I don’t normally post “life hacks” types of crafts, but I’ve been looking into more of this stuff to suit my family allergy needs and I figure I shouldn’t just hoard it all to myself. 😉 So today I’m gonna give you the info you need in order to make your own laundry detergent and an anti-static wool ball.
- Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (NOT baking soda)
- 5.5oz Fels-Naptha Soap (you can also just about any bar soap really, but this one is made specifically for laundry)
- 5 gallon bucket
- Hand Grater (Yes, like the one for cheese)
- Essential Oils (Optional; only used to add a scent to the clothes)
- 5 Gallon Bucket (for liquid detergent only)
Once you have you ingredients gathered you have 2 options. Powdered or Liquid. The first step for both requires you to grate the Fels-Naptha Soap bar. A normal house hold grater will do just fine. Then for powered detergent simply multiply this out depending on how much you want to make:
1 cup Washing Soda
1 cup Borax
½ cup – 1 cup grated bar soap
That’s it! Use maybe a ¼ cup per full load. You’ll likely adjust to suit your needs after a few experiment loads.
If you prefer liquid soap, you’ll need to perform a few extra steps. First, take your grated soap and add it to a pot with 4 cups of hot water. Put it on the stove on medium-high, and stir until completely melted – about 10 minutes. Take that 5 gallon bucket and fill it half way with water, then pour in your liquid soap. Stir in 1 cup of borax & 1 cup of washing soda into the bucket. If you want to make it scented, now is the time to add your essential oil. You’ll need ½ – 1 oz total depending on how strong you want the scent to be. Stir that in as well to combine. Now, fill up the bucket with warm water all the way to the top – and stir again. If you don’t have a utensil long enough to reach the bottom, just put on a pair of rubber dish gloves beforehand. SNap the lid on the bucket and let it sit for at least 24 hours so it can gel up.
Once it’s done, you’ll likely notice it’s got clumps, or if you made it while it’s humid out it may still be pretty thin. This is normal/fine and you should still use it like normal. If you really want it to have that store bought consistency instead of being lumpy though, you can take an immersion blender to it to smooth everything out. Disperse it into other containers (empty detergent or milk gallons for example) and voila. You’re no longer beholden to the detergent industry.
I know we’ve all heard the aluminum foil ball thing, but this one will leave your laundry smell nice instead.
- 100% Wool yarn would into a ball
- Essential Oil
Make sure your ball of wool is tightly wound and wash it until it becomes felted. Then add a few drops of essential oil to the ball, letting it set before using. It will not need to be rewashed (bar anything happening to it), just add more essential oil again if the smell fades. Simply it toss it in when you are drying your clothes and bam. No more static. 🙂 If you really need that dryer sheet feel you can soak the wool ball in fabric softener instead, but the wool is key to help get rid of static.