Sunday, August 8, 2010

homemade laundry soap

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This is my first try at a homemade laundry soap and i'm really happy with the results. I did a little bit of research since there are quite a few different "recipes" on the internet, and i heard great things about this one. When this runs out i'll probably try a couple more "recipes" for comparison sake, and i'll be back to tell you what I liked best. But for now I wanted to share this one! The ingredients are easy to find, and quite cheap. Maybe not initially, but the product you buy makes a few batches and the total cost per load ends up being about ONE CENT! You can't beat that..

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1/3 bar of Fels Naptha soap
1/2 cup Borax powder
1/2 cup Arm and Hammer Washing Soda
Water
a bucket to mix/store

Grate or dice 1/3 of the fels naptha soap and put it into a large sauce pan. Add 6 cups of water and heat until soap melts. Add the washing soda and borax, stir until it has dissolved.
Pour four cups of tap water into your bucket, add your soap mixture and stir together. Add another 2o cups of water and stir to combine.

Let the soap cool and set up for about 12-24 hours. The consistency should be somewhat jello-ish and somewhat liquid.

Add a 1/2 cup to each load.

The role of the ingredients:

Washing soda helps to deodorize, but fighting grease and stains is the primary purpose. Look for it in the drug store or supermarket, in with the laundry and cleaning supplies.

Borax is awesome! It’s a natural stain remover and an excellent alternative to bleach, because it’s an anti-fungal/anti-mold and all-around disinfectant. Coupled with regular soap, it greatly increases cleaning power. Look for it in the drug store or supermarket, in with the laundry and cleaning supplies.

Fels Naptha is a stain remover. Also, in the laundry aisle.



more homemade cleaners to come this week.

63 comments:

  1. What if you're allergic to borax?

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    1. You can make recipe leave out the borax I also use zoat laundry bar in place of feels naphtha soap smells so much better can also use any bar soap

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  2. This is the recipe I used. I really liked it too, but got lazy and stopped making it.

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  3. My mom and I make the exact same recipe. At the very end of the recipe you can also add essential oils to give the detergent scent.

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    1. What type of scents did you use and do you just add it it the completed solution. Where were the oils bought. Carolyn, Hendersonville, TN

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  4. Most of the 'recipes' for laundry soap I've seen just call for a regular bar of soap. Is fels naptha hard to find?

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    1. I found Fels Naptha at the Super Walmart in the laundry detergent section.

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    2. I use zoat laundry bar found by laundry soap smells good also if you use no scents helps keep bugs away intended summer I also use white vineger in pace of fabric softener in rinse cycle softens cloths no smell


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  5. I use this same recipe except I can't find Fels Naptha soap around here. I use Kirk's Castile Soap instead and it works great. I also made a batch yesterday with Lava soap. I am anxious to see how that works on hubby's really grimy clothes!

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  6. I just made it. I added lavender oil. Can't wait to use it :)

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  7. Will this homemade detergent work in the new front loading high efficiency washers?

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    Replies
    1. yes it will and does not suds as much as regular store bought.

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  8. this looks great. did you make it in your regular cooking saucepan or did you buy a cheap-o one? i was just wondering if it seasons/ruins a saucepan. mine is nonstick... just curious, thanks!

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  9. THANKYOU for posting this!! I have been looking around at different ways to do it, and I think you made up my mind for me!

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  10. I JUST found this recipe on another blog I follow. I think it's fantastic! I'm happy to hear someone else is using it.

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  11. It works great in the HE washers. I have been using it in mine for about a year now.

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    1. just found this web site. My daughter makes her own laundry soap as well, but it is in a dry form. How do you store this and better yet, how much do you use per load? With my HE washer....they recomment no more than ONE tablespoon per large load!

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  12. If you have trouble finding the soap in local stores. It's easy to find on the internet.

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  13. I was just about to ask if anyone had used this for any length of time in an HE washer - Thank you, Julie! I will be trying this this week. :)

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  14. this is awesome! i am printing gout now and going to try it out soon!

    xo,
    cb

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  15. You actually only need a TABLESPOON per regular wash load. You can use up to 2 tbsps for larger heavy duty machines or really dirty/smelly loads. For HE front loading washers I wouldn't use more than a teaspoon per load. This mixture does suds a bit and you don't want too much suds in an HE front loader.

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  16. So for a regular load you only use a tablespoon?! If we add a scented oil, how much do we add to it?

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  17. It's a good idea to use vinegar in the rinse. Also Zote soap works well in the recipe. You can often find it at stores that offer Hispanic products.

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    Replies
    1. Zote is available at Walmart by the laundry soap I like it better or can use any bar soap zote is good for baby things and so is ivory soap bar in recipe I have been doing this for a few years now works great

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  18. What about using in in a high efficiency washer? Will it cause problems?

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  19. I use this recipe also but with the kirks castille soap and I LOVE it. My son has horrible allergies and he has no reaction to this laundry detergent. (with the castille soap) I have tried to switch to even the name brand baby detergent or other detergents that are free of chemicals and perfumes and he still has horrible reaction. I also love it because I put 3 or 4 drops of Lavender essential oil in it and all my clothes smell great.

