I tried this: June 2012
Alterations: I used Dr. Bronner’s Baby Bar Soap instead of Fels-Naptha or Dreft. I grated it with my food processor and then ran it through the actual food processor, so it became more of a soap powder. I did this because I have a HE front loader, and I was worried the soap shreds might clog up the machine. I also used Oxiclean Free and Clear instead of regular Oxiclean. I was trying to avoid any additives that might irritate my baby’s skin.
Thoughts: Between buying the ingredients (Borax: Walmart – $3.38/Baking Soda: Commissary – $2/Washing Soda: Commisary – $2.40/Oxiclean: Commissary – $5.79/Dr. Bronner’s Baby Mild Soap Bars (3): Drugstore.com – $12.27), the jar (Walmart: $10) and a bin to mix it in (Walmart: $10- not a necessity), I spent closer to $50 making homemade laundry detergent. That’s a lot on the upfront!
If you can, mix this up outdoors. I mixed it all up in my kitchen and felt like I was inhaling soap for a while.
We’ve been washing our clothes with this detergent since June, approximately two to five loads per week. Now, more than three months in we’re about halfway through our supply. So cost effectiveness would definitely be a positive for this homemade detergent.
I don’t know that I could say I love it, but I can say I believe it cleans our clothes (it has good stain-fighting power). A big down side is, the clothes don’t really come out smelling “clean.” The recipe said that you might want to use washing crystals or fabric softener, which I’m trying to avoid (to extend the life and quality of our clothes). But I have been finishing up a box of dryer sheets, which seems to help in giving the clothes a more fresh smell. Next I think I’m going to experiment with wool dryer balls with essential oil in them. Hopefully, this will help.
At the end of the day, I’m not really sure how I feel about this project. For $15, I might make at least one more batch when I run out. After all, the clothes come out clean and that’s what the detergent is supposed to do. But, as of now, I’m still washing Madeline’s clothes in Method Baby Detergent…