Homemade Liquid Detergent for Detergent Snobs

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

I can't claim the recipe so here it is on the front end.   Feel free to jump to that recipe if you choose to forgo reading how this detergent snob began making her own detergent. 

Let me start by saying that I.am.a.detergent.snob.

I admit it.  I claim it.  I own it.  

For the looooooongest time I would make fun of my friends who were making their own detergent.  Besides being a 1500 B.C. practice, ain't nobody got time for that!  I mean for real.   

Can I get an Amen?

So after secretly making fun of friends for a few years, I started thinking.....hmmm, it really is a smart idea.  And it probably works well.  But I couldn't get past using my Gain or Tide Pods so I went on with my life.  

Listen y'all.  I'm not one of those coupon savvy people.  At all.  Ain't nobody got time for that.  I was never looking for a way to save money (although that's an extremely great point and I probably should be).  But it has pained me for years every time I buy detergent.  A) Because it's so dang expensive, B) I can't try the cheap stuff.  I've tried it.  Anna Claire broke out, and C) it's so dang expensive.  I've said that, I know.  But for real.  we have 3 girls.  I don't care what boy moms say.  Girls make bigger messes and wear more clothes.  Our washer and dryer are continuously going.  No joke. Which translates to...I'm always buying detergent.  

And toilet paper.  

So basically I've now wrestled for years wanting to try to make homemade detergent.  But never did (you know, that whole detergent snob thing.  And time.  There is always the time factor). 

Then one day I was perusing Facebook (it comes in handy now and again) and found this recipe on my sweet friend, Rachel's page (see link above).   

Oh Mrs. Happy Homemaker!  You had me at the "Power of Tide."  

And so I took the leap.  

I've included a breakdown of my costs and two cents on the process.  

Breakdown of my costs:
  • Borax:  $3.99
  •  Fels Naptha bar: $1.99
  • Arm & Hammer Washing Soda: $2.99
  • Tide:  $11.97
Grand Total: 
$20.94 plus tax.  This is higher than what the author of the recipe spent, but again, I don't coupon and this is still less than what I would spend on one container of Tide or Gain (and we go through 2+ each month).   

My two cents and advice:

1) Super Duper fine Cheese Grater.  My parents happened to be in town when I had the impulse to make detergent.  They were so impressed with this concoction that they made their own when they got home.  I LOVE converts.  My parent's cheese grater was not as fine as mine and my Dad stated, "I'm going to be picking up a new cheese grater before making the next batch.  The fine grating made a difference in cooking the soap."    

2) You need super cute kids to help you.  Trust me, they will grate it all and love every second.  

3) You will need something large for mixing, possibly an extra large paint stick or the likes.

4) The recipe calls for it to sit for 24 hours before adding the Tide.  I think it's crucial to go longer if you are wanting a consistency close to store bought liquid detergents.  Next time I will be doing 48+ hours.  I have little patience so I was ready to get the party started.  

5) Add the tide at the END of the 48+ hours.  Doing so earlier will make it more of a watery consistency.  

6) I had thoughts on throwing this in batches in my big KitchenAid mixer or even the Vitamix, BUT at last minute I decided to mix it up with an extra long whisk.  Mine has absolutely 0 lumps.  It's perfectly completely smooth and I believe the whisk made the difference.  It's actually a little more watery than I would like, but I was use to the Pods.  And in the month since we made this batch, I'm now use to this consistency.  

7) And I'm not going back.  Our clothes smell incredible and I think are actually cleaner.  My Dad calculated that we will save roughly $447 a year.  Not that I was looking to, but I'll take that!  

8) 30 minutes, y'all.  Seriously that's how long it took.  I didn't record the time it took to mix it all in the next day, but I'm sure it was only about 5 minutes, if that.  I can cut out 30 minutes every 7 or 8 months and mix some of this up.  

Now, I need to figure out how to make toilet paper??!  Ha!


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