Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Homemade Laundry Soap - WFMW

When I started this whole "living cheap - being frugal" thing I began to think that whatever I bought pre-made had to have been made by someone, right? There had to be a recipe for nearly every processed food or cleaning supply floating around out there somewhere. So as I started to replace things with their homemade versions, one of the first places I started was with cleaning supplies...namely Laundry Detergent.

I've been using my homemade brew for months now and I have to say that honestly it was an adjustment to my senses because it isn't all perfumy and chemical smelling like store bought. Even the texture is a little different. But as far as cleaning goes I don't notice ANY difference. And at a penny a load and at least two loads a day for the six of us, you just can't beat the savings.

And one of the most frequent questions I get is how to make homemade laundry soap so I decided to put a little tutorial together and post the recipe.



Homemade Laundry Detergent
I double this recipe and make it in a 5 gallon bucket but I'm going to post the original recipe and you are welcome to double it on your own if you like.


What you'll need...


  • 1/3 bar of Fels Naptha soap
  • 1/2 cup Borax powder
  • 1/2 cup Arm and Hammer Washing Soda
  • a bucket
  • water
(If you live in my area, the ONLY place I've been able to find all the ingredients is at Win-co.)

First, grate 1/3 of the soap and put it into a saucepan. (I use my food processor to grate it finely so it melts quicker.)


Add 6 cups of water and heat until the soap melts.

Add the washing soda and borax, stirring until it is dissolved.


Pour 4 cups hot tap water into your bucket.



Add your soap mixture and stir it together.


Add another 22 cups of water and stir to combine.


Let the soap cool and set up for about 12-24 hours. The finished product jells up. It won't have a normal consistency. Part of it will be like jello and part will remain liquid. It's all the same thing and dissolves in the laundry tub. No need to try and break it up.

Each load takes about 1/2 cup of laundry soap.

And to let you know the purpose of each ingredient....

Borax cleans, deodorizes, disinfects and softens the water.

Washing soda cuts grease and neutralizes odors.

Fels Naptha is a stain remover.

Now go and save yourself some money!

***for more Works For Me Wednesday ideas go see Rocks In My Dryer

88 comments:

Wildwood Mama said...

I've been making my own for a bit now too and I love it. I just added some lavendar to my last batch and it smells lovely!

Land of Lovings said...

Awesome tutorial! I am going to have to try this! Do you know if it will work in a front loading washer?

Thanks for sharing the tip!

Jennifer said...

Great idea! Thanks for sharing.

Christa said...

Just curious... How do you store / distribute this when you need it? Any tips for that part?

Gayle said...

I just keep it in the bucket under my laundry room sink (no lid on it) and I have a scoop with a handle that hangs on the rim of the bucket. When I need it I just open the cupboard door, scoop out 1/2 cup of soap and throw it in my laundry tub.

Gayle said...

I don't have a front loader but this stuff doesn't create any suds which I think is a good thing for the Front Loaders or the HE washers.

my2boyz said...

I use to make my own but I found that it greyed my whites over time.

Gayle said...

Usually if my whites start to get grey I just add 3/4 cup bleach to the load. If they are new whites that haven't dulled I wash them with Mrs. Stewarts Liquid Bluing and that usually keeps them white. Plus it's really cheap too!

Grammy said...

I have never tried this. But may some day thanks

Delighted Mom said...

Oh my goodness!! I will have to try this! Great WFMW!!

Kelli said...

Has anyone ever used this with a high effiency (front loader ) washing machine?

Jessica said...

Alright, I think I might be ready to give this a try. I've read about it so many places. Now, facing a layoff, laundry detergent is a cost I could cut. One question: what does it do to your food processor? Do you use an old one that you don't use for food anymore? Or does it wash out well enough that it doesn't make your food taste/smell like soap?

Jenny's Vegcafe said...

Thanks! I still try to get my detergent for less than $2 a bottle but I have all the ingredients in case I ever run out and there are not sales. I will use your tutorial.

Gayle said...

Jessica,

It washes just fine out of my food processor and my pot. I just toss them in the dishwasher afterwords.

Rachel said...

this sounds great, thanks!
just a question...do you use Downy (or some sort of fabric softener)? and do you make your own?

Gayle said...

Rachel,

I don't use any fabric softener in my wash load but I do have a homemade recipe for dryer sheets. Check my sidebar under laundry and cleaning supplies to find it.

Amy McSwegin said...

Yeah, I love the way my fabric softener makes my clothes smell so good... so I may just use this recipe for the detergent, and use fabric softener to make them smell yummy...

momstheword said...

Thanks for this. I have linked to you on my blog recently, as a suggestion of a way of saving money. I haven't tried this myself as I am waiting for my detergent to run out. Is it o.k. to use a spray stain remover along with the detergent? Thanks again! Love your blog.

