Saturday, February 1, 2014

DIY Laundry and Dishwasher Detergent

I have read many different posts and discussion threads about the merits of making your own laundry and dishwasher detergent, that I had to give it a try too. And yes, both detergents really work. In fact, they work really well. I can't say that  have done the math to see if making your own detergents is as cost-effective as people say, but it is kinda fun to make.  And it's satisfying in a way I can't really describe.

After trolling Pinterest, the common ingredients seemed to be borax and washing soda, with variations for laundry versus dishes. Many recipes had you using entire boxes of borax (76 oz.) and washing soda (55 oz.) at once, but I wanted to come up with recipes that I could whip up easily depending on need.  So, here is what I came up with:

LAUNDRY DETERGENT - 2 tablespoons or 1/8 cup per load

1 bar Fels-Naptha soap (grated in the small holes of a cheese grater, or pulsed in a food processor)
2 cups borax
2 cups washing soda
2 cups Oxy-Clean (optional)
1-2 cups Downy Unstopables or Purex Crystals (optional)

DISHWASHER DETERGENT - 2 tablespoons or 1/8 cup per load

2 cups borax
2 cups washing soda
2 cups citric acid
1 cup kosher salt
* use white vinegar as a rinse aid

Be sure to mix well before using, and store your detergents in an air-tight containers. As a last note, many recipes called for using only 1 tablespoon of detergent per load, which I think would work just fine. I only happen to use 2 tablespoons, because I have extra 1/8 cup measuring scoops handy.