By Kelly Gunzenhauser

This is the first of several blogs I will be writing about things I have found on Pinterest—and actually tried! (I know, like, who does that??) I just read Rachel’s article on top- versus front-load washers. I have a front loader. I do not love it, but I am stuck with it until I have good reason to replace it. The best I can hope for is to try to keep the washer smelling good. I had been wanting to try one of the many recipes for homemade laundry detergent that were referenced on Pinterest for a while, and this blog led me to finally do it. I decided to try this recipe. Here is the link on my Pinterest Page as well.

I chose this particular recipe for two reasons. First, I liked the stenciled letters on the glass jar. I’m a sucker for good packaging. Second, it had plenty of positive feedback that indicated it would not ruin my clothing or High-Efficiency washer. I bought the exact ingredients, with one exception. Per some other recipes I saw on line, I added a small bottle of Purex laundry crystals to the mix to act as a fabric softener. The total cost was less than $24. I had a coupon for the Purex, and that took about 50¢ off.

Making it wasn’t hard. I used a metal box grater for grating the Fels-Naptha soap. It took a couple of hours of focused TV watching to get that soap grated into a bowl. If you want a finer texture you can put the shreds into your food processor. I have not noticed any problems with the soap dissolving, and I always wash with cold water.

Storing it was challenging. I underestimated how much it would make. I didn’t have a large-enough container with a lid to put it in, so I had to mix everything in a plastic bucket and leave it uncovered in the basement for a couple of weeks. My basement smelled like a fresh meadow until I was able to transfer everything into one of those giant Cheez Ball containers from Wal-Mart. (No, pretty glass container or stenciled letters for me. I don’t take this homemaking stuff that seriously.)

To measure the powder for laundry use, I use one of the Oxy-Clean scoops. It has a mark for two tablespoons. I dump it straight into the washer drum. When I forget to add it before loading (that’s most of the time), I dump it on top of the clothes that are already in there.

So far, which means since early November, I love this stuff. My washer definitely smells better. My clothes smell fresh. My best guess is that the mix will last until the end of May, maybe longer. That’s not as long as the gal on the website says, but I use a little more than two tablespoons for my big loads, and I am guilty of sprinkling a tiny bit on my carpet to make my vacuum smell good. I have also shared it with some people–good reviews all around. Thumbs up on the homemade detergent! Use the links above to give it a try and let us know how it works for you!

Remember, anything you try is at your own risk!!