Aliisa and Sundy said...

From Aliisa:
I made this soap and it turned out great. I dont keep it stored in a bucket though. After I mix it all in a bucket I pour it into empty gallon jugs that I have saved. Vinegar gallon jugs work great. This way it sits on my shelf and since it is kind of watery, I can shake it before I use it. I then just pour it into my 1/2 cup measuring cup and it works great.

Gayle--I have been wondering, I have tried many recipes for detergent for the dishwasher and have not found one that works well yet. Do you make your own?

Thanks!!

Mom2three said...

Great Blog! I'm so glad to see someone else posting about homemade laundry soap! I used Fels when I first started making my own, but now I use Ivory and Zote. I use powdered detergent and for the scent I bought some Lavender essential oil from the Health Food store - put about 7-12 drops in the washer. I don't use fabric softener any more and my clothes are so soft and fluffy because I use Laundry Dryer Balls. Cuts down on drying time as well!

Blakely said...

I make my own laundry soap. Several people have made fun of me when I tell them that I do, but my husband and I love. I don't think I'll go back to store brands

Andrea said...

Is there another name for the Fels Naptha soap? I'm not entirely sure it's even available in Canada, but I know it's not in my neck of the woods!

Great post!!

Gayle said...

momstheword,

Yes, I still use a stain remover some times. I have a homemade recipe in my sidebar under laundry care.

Andrea,

If you can't find Fels Naptha another commenter said they use Ivory or Zote.

Aliisa,

I have yet to find a good homemade dishwasher detergent that doesn't leave a film on my dishes. Let me know if you come up with something.

Ira said...

A low cost, green eco friendly, healthy natural homemade liquid laundy cleaner can be made from soapberry which grows on the Chinaberry tree and has been used for thousands of years. It works very effectively.

Courtney said...

i also make my own - and ivory soap works great. and i just use the powder of all of it, and grate the soap and use 2 T in my washing machine (front loader) and it works great!

ConservaChick said...

Chris says he wants to try and make this.... That's right, CHRIS! He's the frugal KING and just LOVES it when I tell him about your ideas. I think I would need some sort if fragrance in it though. I'll let you know how it turns out. ~K

Susan said...

I have been making this and saving money for 8 months. I have a FRONT LOADER machine. I have to put the gel soap in directly with the clothes. Otherwise, it clogs the water inlet and water spills out all over the floor. You can use the recipe dry, but it doesn't dissolve well in cold water. Great Tutorial!

Terri and Bob said...

Thank you so much!

Anonymous said...

For dishwasher detergent:
2 part dishwasher detergent
1 part baking soda
1 part Borax

So, basically it just stretches your original box twice as long. I've been using it for a month with great results.

I also made the laundry detergent in the microwave (melting the soap part) and it worked really well!

Cyndi's Re-Creations said...

Thanks for the recipe I made it this weekend and used it in my front loading machine. the only problem that I am having is the more jello-ie part of the soap getting stuck in the tube that sucks it out of the little dish you pour it into so I am putting it into the part where you would put powdered soap but other then that it works great I had a pair of pants that had a bunch of ink stains or something on them I just put some extra of the laundry soap on the stains and they were gone. great stuff

Marie said...

Just wondering- does this detergent have any sort of smells? My kids have really sensitive skin and we have to use everything dye free ($$$) so I want to make sure that it won't irritate their skin before I make a batch. Love your blog- thanks for helping me become more frugal!!

Gayle said...

Marie,

The Fels Naptha soap smells like Pine-sol to me. But it is so diluted in water that my clothes come out with NO odors at all.

Latte said...

I use a bar of homemade lye soap-any scent, one cup borax one cup washing soda, and a five gallon bucket. I also use one cup per load instead of 1/2. It cost me about 7 cents a load but a penny shore does sound nice. Maybe if I need to I will cut back on the borax, washing soda and do 1/2 a cup per load.

Thanks for sharing,
Faith

amylynn said...

I have made this laundry soap and I love it. However my husband has sensitive skin and it is caused by the borax... So instead of using the borax I use oxy clean.... Work wonderfully and brightens my whites!

Angie said...

I don't believe you should add Borax to your home made dishwashing detergent. Isn't borax made purely of harsh toxic chemicals?

I make this laundry soap in the dry version. Takes a lot less space and less time to make. Just need to use the food processor to chop it up (and clean it thoroughly) and make sure to add it BEFORE the clothes so it will dissolve.

Anonymous said...

