
Thanks, Alix. I don't know why I didn't think of it sooner.
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Old 06-10-2016, 04:37 AM   #4
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Thank you, Katie, I love this new version.
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Old 06-10-2016, 05:35 PM   #5
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Thanks Katie, I need that recipe.
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Old 06-10-2016, 06:09 PM   #6
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Katie, have you ever thought of taking it one step further and using water soluble pouches filled with your concentrated gel? They sell such products on the net that are fillable pouches that when dropped into water, dissolve. You could make your own pods!

http://www.aquasolpaper.com/pouches-...ags-envelopes/
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Old 06-10-2016, 06:26 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Caslon View Post
Katie, have you ever thought of taking it one step further and using water soluble pouches filled with your concentrated gel? They sell such products on the net that are fillable pouches that when dropped into water, dissolve. You could make your own pods!

http://www.aquasolpaper.com/pouches-...ags-envelopes/
Why bother when she can just scoop out the amount she needs?
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Old 06-10-2016, 06:31 PM   #8
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Why bother when she can just scoop out the amount she needs?
Why bother even buying today's pods too for that matter, right? Just keep scooping detergent out of a box. It's called convenience.
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Old 06-10-2016, 06:36 PM   #9
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Katie, have you ever thought of taking it one step further and using water soluble pouches filled with your concentrated gel? They sell such products on the net that are fillable pouches that when dropped into water, dissolve. You could make your own pods!

Water Soluble Packaging, Dissolvable Bags & Pouches | Aquasol Paper
The water soluble pouches would be impractical for my recipe because each "packet" makes a gallon of liquid detergent that I use as needed. Plus, I'd have to store a large amount of small quantities. As it is, I only have to store 9 packets. Yes, it makes 10, but I always make up a gallon of detergent when I make the powder. Each packet is about the size of a snack-sized zipperlock plastic bag, which amounts to nearly nothing.

I also have a problem with bite-sized portions of detergent. Too much like something a child would view as something tasty to eat.

Thank you for the suggestion, though. The dissolvable packets might come in handy for another purpose.
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Old 06-10-2016, 06:57 PM   #10
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The water soluble pouches would be impractical for my recipe because each "packet" makes a gallon of liquid detergent that I use as needed. Plus, I'd have to store a large amount of small quantities. As it is, I only have to store 9 packets. Yes, it makes 10, but I always make up a gallon of detergent when I make the powder. Each packet is about the size of a snack-sized zipperlock plastic bag, which amounts to nearly nothing.

I also have a problem with bite-sized portions of detergent. Too much like something a child would view as something tasty to eat.

Thank you for the suggestion, though. The dissolvable packets might come in handy for another purpose.
One blessing about dissolvable pods with me is I no longer have to worry about dark clothes getting streaked because of too much detergent at one area of the wash. I suppose that can be gotten around by how you add it to the wash. I'm not that savvy at home economics

How about dissolveable packets for cooking? Just thinking 22nd century out loud here.
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