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    1. If someone is allergic to soy, they have problems with any laundry soap except one natural brand called Eco something. I had to stop using commercial laundry soap for that reason. I like this recipe. I never even thought of making it. I just bought Borax to add my regular laundry soap. I guess I know how I will be using it!

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  20. Do you know if this would work in an empty laundry bottle withe the spout or is it too thick?

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  21. I tried the empty laundry bottle and it keeps getting clogged. It works ok in a milk jug, but next time I'm planning to use an empty protein powder jar that I can dip into.

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  22. Oh, and one other thing - on the amount - you use 1T if you are making the powdered version, but 1/2 cup with this recipe.

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  23. Use this soap all the time! Works great in my front load machine. You have to make sure you shake the bottle before each use

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  24. Does anyone know if this works for HE/front loading washing machines?

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  25. Keeping the liquid in a painter's bucket works for me. My mixture had too many chunks in it to be easily poured from a reused jug/container.

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  26. did that say another 20 cups of water?

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  27. how much does this make and how long does it last?

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    1. Each batch makes 2 gallons. I made mine several weeks ago and I am only 1/3 of the way through my first gallon. And I do A LOT of laundry. I use 1/2 cup in my HE front loader. I keep a small metal 1/2 cup measuring cup right next to the container and just scoop it out of a plastic gallon container I bought at the dollar store.

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  28. When I made this, it was the proper consistency, but when it cooled, it separated. Any ideas why this might have happened? Can I still use it? Maybe just mix it up before measuring out 1/2 cup?

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  29. I have been making this for over two years now! I have a front loader and have never had a problem with sudsing. Also I have a septic system and this is safe for that! One caution for new users, if you want to "jazz up" your mixture and add boosters like oxy clean etc.. for extra dirty clothes, it will turn your detergent to a watery mess, always add it separately to your load never mix it into your bucket! Also I have tried using a bar of deodorant soap once, when I was desperate ,and I didn't get good results at all. Fels naptha works best for me, and I can usually find it at a farm store, or in our area an Amish market, and recently at Walmart.
    It does take time to make, but after you do it a few times it becomes easier, and it saves you tons of money. I use my husbands paint stirrer with the drill, for the 3 gallon bucket, it mixes it very smooth!

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  30. this is the recipe i use,however i also use baking soda in it,i love it and will never use store bought detergent again

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  31. You could add 1-2 Tbsp of grapefruit seed extract to make the detergent antibacterial.

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  32. Has anyone tried this with liquid castille soap? It might make it easier to pour.

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  33. I have made this soap only I used Dove bar soap, it is very good for senitive skin and only adds a slight smell of dove. I also found if you use a paint mixer on a drill and mix it that way in a bucket it doesn't seperate as much. I use it in my he washer and have done so for over a year now with no problems. I use about a 1/3 of a cup.

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  34. I used a lavender Castille bar for the soap bar. I've also used it shredded in a dried laundry soap recipe, and I preferred that. (I kept having the liquid separate on me, and it was very messy to use.) My favorite mix is 1 box of borax, 1 bar of Castille soap, (shredded) 2 big boxes of Baking soda, and 1 box of washing soda. Use 1/8 cup or a little scoop of soap in a H.E. washer. (I like to mix the shredded soap with some of the powder in a food processor before tossing it all in together, as it makes it all smell nice, and have no chunks.)

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    1. Angela,
      Does using just one bar of the castile soap with all the powdered stuff seem to be enough? I would think you would need more of the grated soap?

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    2. Thank YOU, Angela!!! I love the idea of a dry "powder" laundry detergent. Am DEF going to try this!!!

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  35. this is the recipe that the Duggers use and list on their site - you do add more eater after 24 hours and can be put into used laundry jugs; just remomber to shake before using. It does not really sude and I wish it did a bit, but all who use it like it and remark that it is good for sensitive skin. I added a few drops of food color just for visual effect and it looks preatty. I also use a paint stirer on my drill to mix, makes it easier and I have been leaving it in 5 gallon bucket in laundry room and 'remix' it at will to keep it; takes less space than several jugs or milk cartons to store the whol batch.. I thought if it is good enough for the Dugger family and all the laundry they do ( and use front loaders, I don't) then I was going to try it! I really like it, works well with much less expense. It really does not take that long to make, just need to do the initail heating, mixing, then set overnight and then add more water.
    We have become a "convence junkie" era, and much our there is better, with just a bit more work, but lasts a long time with each batch. Try it!

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  36. It has taken me ages to discover your site. Finally. This is just the information I was looking for.

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  37. As to the dry mixture, how much do you use for a top load washer? Apparently not original, but using a paint stirrer on a small drill is good thinking and you'all are to be commended.

    I would imagine using a bit of "Goop" on shirt collars is still alright to do? Sure makes them clean nicely. I just happened to read the instructions on the back of the container and gave it a try. Now, if there were just some magic something, a powder or small pill, that caused shirts and trousers to come out pressed. . .oh well.
    donr
    Again, thanks to you all. Oh yes, does anyone know where I might find some phosphate to add to the mix?

