Homemade Laundry Detergent

happycthulhu(7)July 27, 2007

Ok, I know that this isn't for the garden, but I just couldn't pass this up.

I made this recipe last week and it cleans cloths better than what I usually buy at the store.

It was super easy to make and the wife even had fun helping me make it. (She doesn't always like my "crazy" schemes.)

I used Lever for the soap bar part of the mix.

Now I have 3 gallons of laundry detergent that ought to last me quite a while.

Here is a link that might be useful: How To Make Your Own Laundry Detergent

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xena_z4(WA z8b)

I have a similar recipe for powdered soap. I like it because it's cheap, with fewer chemicals, easy to make, isn't overloaded with scent, & it doesn't make alot of bubbles, so it's good to use in front loaders that require less soap.

1 bar Fels Naptha soap, grated like cheese
1 box Borax
1 box washing soda

Mix together 1 cup Fels Naptha, .5 cup each Borax & washing soda. Use 1 Tbsp for regular loads, 2 Tbsp. for really large or dirty loads. I suppose you could use other bars of soap, but I never have.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2007 at 7:35PM
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wow! who woulda thought!!!! i'm assuming you'd have to use hot water to wash all the time though?

    Bookmark   July 27, 2007 at 10:09PM
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I almost never wash in hot water.
This has worked just fine in cold water.
In fact, I think it works better.
It got some stains out of a pair of pants that had been there forever.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2007 at 11:59AM
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I use Fels Naptha bar to prespot or scrub. It's especially good for really dirty stuff. Not sure if I'd use it on better clothing.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2007 at 11:12AM
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wow, i really need to try this.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2007 at 2:03PM
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I've been using Fels Naptha/Borax/Washing Soda in a 2:1:1 ratio for the last two years. I use the dry version--grind up the bar of Fels Naptha with a cheese grater, then mix with the borax and washing soda. 1 Tablespoon will wash a regular size load. Works great and saves a ton of money.

It's amazing how much you can save on cleaning products. Vinegar, baking soda and plain soap will take care of most everything. When you do need one of the commercial formulations, buy the concentrate and mix in your own pump sprayer.


    Bookmark   August 11, 2007 at 9:35PM
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Where do you buy Fels Naptha bar soap? I would love to try this. I am allergic to pure soap, so ivory is out of the question. Love it ! ! ! I am into saving and being frugal . . .

    Bookmark   August 13, 2007 at 6:33PM
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I have been making and using various versions of homemade laundry soap for several years now. The true test of how well it works is, how well does it work over a period of time. Here are my observations using it long term.

It does a terrible job of removing odors from clothing. If I wear perfume, it remains in the clothing. If I use it on my workout clothing with a lot of perspiration, it doesn't remove those odors very well either. I have noticed it doesn't do that great of a job on my white clothing and they become dingy over time, and even with the use of bleach in the wash. The reason for this is because it doesn't do such a great job of removing ground in dirt in my white socks from when I go hiking, etc.

With that said, it does an OK job on clothing that isn't that soiled. I reserve using it on things like my sheets and other lightly soiled clothing. I use it mostly on my dark clothing which optical brighteners are not needed. I am a soapmaker so I end up with a lot of soap scraps to use in making this, so I continue to make it to make use of these scraps. One other thing I have noticed is that the powdered version doesn't always completely dissolve in the wash and sometimes my black clothes get "lint" all over them. I don't notice this happening when I use commercial detergent.

So for whites, I use the cheap detergent in the bucket from Costco. I only use 1/2 the recommended amount and it gets my whites clean. Then the homemade detergent is used for most everything else. I make the powdered version because I don't like keeping buckets of goo sitting around. I notice that after using this for a while, I have to switch back to commercial detergent for a month or two after about a year of using the homemade soap, and then I can go back to the homemade version again. If I don't do this it just stops working so well and things are slightly dingy and the smell of "old soap" starts to build up in the clothing. (I am very picky about my laundry I guess). I use vinegar in a downy ball in order to aid in the rinsing of everything. I don't use a clothes dryer either, so stains are not set into my clothing.

With that said, I will continue to use it because it is frugal for me to do so with so many soap scraps always sitting around that need to be used up.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2009 at 11:06AM
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Does anyone remember the suds saver washing machines? I got one when a friend moved and loved how one could do multiple loads with the same wash water. Savings of water and detergent. But, it finally gave out and they don't make them any more.

I had gotten so used to it though, that I kept trying to find ways of doing the same thing. After collecting it in buckets, in the laundry sink, and other adventures complete with LARGE spills in the basement, I finally hit on the safest way to do it: soak and agitate the first batch, then pull it out of the water and set it aside while doing another batch in the same water. Then, return it to the washer at the spin-before-rinse stage at let it run through the rest of its cycle. It is extra work, and not good for busy days, but I like to be home more and work less, so I do a certain amount of this crazy stuff. The savings are all not taxable, so it is worth more than making the same amount of extra money, since that would be taxed, if you follow me.

Of course, on really ambitious days, especially when adult sons are around, the rinse water gets carried out to the garden in buckets. Frugal, or what??

    Bookmark   July 7, 2009 at 7:42PM
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