Hi! I’m Amber Anderson, I am a pastors wife, mom of 2 lovely boys, and an avid DIY’er. I am so excited to be sharing my tutorial on DIY Laundry Detergent this week. I post regularly about DIY projects, crafts and family life on MotherhoodMusings.com, and you can find me and all my stuff over here!
My husband and I decided we were going to give a go at the Duggars recipe for laundry detergent. Oh how I love those Duggars, however, I refuse to watch their show. Despite how much Sam tells me it’s not real life, I covet the fact that every single one of their kids appears to be angels send from heaven to help Michelle Duggar cook and clean. So instead lusting over their organization or cleanliness, I decide to just not watch.
Alot of the reviews I have read on this detergent of people who have allergies, eczema, or babies, use a milder soap, like Johnsons baby bar, Dove, etc. But the batch I made in this tutorial is with the Fels-Naptha. I will be trying the Johnsons baby bar to make a batch for my 6 month old. A few ingredients is all you need and it will only cost you a few bucks, $11.60 to be exact, $9 dollars if you already have a 5 gallon bucket with a lid.
- 5 gallon bucket with lid -$2.60 at Home Depot
- Arm & Hammer Super WASHING soda (NOT baking soda) *laundry aisle
- Fels-Naptha Bar (I will be subbing this with the Johnsons Baby Bar pictured to try some baby detergent) *laundry aisle for the Fels, Johnson’s in the baby section
- 10 clean milk jugs (or any other 1 gallon container)
- Front loader= ¼ cup per load, approx 640 loads
- Top Loader=5/8 cup per load, approx 180 loads
7 Simple Steps
1. Grate the Fels-Naptha bar. (Or other bar of your choosing)
2. Add to a pot with 4 cups hot water, cook over medium heat until all flakes have melted. (Will be a little bubbly) Beware, this stuff is a little strong while cooking, I felt a tad loopy afterwards, try opening some windows.
3. Fill your 5 gallon bucket HALF full with hot water.
4. Add your soap mixture, 1 cup of the Arm & Hammer and ½ cup of Borax. Stir. (We used a attachment on my husbands drill used for mixing paint, but you could use a 5 gallon paint stirrer too)
5. Fill up the rest of the bucket with hot water about an inch from the top. Stir. Put the lid on and let it sit overnight.
6. In the morning, stir (will be gelled and murky) and fill all of your 10 gallon jugs HALF full. A funnel works best for this step, but my husband and I still spilled this stuff everywhere! (We actually spilled so much we only got 9 gallons worth)
7. Once they are all half full with your solution, fill them all the rest of the way full with water. This was by far the hardest part to me, every time I filled it too fast it would sud up so much that I would have to wait to continue to fill it (sort of like coke in a Solo cup). My suggestion is to fill it slower with colder water, and fill it with the water slightly running down the lip of the jug, makes less suds, but takes more time.
And that’s it! Give all a good shake and your ready to go on detergent at least a few months! (Maybe more if you don’t have to do as much laundry as me) Make sure you shake well before each use too. I went ahead and measured out a 5/8 cup (I have a top loader) in a Solo cup and marked it with a marker, so I can just re-use that each time instead of dirtying up my measuring cups.
So, a fun idea would be to make some labels for your jugs telling the measurements and a reminder to shake well, sometimes milk jugs can be boring! Spice it up a little with a label and some ribbon!
My total project took about 45 minutes, but hopefully the more batches you make, the faster you’ll get! And the best part is, with your next batch, all you will have to buy is the soap bar. Even better!
If I did my math right, a bottle of Tide for 96 loads is $18. So if you have a front loader, instead of paying $160, your paying $10 or less for 640 loads. Amazing!