HOUSTON - If you hate cleaning up, well, you are in luck because you can clean up by making your own laundry detergent at home. It's called "20 Mule Team Borax" and it kicks out stains.

Saving Cents: Homemade laundry detergent
June 16, 2009

The recipe calls for Borax, a very old product that you can still find in stores. The best part is that it is a naturally occurring mineral.

The recipe also calls for cheap laundry detergent that stores usually stock on a bottom shelf. Typically, this off-brand detergent is in a plastic bag which will act mostly as filler.

The recipe also calls for using laundry soap which you grate, just like it was a hunk of cheddar cheese. The laundry soap is found in the laundry aisle.

Here are the ingredients:

3 cups of Borax

3 cups of cheap powdered laundry detergent

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1 bar of laundry soap

It is so potent that you only need one tablespoon of this mixture to clean a full load of laundry, said Houston's self-proclaimed .

"That's it (one tablespoon) for a whole load," said Kapche. Now, if you have a lot of soiled clothes, then you can use two."

The recipe yields 94 loads. If you do the math you'll see that it comes out to two cents per load of laundry, compared to about 30 cents per load for name brand detergents.

To make liquid detergent, Kapche said you boil a gallon of water, then take the pot off the stove and add your batch of detergent. Mix it together well and let it sit for about 30 minutes.

Make sure all the materials dissolve and then put three gallons of water in a five gallon container and add your dissolved detergent to the big container of water.

Use cups of the liquid form of the homemade detergent per load. Keep the batch covered when you're not using it. Give it a good stir before using or transfer some to an empty laundry detergent bottle and shake well before each use.

Since this homemade detergent is low-sudsing, Kapche said it should be fine for HE (high efficiency) washing machines, but read your owner's manual carefully to be sure.

Be aware that using any product not recommended by the manufacturer could invalidate your warranty.

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