Tired of spending $10-20 on a “Big” bottle of laundry detergent that lasts only a couple weeks? Here is a Super Concentrated Laundry Detergent Recipe that doubles as a laundry softener with a clean fresh Lavender scent- as if that weren’t enough, you won’t need a dryer sheet either! Oh, and did we happen to mention that it costs less than $2 to make enough concentrate to do 128 Loads of laundry?!
The following recipe is based off our original Super Laundry Sauce recipe… but in an effort to make laundry dry as effortless & inexpensive as possible, I wanted to accomplish 2 more things:
1. To Get rid of the need for Dryer Sheets
2. To have a lightly scented detergent
1 bar of Fels Naptha Soap (grated or chopped into small chunks)
1 c. Borax (20 Mule Team Brand)
1 c. Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (not Baking soda folks!)
1/3 c. Lavender Purex Laundry Crystals (alternatively, if you’d prefer a different scent, they make several to choose from!)
4 cups Hot Water
2 -1 qt Mason Jars
Here’s what the ingredients look like:
They are ALL available in the Laundry aisle in your local stores (walmart, target, grocery stores, etc). In a medium bowl combine the borax, washing soda and purex crystals, mixing well, set aside nearby.
Step 1: Measure 4 cups of water into a large heavy saucepan over high heat.
Step 2: Once boiling add the grated fels naptha, stirring constantly to dissolve. Reduce the heat to medium, (I use about 8 on the gas stove). If the mixture starts to foam heavily or creep up the pan (so it seems like it will boil over) reduce the heat slightly. You want it to Boil, but NOT boil over, which creates a nasty mess. This will take 12-15 minutes to melt ALL of the fels naptha Completely. You don’t want chunks!
Step 3: Remove the pan from the heat and pour the borax/washing soda/purex mix into the hot melted fels naptha and stir constantly to dissolve. Place pan back on heat over med/low, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until the “grainy” feeling of the dry ingredients is gone.
Step 4: Remove from heat, divide the liquid equally into 2 mason jars, I find that a canning jar funnel top really helps with this.
Step 5: Add just enough water to bring the contents of each jar up to the rounded part of the mason jar, leaving a couple inches of headspace- you’ll need this later.
Step 6:Place the lid on the jar and tighten with a screw band, then turn them upside down immediately (careful, the jars are hot!). The soap will immediately start separating into layers. Let them cool about 2-3 hours.
Step 7: The bottom layer will become quite thick, use the back of your wooden spoon to break the layer away from the jar (be careful, it will “spoosh” up at you!)
Step 8: Screw the blade from your blender directly onto the jar and whip it (While it’s still somewhat warm). It will have an Off color (almost greenish when whipped due to the color) Repeat with Second Jar
Step 9: Attach a Label with directions for use. To use, add 1 Tablespoon to a load of laundry in any type of machine, conventional, Front Loader, High Capacity & High Efficiency (HE), etc. Do not add the detergent to the “detergent compartment” but instead directly with the dirty clothes. For small or half loads use 2 teaspoons.
Here is EXACTLY how I use our detergent:
Trouble Shooting This Recipe:
- Do Not Add Oxyclean or Baking Soda to this, the jars will burst after a week or so.
- This does not work if you substitute the Fels Naptha with Zote or Ivory- the substitutes fail to get out tough stains.
- You will notice a very Slight grit just prior to whipping, this is due to the undissolved Purex crystals that settle on the lid during “layering”. This is normal, simply scrape the crystals into the top of the jar by dragging the lid across the top and whip it in.
- This also works Great as a Stain Remover if applied directly to Tough Stains such as chocolate or blood.
- You might have noticed in the photo that there is a long-handled spoon, this is actually a cookie dough spoon with a rubber indentation at the bottom which works great for dropping the concentrated detergent into the machine.
- Using More detergent than is recommended will result in dingy-looking clothes
Budget101 Budget Breakdown:
Fels Naptha .99 bar
Borax 76 oz box = 9.5 cups $3.29 box = .34 c per cup
Washing Soda 55 oz box =6.875 cups – $2.97 box = .43 per cup
Purex Laundry Crystals (32 oz) for $2.78 = 1/3 c. = .23
Total Expense for 128 loads of Laundry = $1.99