Homemade Laundry Detergent

A few months ago... actually more like a year ago... my best gal pal Lindsie passed along a recipe for homemade laundry detergent. As horrible timing would have it, I had just been to Costco and purchased a huge jug of detergent that very week, so I wasn't in need at the time but decided to save the recipe anyway and whip up a batch once mine ran out. And now, a year later, it was finally time to get all domestic and give it a shot.It was incredibly easy to make and a much faster process than I was expecting. As a bonus, my house smelled like fresh laundry for a good week thanks to all the yummy-smelling ingredients! I wanted to make sure I liked how it worked with my machine {we have an HE washer) and I've been really happy with the results thus far. There's only one complaint I have which I'll share that at the end of the post!

What you'll need:
5-gallon bucket - I got one of those obnoxious bright orange bucket from Home Depot and made sure to get a lid.
1 bar soap (Fels-Naphtha)
1 cup arm and hammer washing soda
1 cup borax
2 tbsp Unstoppable scent beads in your favorite scent. (optional)
The best part of this recipe is that with the exception of the bar soap, which is only like $1.00, every other ingredient will stretch through multiple batches. And considering a single batch makes 5 gallons of detergent, you're saving a ton of money!
What to do:
1. Grate the bar of soap in a large pot. Make sure you grate it as small as you can or it will take forever for the soap to melt. I used a regular cheese grater.
2. Add 2 quarts of water to the grated soap and heat on low to melt bar soap- stirring frequently.
3. When the soap is completely melted, add washing soda and borax to soap solution while it is still on the stove. Stir to remove all the lumps. Add optional 2 tbsp scent beads to pot solution and stir until beads have dissolved.
4. When stove top solution is finished, fill the 5 gallon bucket half-way with very hot tap water. Add soap solution then fill the bucket the rest of the way with very hot tap water. Stir to mix thoroughly and then cover the bucket with lid, foil or plastic. This keeps the heat in and aids in melting the soap powders.
5. Let sit overnight. When you open the next day it will look like egg drop soup. Using a long spoon {or your arm if you don't mind getting soap-y} mix thoroughly.
It's ready to use! And don't let the consistency fool you. The little bits dissolve just as well if not better than powder detergent. Each load uses about 1/2-1 cup detergent. I use the line-amount that's already listed on my HE washer's detergent tray. You can leave it in the big bucket or place it in a smaller container for easier use.  Here's where my only complaint comes in and it's probably just something I'd discover. I wanted to re-use the easy-pour spout on the large 2.5 gallon detergent bucket I had just finished {from Costco}. But because of the consistency, it gets stuck in the spout. Not a big deal, I transferred it to another small detergent container. If you do transfer it over to a smaller container, just be sure to give it a good shake before pouring to break up any lumps that have settled between loads.
Do you have any other made-at-home recipes that are worth sharing? If you give this one a try make sure you let me know how it turns out and what you think!
Until next time...