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Friday, February 5, 2010

Homemade Laundry Soap

There are quite a few families around the country that are making their own laundry soap. I have to say that this is something that I have seriously been considering doing myself. My favorite laundry detergent is All Small & Mighty, but there haven’t been any super good sales on it in my area for awhile.

Here are a couple of recipes to try:
Liquid Laundry Detergent

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

- Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.

-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.

-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)

You could add 10-15 drops of essential oil per 2 gallons. Add once soap has cooled. Ideas: lavender, citrus, eucalyptus, tea tree, peppermint, etc…

-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)

*You NEED to use Arm & Hammer "Super Washing Soda" -. Baking Soda will not work, nor will Arm & Hammer Detergent - It must be sodium carbonate!!

Powdered Laundry Detergent - Top load machine

1 Fels-Naptha soap bar
1 Cup - Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda*
½ Cup Borax

-Grate soap or break into pieces and process in a food processor until powdered. Mix all ingredients. For light load, use 1 Tablespoon. For heavy or heavily soiled load, use 2 Tablespoons. Yields: 3 Cups detergent. (Approx. 40 loads)

*You NEED to use Arm & Hammer "Super Washing Soda" -. Baking Soda will not work, nor will Arm & Hammer Detergent - It must be sodium carbonate!!

Can’t Find Fels-Naptha? Most recipes call for Fels-Naptha bar soap, but you can use Ivory, Sunlight, Kirk's Hardwater Castile or Zote bars. Don't use heavily perfumed soaps.
Washing Soda and Borax can often be found on the laundry or cleaning aisle. Recipe cost approx. $2 per batch.

Sherri’s Notes:

I have read several things online saying that the powdered laundry detergent is harsh on clothes, so if you decide to try that one you may want to add the detergent and allow the water to start filling (maybe hot) to dissolve the detergent before you add your clothes.

A few members of PYP have said that they don’t always feel that all of the odors come out of their clothes with the basic recipes. Some other suggestions have been to add a cup of Dawn dish soap to the recipes; you could add vinegar to your rinse cycle also. Another member suggested buying a bottle of stain fighter like “Shout” when it’s on sale and adding about a cup of that to the detergent when you are making it.

It might be a good idea to have the ingredients on hand in your non-food storage for an emergency situation.

Amazon has lots of other laundry soap options and also sells the ingredients needed to make laundry soap.

So there you have it. Think about it. Give it a try. Tell me what you think.

There is lots of information on Pinching Your Pennies. Log-in and search for “Homemade Laundry Soap”.


Natalie said...

Is it possible to make homemade dishwasher detergent?! I've never heard of it but thought I'd ask.

Amber said...

I've made my own laundry soap before and I always have a really hard time getting the consistency right. It always turns out really lumpy (the above recipe is basically the one I've used). Anyone have suggestions? It's so much cheaper so I'd like to try again.

Bethany said...

Amber- I use my own detergent (I think it's that recipe, but I haven't compared the two). It's lumpy, but it's not a big deal. You just shake the bottle before each use. It works great!

Amber said...

Has anyone tried adding the Dawn or Shout to their soap? I think I'd like to try that because I don't feel like my clothes get quite as clean with the homemade.

Julie said...

I've been using basically that recipe for the liquid detergent for a few years now, and the only other laundry product I buy is some kind of stain fighter (Shout, Spray n Wash, whatever's cheapest). Occasionally, if something is really disgusting (we have an 8-month-old and an almost-5-year-old, both boys, so we get a lot of disgusting), I add extra washing soda to the wash to get out odors. But our clothes get quite clean with this, and I only spend about $10 a year on laundry detergent now. I do not, however, mix it half with water after I make it, as you suggested. I just leave it as a gel in the 5-gallon bucket and add about 1/4 cup to my (front-load) washer. So, mine would be more concentrated than your recipe, and maybe that's why we don't have problems with our clothes not being clean/fresh-smelling enough? Anyway, it works great for us.

Julie said...

Oh, we have made our own dishwasher detergent, too, before, but we don't use it all the time. We mix a combination of borax, washing soda, and LemiShine (about equal proportions) and use vinegar as a rinse agent. It works OK. It seems to me like it's a little harsh and could possibly scratch dishes more than the standard stuff you buy does. I don't know for sure, though. We don't use it on fancy dishes, but on our everyday ones, it does OK. The stuff you buy has enzymes in it that homemade doesn't have, so homemade doesn't work quite as well.


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