DIY Laundry Detergent and My Little Girl

For the past 48 hours my daughter has been leaking green mucus from her eyes.  (I hope you already ate dinner before reading this post-sorry)  Then in the middle of the night she began vomiting and became feverish.  Today we went to the doctor and it was confirmed that she has a sinus infection. The doctor sent us home with a scrip for antibiotics and a scrip for steroids if her cough doesn’t clear up in four days.  Yeah…we are in a thunderstorm of health related drama over here.  Little Man seems fine but Mommy and Daddy are still a bit achy and coughing.

ANYWAY, while Little Girl was taking a much needed nap, I decided to enter into my laundry detergent DIY project.

Sleep on sweet girl

I lost the original recipe that I was going to use and had to spend some time looking for a new one.  I decided on a liquid laundry detergent because that is the type I buy at the store.  There were 10 recipes at to choose from.  I began with recipe #2 but adjusted it because I did not have a 10 gallon bucket.  I think my final product resulted in 3 gallons of soap that may be a little more concentrated.  I will probably use a 1/2 cup of detergent for a full load and add more if that isn’t enough.

Here is what I did:

I grated the Fells Naptha soap and tried not to grate the skin off my knuckles with it.  (I still had a chunk left because I like my hands and happen to need them.  Perhaps I will heat the soap next time to make this a slightly shorter process.  3 minutes isn’t horrible though.)

I heated water (about six cups) in a metal pot on high heat.  I turned it down to the “med-low” the recipe requires when there were tiny bubbles beginning to form at the bottom of the pot.  I figure I want to make this a “doable” thing.  To save time the next time around I will begin heating the water before I begin grating the soap.

I poured the shavings in and because the water was really well heated, the soap melted in about a minute-super simple.

I already had put the cup of washing soda and the 1/2 cup of borax in my bucket.  All I had to do was pour the hot, melted soap and water mixture in with the powder ingredients.  I stirred this mixture until the powder was dissolved and then added 2 gallons of tepid water to the mixture.  Voila!

Now, I read that after the liquid laundry detergent cools, the soap seperates.  With that in mind I thought it might be wise to store the detergent in containers that I could shake before pouring.  I grabbed what was on hand because I had not thought this through.  I filled a lot of containers!


I still had some laundry detergent left and so I poured the remaining mixture in this ziploc container.  Hopefully the picture I took shows what the soap looks like once cooled.  (Little Man says the top feels like butter when he rubs his finger across it.)

All that’s left at this point is giving this “DIY Liquid Laundry Detergent” a try.  I’ll let you know if it really does the job!

PS- The Borax and the washing soda were about $2.50 each at Walmart. The Fels Naptha bar, a buck.  There is a ton of powder still left in the boxes.  I will have to buy another bar of soap. (I thought I had kept the receipt for these items but it has gone missing.)  There was also the one time cost of the five gallon bucket and lid.

Other people have figured out the cost of this detergent.  If you are interested it can be googled I’m sure.  This liquid laundry detergent is cheap, takes little time and, if it works, then it is a keeper.  As I found with my homemade all-purpose cleaner, once you get a little practice, it takes no time at all to replenish your supply, especially if you double or triple the recipe.

Have you tried any DIY cleaners lately?


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