So when I saw a new and improved recipe on Pinterest I had to try it. It claimed to have the good smell I wanted along with OxyClean to add brightness.
Here's the recipe and price breakdown:
3 lb. Oxy Booster (I bought a 6 lb tub and used half) - 1/2 of $5.47 = $2.75
Fels Naptha - 2 x $.97 = $2
4 lb 12 oz box of Borax = $3.38
4 lb box of Baking Soda = $2.24
3 lb 7 oz box of Super Washing Soda = 3.24
55 oz. bottle of Purex softening crystals = $8.96
For a grand total of $22.57this recipe makes enough detergent to last our family of 6 for approximately 6-8 months.
I used a 5 gallon bucket to mix everything. Along with my helpers, I wore a face mask because you're mixing a lot of chemicals at once. When I poured the washing soda and borax into the bucket, it let off quite a bit of smoke.
We added about half of each ingredient and then mixed.
When it was all added and mixed, the soap filled about 2/3 of the 5 gallon bucket.
I was pleasantly surprised at how much detergent this made and how great it smelled! The original recipe called for two large bottles of fabric softeners but I was really happy that I just used one. I think two bottles would be pretty overpowering.
To dispense the detergent I used the Purex bottle as recommended.
I'm a little nervous that one of my girls will lose the measuring cap because it doesn't click on the bottle very well. If we do lose it, the recipe calls for about two tablespoons of detergent for a regular sized load.
I have an older model front loading HE washing machine. To try it out, I put the powder right into the detergent dispenser and then checked to see if it all rinsed down into the tub. It did, and much faster than I thought it would. Also, I only was with cold water. There hadn't been any detergent left in the tub after the wash cycle is over.
The bonus? Right after I mixed this up, my girls had a mud fight. I put everything - muddy towels and 4 outfits of total mud mess - in the washer and tried it out! Everything came out clean, bright and best of all, smelling amazing. There was dirt in the bottom of the washer but no dirt on the clothes.
So I have the 55 ounce bottle from the Purex full of detergent. I'm interested to see how long that lasts. The rest of the detergent is in a lidded bucket next to my washer. It's still about half full. I'm hoping it lasts longer than 6 months but either way, for $23 you can't beat that price for detergent and fabric softener. I'll update when we run out!