How to make homemade laundry detergent

Written by ehow contributor
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Making homemade laundry detergent is easy and environmentally friendly. Just follow these few simple steps.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • 3.1 oz. bar of soap
  • 1 cup 20 Mule Team Borax
  • 1/2 cup Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
  • Water
  • 5-gallon container
  • Knife
  • Pot large enough to hold 6 cups of water
  • Long stirring stick or spoon for 5-gallon container

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Use the knife to shave the soap into small pieces. Then place 5 cups of water into the pot and heat the water on the stove.

  2. 2

    Place soap into pot and begin stirring until the soap melts. If the water begins to boil, turn the stove off to prevent it from bubbling over.

  3. 3

    Place 3 gallons of hot water into the 5-gallon container once the soap has melted.

  4. 4

    Pour the melted soap mixture into the container of hot water. Stir.

  5. 5

    Add 1/2 cup of washing soda. Stir until the soda dissolves, and then add 1 cup of Borax. Stir until dissolved.

  6. 6

    Add fragrance, if necessary. Add a few drops of essential oils from your favorite scent.

  7. 7

    Cover the container and set it aside. Let it sit overnight so it can cool and gel. The detergent will not gel uniformly; it may appear watery and clumpy.

Tips and warnings

  • 1/2 cup of detergent is sufficient to clean a full load of laundry.
  • Homemade laundry detergent is low sudsing and thus perfect for high-efficiency, front-loading washing machines.
  • This recipe makes 442 oz. of laundry detergent. At 4 oz. per load, you'll be able to wash 110 full loads.
  • If you're using a high-efficiency washing machine: Prior to adding the homemade laundry detergent to the dispenser, stir it to break up large lumps. This ensures the detergent will fully dissolve in the normal wash cycle.

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