Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Detergent Do-it-Yourself & A Giveaway

Okay. Some of you are probably rolling your eyes about now, while the rest of you have probably been making your own detergent for ages. But, hey. If you just so HAPPEN to fall in any other category of folks reading this blog, then read on, my friend. Because I have a "recipe" for you.

Laundry Detergent

Yes. Laundry detergent.

(Okay--bear with me here.)

You can do this.

Here's what you'll need.

Washing Soda (made by Arm & Hammer; or you can just buy soda ash)
Baking Soda
Liquid castile soap
White vinegar

Measure 1 cup each of baking soda and washing soda into a large mixing bowl. I use a pastry cutter to mix the dry ingredients. Crush up those baking soda chunks. Then add 1/4 cup of Dr. Bronner's castile soap (or any other liquid castile soap will do...but if you want to LOVE the smell the way I LOVE my Almond Dr. Bronner's, then you'll need to get MY kind--perhaps you remember I use it for my baby wipe solution as well).

Mix well with your pastry cutter.

And finally, add 1 cup of vinegar. Pause a moment while the bubbles overwhelm the bowl.
Fizzy, fizzy! Okay. Go!! Chop, chop, mix, mix, stir, stir.

Keep it up until it starts getting really thick. No, REALLY thick. Like "I can't stir this anymore, it's so thick!" It should be like a thick paste. And then...still don't stop.

Start really making good use of that pastry cutter. Work it together like a dough you are trying to get to the "crumbly" stage.

The whole process is somewhat surprising, isn't it? It gets to a workable semi-powdered texture pretty quickly. (It won't be a fine powder like what you start out with or what you might be expecting.) Takes me maybe seven minutes total to make a batch, including the measuring and mixing. (But whatever you do, don't stop stirring once you've added the vinegar. If you walk away and let it cool, you
will be sorry.) It smells divine, too. (You know how I love that Almond!!) Use anywhere between 1/4 to 1/2 cup per load.

No need to cook anything.

No gloopy, gloppy (somewhat smelly) slimy stuff. (I tried the grated soap recipe that's so popular, and it didn't do well in my machine. It was too solid to be considered a "liquid detergent" and too liquidy to be considered a "solid detergent." You'd have to understand my detergent dispenser to really see the problem...)

No use of a potentially dangerous substance called Borax. (No judgment on those of you who use Borax. I just know that since I have a child who gets into EVERYthing imaginable and just last week ATE some of my homemade laundry detergent, well...Borax cannot be an ingredient in this household. Let's just put it that way. But did you know there are dozens of recipes out there for kids' slime made with Borax?? Scary!)

Works great in my front-loading (HE) machine since it's low-sudsing.

The bonus is it's inexpensive to make and works just as well as any store-bought detergent, only without ALL the additives. (So it's great for cloth diapers, baby clothes, folks with allergies, and people who just generally are SICK and tired of all the chemicals the INDUSTRIAL corporations are quietly forcing into our systems.) I've been using this on a regular basis for, goodness, maybe nine to ten months now. And I like it. A lot.


Here's the recipe one more time:

1 cup Washing Soda
1 cup Baking Soda
1/4 cup Liquid Castile Soap
1 cup Vinegar

Easy, huh?

NOW. For the fun part.

How about a giveaway?? Unfortunately, I'm fresh out of computers, hand-made dolls, and cute camera strap covers, but detergent I have. While this is not a glamorous giveaway to say the least, it is a giveaway nonetheless. And giveaways? Hey, let's face it. We ALL like to win things. Today I am giving away a batch of detergent. Enough to do about 12 regular loads of laundry. Here's your chance to try this stuff out risk-free. And without purchasing any ingredients or doing any mixing. Excited yet??? ;)

Here's what you've gotta do:

1) Leave a comment. ('Cause I love to know who stopped by...)

2) Be a FOLLOWER of this blog. (Click Follow at the top right in my sidebar and follow the on-screen instructions.)

That's it. But you've got to do both. (Obviously, if you already ARE a follower, then I KNOW that, and you're covered.)

Doing both will get you ONE total entry.

For extra entries (in no particular order):

1) Blog about this giveaway and let me know you did.
2) Tweet about this giveaway and let me know you did.
3) Mention this giveaway on Facebook and let me know you did.

I'll let this run through Saturday, February 6, at midnight.

Okay. That ought to do it. Woo-hoo! Can't wait to see who wins!!!!

P.S. If you have any trouble finding the Washing Soda, stay tuned to this blog because next week I'm going to share about where you can find it...and it's perfect for moms (like me) who dislike going shopping with many small children in tow!!

Comments are now closed.


  1. Whoohoo! Who wouldn't love a batch of homemade detergent! Count me in!

  2. Howdy! It's me, Marci. Hope I win :)

  3. LORI, this came Just in Time! Thank You!!

  4. i have lots of "spit-uppy" clothes that could really use a good clean...sure hope i win!!!!! :)
    now if you could just giveaway someone to DO the laundry!!!!!!

  5. This is awesome! Sign me up!

  6. I'd love to win so I can give it a try....I have a front loader too. Where do you put this type of detergent?

  7. Oooo oooo pick me, pick me! I've been wanting to try a detergent like this but all the homemade ones were the liquid goopy stuff. Thanks for hosting this and sharing your "recipe."

  8. I've tried making that stuff with *gasp* Borax, and it lost its effectiveness after a while, so I'm curious to see how this stuff works. Hope I win! ;-)

  9. I've been making my own detergent for awhile & LOVE it!!! I do use Borax though (hanging head in shame) hehe! Didnt know there was another way- I'll have to give this way a go!

  10. Just stumbled onto your blog. Thanks for the great recipe!

  11. What a great giveaway! So unique. I am baby-stepping my way to a greener lifestyle...mostly because of it's cost saving advantages. This is something I've been too chicken to try myself, so having someone else make it for me to start me out would be great! Thanks for the chance to win!

  12. I posted an announcement on my FB page. :)

  13. Would love to win this as we found out our 2 month old has eczema a couple of weeks ago and store dye free scent free stuff is SO expensive. Will def be trying this recipe anyway though. Thanks!

  14. here I think the trouble will be finding the liquid castile soap but I'm going to look. I've made the other kind and didn't find it cleaned the clothes very well...I'm going to give this recipe a try! :)

  15. Tried the "liquid detergent, too" - just threw it out because it was a big block of gunk and bought some from the store. Totally would love to try this recipe before making my own!!!

  16. Lori, Do you still use an entire 1/4C for diapers?

  17. L.: I use about 1/4 c. and wash on cold. Then I wash again with about 1/3-1/2 c. (depending on how big my load is) on HOT with an extra rinse cycle.

  18. I always thought a pastry blender was for baking...silly me! :)

    I would love to try this AND I follow your blog!


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