2 Things That are Never DONE…

Dishes & Laundry…I am pretty good at staying on top of it…well, most of the time.  I have started to do at least one load of laundry a day (one of my 2012 Home Goals), it seems much more manageable…and yes, there is ALWAYS enough for a load a day in this house.  Here is Mt. Duckwall…this is what happens when I slack for less than a week…

…this is the ‘after’ all clean & folded.  You should have seen the mountain before it was conquered…this does not include the hanging clothes… just the kids’ stuff really.  For the record, we have a king sized bed.

As everyone knows, I LOVE PINTEREST!  I saw a pin that was for ‘make your own laundry detergent’  it used a bar of soap as the base…that got my wheels spinning.  I LOVE Mrs. Meyers Lemon Verbena fragrance.  I even splurged (before the budget belt got tightened down to the extreme) and bought a 64 oz bottle of her Lemon Verbena laundry detergent…it was $15 if memory serves (I know, but have you smelled it???).  Well, Mrs. Meyers makes a bar soap…see where this is going?  The bar is $5.  I can make Lemon Verbena laundry detergent???  Yes I can.  And I did.

I started with basic ingredients that every other ‘how to make your own laudry detergent’ tells you to use…borax, washing soda, & a bar of soap.

I found the borax pretty much everywhere, but only found the washing soda at Wally World. 

Now, all of the instructions say “grate the soap with a box grater”, but I don’t have the time, patience, or arm strength for that…so I used my food processor’s shredding blade, it was done in under a minute…the whole bar!  I wish I had a picture of that.

I dumped the soap into my most ginormous pot…I believe it is a 21 quart (I use it for Low Country Boils) along with 1 gallon of water.  I turned on the heat and stirred it until the soap dissolved.  Now, I am going to venture from what I actually did…to what I will do next time (probably some time in the summer…I made a 6 month-ish supply).  I would add 2 cups each of borax and washing soda, bring it to a boil, turn off the heat and start adding 3 more gallons of water (this is about all my pot could accomodate) and allow it to cool enough to handle the pot safely (I waited a couple of hours…while I did laundry & dishes LOL). 

See, it is really thin…until it cools…I tested how thick it would get by spooning some into a glass cup and letting it cool (I put it in the fridge)…that’s how I decided how much water I needed.  I let it cool & experimented by adding various amounts of water…that’s how I came up with the ratio of the above mixture to water that I added to the jugs.  Then I started pouring it into my clean, empty gallon jugs with a funnel and a big measuring cup.  I decided on 2 parts detergent 1 part water.  I put 10 cups of my mixture & 5 cups of water into each jug…this gives me about a cup worth of additional water I can add if needed.

Thank goodness I had been saving all of those jugs!  See how they are not quite full?  Just in case I think it is too thick.  It barely made suds when I shook the jugs to mix the water, so they should be fine in my HE washer.  I plan on using about a quarter of a cup…so this should get me through about 6 months of laundry if I keep doing 1 load a day.  Not bad for less than $10!

It got pretty thick and I experimented with adding more water, but it separates…so I think what I got is great.  It does need a good shake prior to using, but that isn’t a problem.  It is a bit lumpy-ish, so I adjust my detergent dispenser to halfway between the liquid and the powder.  My true test was darling husband’s work-out wear…I wash it separately to avoid polluting the rest of our stuff…and it came out perfectly fresh (I think better than the stuff I had been using). 

Today’s secret revealed…my homemade stuff doesn’t smell nearly as good as Mrs. Meyers does, but for more than 10 times the amount for less than half the price…I’ll take it!

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2 Things That are Never DONE… — 14 Comments

  1. i have been using the powder version of this laundry detergent for a couple of years (only I also add Oxyclean to the mix), and I no longer miss the fragrance. It’s wonderful to just have my clothes and linens smell “clean.” But I was thinking that if you are using the liquid version, maybe you could add a few drops of your favorite essential oil!

  2. Has anyone tried to added fresh Lemon verbena to this recipe? We used laundry soap and have for awhile (it works very well). I just bought tow lemon verbena plants that i want to infuse into the laundry soap.. Would be amazing!!

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  4. I noticed that you said you used lemon verbena bar soap. I was wondering if you noticed that your clothes smelled like that. I’ve made homemade laundry detergent using fels naptha and the soap smells good, but once its been washed it doesn’t really have a scent at all.

    • You are correct, I don’t notice any lingering fragrance. I may use a less expensive soap next time. I still havent’t used up all of that batch! Prior to making this I was using unscented detergent, so it wasn’t that big of a deal to me that the fragrance didn’t translate. I reserve my Mrs. Meyers detergent for my sheets ;).

  5. I noticed you used the lemon verbena bar, but I was wondering if that alone is strong enough to make your clothes scented? I’ve made homemade laundry detergent using fels naptha and it smells good, but after the clothes are washed they don’t really have a smell.

  6. I want to try this using the recipe where you add some liquid fabric softener. I have noticed that the Meyer’s Fabric Softener has an even stronger scent than the Laundry soap, so adding this may give the home made stuff that potent yummy smell we are all looking for.

    I save the fabric softener for just our sheets then I place my sheets on our bed damp to dry them…. The scent is so addictive. It feels like such a treat climbing into bed the first few nights after I have used the fabric softener. I also made some homemade “febreeze” using Meyer’s fabric softener, water, and baking soda… smells awesome… but left a little residue when it got on my wood bed frame…

    • I didn’t think of adding fabric softener…let me know how that turns out! Thanks for stopping by!

  7. I am fascinated by this! I want to try it and had a thought about improving the scent. I saw on the mrs.Meyers site that their detergent has essential oils of the fragrances. What if a little of that was added with the same scent? Do you think that would work?

    • I am loving it…it does get really thick, that is my only complaint, but the thickness doesn’t make it less effective. I have thought about trying to concoct a mix of essential oils to copy cat the Lemon Verbena…it would DEFINITELY help the scent if I could make it work :). I am completely obsessed with this scent!

    • Thanks for visiting Angela! The detergent is awesome so far! I even think my whites are a bit brighter (maybe I’m dreaming). It really smells nowhere near as wonderful as the Mrs. Meyers though…but can’t beat it for the price! Off to pay your blog a visit!

  8. Wow, making your own laundry is brave!! I’m glad it worked out for you. Not sure if I’m that ambitious yet, but maybe soon, especially since it saves so much money. Thanks for stopping by my blog!!

  9. What a great idea! I’ve always wanted to try making my own but I also have an HE washer and so I was too afraid to try something and mess up my washer. I’m curious to see how it works for you over the next few weeks! That is a lot of $ saved for sure. I feel like I am constantly doing laundry and with a 3rd child on the way, it will only increase!! I may have to try your recipe sometime!

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