How I Wash Our Clothes.

Holy Moly, WordPress just notified me that this post is my 1,000th post on this here blog! What on earth? I feel like I should do something special, but I don’t know what…Anyway. Moving on.

The stuff you need.

The stuff you need, except the Fels-Naptha, which wrappers I had already thrown away. Because I plan so well for these posts.

I have made my own laundry detergent for ages. I am not all that industrious, though, and I avoid any that require cooking. I am all about the ease of powder. The most difficult thing I do is grate a bar of soap. And even that is made easier by the use of this fabulous kitchen tool: King Kutter Food Processor. It’s a tool my mom had when we were growing up, and once Levi got a chance to use it at her house, he bought one for ours.

For years, my recipe was simple: 2 cups Borax, 2 cups Washing Soda, and 4 Tbsp. grated Fels-Naptha. However, I’m still having some problems with smells coming out. I found myself adding a scoop of baking soda to all my loads, and a cup of vinegar to the rinse. I thought to myself that there has to be a better recipe. So, I searched around on Pinterest until I found this one:

Click image to see original recipe.

Click image to see original recipe.

I read through it, and since it simply adds a few ingredients to my own recipe, I decided I would try it out, with a few modifications. She recommends NOT using a food processor for the grated soap, but I know a trick that works VERY well. When I make my current recipe, I grate the soap, then put it on a waxed-paper covered cookie sheet for 24 hours to dry out. No problems with the food processor. Plus, the food processor mixes everything far more evenly than if I do it by hand–it takes care of the inevitable clumps in the borax, washing soda, and baking soda.

Also, instead of Purex Crystals, which add nothing except smell, I am using Young Living Essential Oils. Not only do they smell nice, they actually add to the cleaning power of the detergent. That said, here is my current recipe, which I am far happier with:

Tools Needed:

  • Food processor. We just have a cheap, crappy one, but it works.
  • Clean 5-gallon bucket.
  • Large container of your choice to hold finished product, if, like me, you don’t have space in your laundry closet to store a 5-gallon bucket.
  • Two cookie sheets (or largish shallow pans that will let you spread out the grated soap).
  • 1 cup measuring cup.

All The Things You Need for the Detergent:

  • 4lb 12oz. box of Borax
  • 4lb box of Baking Soda
  • 3lb. 7oz. box of Washing Soda
  • 3 bars Fels-Naptha soap
  • 3lb. container of OxiClean
  • All of the above can be found in the laundry aisle of any supermarket.
  • Young Living Essential Oils of your choice. Plan on using at least 2 15ml bottles, total. I like Thieves & Citrus Fresh.

What to Do:
1. Grate your soap. If you don’t have a King Kutter, and you live locally, you are welcome to come by and use mine. If you just have a hand grater, it’s recommended by the original recipe lady that you use your grater straight out of a hot dishwasher. Spread out the grated soap on cookie sheets covered in waxed paper. Leave them alone for a good 24hrs. Or more, if you want an excuse to procrastinate.

2. Once your soap is dried out, gather All The Things.

3. Depending on how big your food processor is, you may be able to do bigger batches. Mine holds a max of about 4 cups, so that’s what I work with. Put 1 c. each Borax, Washing, and Baking sodas into the processor. 1/2 cup Oxi Clean. Add a handful of grated soap, and 20 drops essential oils.

4. Use the “mix” setting on low, and process until it all looks about the same color. Dump it into your 5-gallon bucket.

5. Repeat steps 3 & 4 until you run out of All The Things. If you run out of essential oils, that’s okay. Whatever you were able to get in there will go far, because each drop counts for so much.

Fancy Schmancy Big Ol' Jar from Hobby Lobby.

Fancy Schmancy Big Ol’ Jar from Hobby Lobby.

6. Use a big wooden spoon to give it all another good stir, because you will likely run out of most of the things, and end up just processing Borax and soap for awhile. If you have space for the big bucket, you’re done. If you don’t, may I recommend using your 40% off coupon at Hobby Lobby to pick up a fancy schmancy big ol’ jar such as the one I purchased? You will have a good amount left in the bucket, which you can store wherever you like. It’s shelf-stable.

6. Wash some clothes. Use only 1-2 Tbsp. per load, depending on how big and dirty the load is. It works in HE machines. It works in non-HE machines. It WORKS.

You’re welcome.

What’s your favorite homemade cleaner? Do share, and link to your own post, if you have one!

Grace & Peace,