Monday, August 1, 2011

Homemade Laundry Detergent

One evening last year, one of many with Dan working late, the kids were tucked into bed and I sat down to watch an episode, a rerun, of what was then 18 kids and counting.  A show about the Dugger family in Arkansas with now 19 children.  On this particular episode, the daughters were making liquid laundry detergent.  I wasn't sure I loved the idea of boiling soap in a saucepan, but eventually decided, after trying what i thought to be more simple methods and failing, that it was worth a shot.

We gave it a try and we're hooked.  One batch takes only 15 minutes to make.  It sits and gels overnight, and it lasts for months.  It doesn't leave a ring in the washing machine like the powder kind did, it looks and feels like real laundry soap and a 10 gallon batch costs only about $1 to make.  Not only have we saved a fortune, but we've also eliminated a ton of waste as we can reuse the same plastic jug to dispense the liquid.

If you are looking for a way to cut costs or to eliminate unnecessary garbage, or if you are looking for a more natural alternative to chemical cleaners, this is a great place to start!  The ingredients are easy to find at the local grocery shop, and you can make simple adjustments.  We use regular bar soap (whatever is on sale) in place of Fels Naptha.  Though we've not tried, essential oils can be added if you wish to make the detergent more fragrant.

You can find the recipe here at the Duggar Family website:  Duggar Family - Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap.
The recipe is also featured in their book, one of my favorites,
The Duggars 20 and Counting by Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar.

 The Duggars: 20 and Counting!: Raising One of America's Largest Families--How they Do It


Tenny said...

excited about making this!! i already use borax and baking soda for lots of things. i am going to get the "washing soda" though. cheap sounds good. and never having to go to the store to get detergents.. that too:)

Danyel said...

I so have to try this. By the way Lisa your blog is as beautiful as it is inspiring and wise!! I love it!

Lisa said...

I hope it works for both of you! Isaiah is our designated laundry soap maker. I grate the soap, then he takes it from there. Rachel and Sophya would probably enjoy it too ;)
A hint: Be sure to melt the soap entirely or the detergent will not gel properly. Just follow the instructions and you should be all set.
Danyel - Thank you for your kind words ;)

GPJ said...

it's not as crazy as it sounds :-)


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