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  38. Phosphate can be found in a hardware store like Home Depot or Lowes

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  39. Replies
    1. Yes, borax is safe. People used to use it before the modern detergents we use now.

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  40. I have added citronella oil to it and when my son was in the service I was washing his uniforms in it. He never had trouble with Misquotes or wood ticks, the other guys asked him why he never had trouble with misquotes or wood ticks and he said my mom uses home made soap.

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  41. Is this safe on all fabrics?

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    1. Yes, it is safe for all types of fabrics. I've been using homemade laundry detergent for almost a year now and have never had ANY problems! :) Here's the recipe I use (such a money saver!!!):

      Ingredients:
      4 Cups of hot tap water
      1 Fels-Naptha soap bar
      1 Cup of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda*
      ½ Cup Borax

      You will need a 5 gallon bucket with lid

      Preparation Time: 1 hour
      1.Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.
      2.Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of hot tap water. Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax. Stir well until all powder is dissolved. Fill bucket to top with more hot water. Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken.
      3.Stir and fill a used, clean, laundry soap dispenser half full with soap and then fill rest of way with water. Shake before each use. (will gel)
      4.Optional: You can add 10-15 drops of essential oil per 2 gallons. Add once soap has cooled. Ideas: lavender, rosemary, tea tree oil.



      *Arm & Hammer “Super Washing Soda” – Baking Soda will not work, nor will Arm & Hammer Detergent – It must be sodium carbonate.

      Yield:
      -Liquid soap recipe makes 10 gallons.
      -Top Load Machine- 5/8 Cup per load (Approx. 180 loads)
      -Front Load Machines- ¼ Cup per load (Approx. 640 loads)

      This information was found at Taschektales

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  42. This is the same recipe I've been using for nearly a year now. I used to spend nearly $20 a gallon and I am picky about using good detergent (my work clothes can get really smelly) and this IS good detergent!

    I’ve noticed if I forget to move the wet laundry from the washer to the dryer for a day or so it NEVER has that sour smell that used to require rewashing, as happens with brand name detergents.

    One small change I've made is that I only use half the water when preparing the detergent, and then I use 1/4 with each load. Also,just after mixing everything together I promptly pour it into empty 2 quart juice bottles (my wife’s arthritis makes it hard to use the gallon jugs) and then it sets to a gel state over night, rather than having it set in the bucket then transferring to the juice bottles.

    I also add a little tea tree oil which gives a nice clean scent.

    One more comment if you’ve never made this it is fast and easy to make and when made lasts a long time!

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  43. Does anyone know how to remove chicken fat and grease from a deep fat fryer.My daughter works with fryers and chicken and it coats her cotton apron and clothing.Does this homemade soap work on this ? If not any other ideas? Cheryl

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  44. I had made mine doing it with the same ingredients before as the liquid. I did not care for it as much. So now I make a powder and it last me for one year. Use one box of borax, one box of super washing soda, 4 lbs of baking soda, 3 lbs of oxyclean or a generic brand 2 bars of zote or use 3 bars of fels nepha (grated) and two 55 oz of purex crystal scents, Mix all ingredients real well and store into a tub. Only need to use 1 or 2 tbls per load and the clothes come out so clean and smell so good. It cost me a 33.71 total and like I said last me one year and I wash two loads a day for a family of four. Everyone of my friends have been making it now too. Oh and its great for the HE machines too. Like another person said on here got tired of making it because you have to cook it, mix it let it cool etc. This takes like 10 mins total to make. On top of that the laundry room smells so nice too.

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    1. An elderly friend convinced me that grease breaks grease. She'd put bacon drippings on her husbands bacon, steaks, etc. greasy shirts and set them out in the hot sun for an hour or so before washing. The greasy stains came off on every wash.

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  45. I love this. I have been making the powder version now. Also, I can't find Fels Naptha anymore so I substituted Ivory soap. Now what I have is like Ivory Snow detergent at a fraction of the price. I have successfully been using it with my HE front loader for three years.

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  46. I have in the past.....used powdered detergents...and found that they do not dissolve thoroughly in any washing machine (top loader or front loader) and clogged my washer drainpipe and causes a buildup in my household drainpipe as well. Does the homemade powdered versiondissolve completely?

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  47. Is it ok to use vanilla oil that is NOT essential? And how much?
    Thank you

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  48. This is how I make mine:
    1 bar Fels Naptha soap, 2 cups washing soda, 2 cups borax

    1- Shred the soap using the fine side of a cheese grater.
    2- Mix the shredded soap with the washing soda and borax.
    3- Process all in a food processor and store in a container with a lid.
    Use 1 - 2 tablespoons (depending on how dirty clothes are)
    Use 1 /2 – 1 scoop
    (depending on how dirty clothes are)

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  49. That's so cool! You always have the best recipes, even if this is one is not to eat! ;) As always, thanks for sharing.

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