- 4 C Water
- 1 C Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda
- 1 C 20 Mule Team Borax
- 1 Bar Fels Naptha
- 1/3 C Purex Softening Crystals
One of the prepping basics includes hygiene. Having clean clothing during a longterm emergency is a necessity for both psychological purposes and disease control. Remember Hurricane Katrina? Tide went around with a laundry bus cleaning the victim’s clothing for them. It was as if they were being given a breath of life.
So Why Make Your Own Detergent?
As you can see from the picture below, the two jars replacing detergent, fabric softener and dryer sheets saves you TONS of space in your storage. I don’t know about you but anytime I have an opportunity to make more space in my storage, I take it.
The two jars will do around 130 extra-large loads of laundry at a cost of around $2.00. That puts the homemade detergent at about $0.015 per load. The other items I got from Costco at approximately $10 a piece. That’s $30 total, doing only around 20 loads more, putting it around $0.20 per load. That’s 13 times more!
Indefinite Shelf Life
I don’t think I need to convince any of you that that’s a good thing. Especially for something homemade.
Beyond all the factors listed above, this homemade remedy will not leave you wanting. It works awesome and doesn’t leave a grimy residue like many homemade detergents.
So before we get started…
I will not be held responsible for you frying half of your brain cells while making this so please listen to me on these and you won’t have any problems. Remember, we’re making laundry detergent!
Make It In A Well Ventilated Area – If it’s not too cold, I’d recommend taking everything and a butane stove out into the garage to do it. If it’s too cold or you don’t have a portable burner. Make sure you have a fan close by to blow the fumes out an open window.
Wear A Mask – Just another safety measure to prevent fume inhalation.
Keep Children and Pregnant Women Out of the Room – I think you know why.
Now you don’t have to, but it’s also a good idea to wear gloves. Not as important as the other safety procedures but it wouldn’t hurt.
Now I’ve done my fair share of finding the perfect homemade laundry recipe. There are endless possibilities floating around Pinterest and cyberspace alike. This particular recipe I found on Budget101 and after using it, I’ve never looked back.
You will be able to find all of the ingredients you need at Walmart. In this recipe we’ll be using 4 cups of water, Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda, 20 Mule Team Borax, Purex Softening Crystals (they have a handful of different scents for you to choose from) and Fels-Naptha. Don’t try to “boost” the detergent with anything like Oxyclean. Your jars will blow up in a few days. Also, just trust me on the Fels-Naptha. It is a great stain remover. Replacing it with other soaps just won’t work the same. You will also need 2 quart sized mason jars to store it in.
Grate 1 bar of Fels-Naptha with a cheese grater. You can also cut it in smaller chunks with a knife and put it in a food processor. I personally found this to be much easier. Oh and make sure that everyone knows that it isn’t cheddar cheese for them to pick at. That would be an embarrassing trip to the emergency room.
Heat up 4 cups of water on high heat. When it starts to boil, add in your Fels-Naptha shavings. Reduce the heat to medium-high and stir consistently for around 15 minutes or until it is completely melted. Be careful not to have the heat too high. The last thing you want is for this to boil over.
Mix together the 1 C. Arm and Hammer Washing Soda, 1 C. Borax and 1/3 C. Purex Crystals in a bowl.
Remove melted Fels-Naptha from heat and stir in the dry ingredients.
Transfer back to medium-low heat and stir vigorously until the ingredients are completely dissolved and no longer gritty – around 20 minutes. This part makes a great arm workout too.
Run two quart sized mason jars under hot water to heat the glass. This will prevent the jars from cracking when you add the hot mixture.
Pour half of the mixture into each glass.
Fill each with hot water until it reaches the shoulders of the jars.
Screw on the lid and band and flip the jars upside down. You may notice some solid residue stuck to the bottom of the jar. If you do, hold the jar with a dish cloth (it will be hot) and shake vigorously until the residue is gone.
Let it sit untouched for roughly 3.5 hours. Any earlier and it may not be cool enough to set right. Any later, and it could become too gritty. After the time has passed turn the jars upright. You’ll notice the bottom has solidified to a very thick paste.
Remove the lid and scrape the residue of Purex Crystals back in the jar by wiping it on the mouth of the jar.
Using an immersion blender, whip the mixture. When you’re done it should look like cream cheese frosting. Yes, I’m salivating.
Screw back on the lid and throw em in your laundry room!
Instructions for Use (For a Medium Load)
- Add Clothing to Washing Machine
- Run Water for Your Desired Wash Cycle
- Scoop 1 Tbsp of Super Laundry Sauce and Run it Under the Water
- Let the Machine do the Work
Now I know our minds have been trained to believe that more is better. That is not the case with this. If you add more than the 1 Tbsp for a large load you will get a grimy residue on your clothing. Also, if your finished product ends up gritty versus smooth, you didn’t let the soaps dissolve completely. If it’s very gritty, you’ll want to spoon the mixture back into a sauce pan and stir it constantly on medium heat until it is smooth.
Now go make a ton so you can have clean clothes when SHTF without using up a whole room to store detergent!
Homemade Super Laundry Sauce
Recipe lightly adapted from Budget101
Make in a well ventilated area
Wear a mask
Keep pregnant women and children out of the room
4 C Water
1 C Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda
1 C 20 Mule Team Borax
1 Bar Fels Naptha
1/3 C Purex Softening Crystals
Heat water on high. While water is heating, grate Fels-Naptha with a cheese grater. Stir in grated Fels-Naptha into hot water and reduce to medium-high heat.
Stir consistently on a rolling boil until Fels-Naptha has completely melted, about 15 minutes.
Mix washing soda, borax and crystals in a separate bowl. Remove Fels-Naptha from heat and stir in dry ingredients. Move back over medium-low heat and stir vigorously for approximately 20 minutes or until the mixture is no longer gritty and completely dissolved.
Heat 2 quart sized mason jars by running them under hot water. Divide the hot soap mixture equally into the two jars. Add hot water to both until the water line reaches the shoulders of the jars. Seal and flip upside down. Shake to incorporate soap stuck to the bottom of the jar if needed. Let sit for 3.5 hours.
After 3.5 hours has passed. Flip right side up and remove lid. Scrape residue on the bottom of the lid into the jar. Using an immersion blender, whip the mixture until it is smooth with a creamy consistency.
Instructions for Use (For a Medium Load)
Add Clothing to Washing Machine
Run Water for Your Desired Wash Cycle
Scoop 1 Tbsp of Super Laundry Sauce and Run it Under the Water
Let the Machine do the Work