I make my own laundry soap and dishwasher detergent also. I use the same recipe you have here but have been experimenting with different bar soap. The only place I could find the washing soda was at Fred Myers on Ocean Beach Highway in Longview. For the dishwasher I mix equal parts dry dishwasher detergent from the dollar store, borax and baking soda. I also squirt a shot of vinegar in the rinse aid container. Just make sure you run it right away because baking soda and vinegar react with each other. I am WAY happier with the results with this combo. No gritty stuff on top of the top rack items and squeaky clean. Also, a paste made from vinegar and baking soda makes a fantastic cleaner for sinks, counters, etc.

onemotherslove said...

I hope you have time to answer this... I can't find Fels Naptha locally, but did find some "Pink Zote Soap" laundry soap. I wonder if it could be used the same as the FN? Thanks, onemotherslove (sesells at verizon dot net)

trucksr4gurls said...

ok my connection wigged out and i don't know if you got the last one lol

i have trouble with the lids for those big buckets and pups that would be sure to knock over an open bucket. i wonder if you could just skip the last 22 c of water? then i could put it in a plastic 1 gallon jug with a screw on lid and use a couple of Tbs at a time. any thoughts?

Gayle said...

I don't know. But you could sure try. I keep mine inside a cupboard with NO lid on it. I don't think a puppy could get into it.

Duckygirl said...

I looked through the comments and don't think it's been mentioned yet...if you are in need of a bucket check your local bakery (in store ones too)the frosting ones they use are great and they'll give them to you free!

-Laura

Anonymous said...

Hello,

I made mine for the first time this weekend and I put my soap in old laundry soap containers that I had here. I like it that way because it isn't heavy to pour and you have the lid to measure with also. Just a hint. Hope it helps.

Anonymous said...

Are the directions you have listed for the doubled recipe, or do I need to double it? I just bought all the ingredients and a 5 gallon bucket.
Chrissy

Gayle said...

This is NOT the doubled recipe. This would fit into a 2.5 gallon bucket.

Judy said...

Just recently found your blog....love it : )

I have a question. I am VERY interested in making this. In fact, I went out and got all the ingredients. Then I stopped for a second to think....do you know if this is non-toxic, chlorine and phosphate free? I was using at one time Shaklee's laundry detergent. I liked it but it can get VERY costly (at least 20 cents a load). I want to save money but I also want something safe.
Any words of wisdom?
Thanks,

Gayle said...

Fels Naptha and Washing Soda are non-toxic. While borax is a naturally occuring mineral compound it does have a natural chemical reaction and isn't considered non-toxic. Here is a great article on Borax so you can decide for yourself.

http://chemistry.about.com/od/howthingsworkfaqs/a/howboraxworks.htm

proudmommy777 said...

Gayle, I was sent a link to your site by a great friend of mine who, like me, is trying to raise a "basketball team's" worth of kids on very little cash. Times are tough, much tougher than when we first decided to have our children, but of course, we'll find ways to make it work over trading our kids any day, right?

I absolutely LOVED this tutorial! I have three kids and a very dirty hubby to wash afterwards... I also have a boy who teetees in the bed at times so I've always got laundry coming out of my ears... even with 20 something loads a week, it still never looks like I've put a dent in it. I never considered how much money I spend on detergent until now... AND IT AIN'T PRETTY! So, I decided to try this. You asked how we would tweak it, so I'm going to tell ya what I did differently:

First, I used Zote soap... it doesn't make it "gloopy" or "snot textured", more like jello like the fels naptha is said to, and it's consistent all through. I also used half a bar of the Zote rather than a third since my boys are dirty ones... they're only 88 cents a bar. I also got a tub of stain remover from the dollar store for 1.00 and put half the tub of that in it. I think it's sorta like the generic for oxiclean, not a powder form, but more a gel-type form in a tub. I also added a few drops of the fragrance you use to make soaps with... it smells wonderful! And, since I only use a few drops, it's very cheap as well. After it set up for about a day, it turned to a jello-like consistency, so I stirred it up with a wooden fork and now it's got a consistency like regular laundry detergent! I don't have to worry about whether or not the stuff is going to dissolve in the wash or anything... just because I stirred it up once! I am so happy with the end product that I've decided to make some for everyone I know, haha! I was a little worried about whether or not it would actually remove stains and/or smell as nice as the store bought, but now I'm sold! It has removed a stain from my daughter's favorite shirt that the regular stuff, prewash included, just would not touch! No prewash needed!! So, thanks so much... Also, if anyone can't find the fels naptha, use the Zote soap instead! It's very cheap and it works great... also doesn't give it that snot-like consistency. And stir that stuff up!! I had trouble with it at first, it wouldn't dissolve in the washer, but once I stirred it, I stopped having that problem, so if anyone else has that problem, STIR STIR STIR! This stuff works wonders!

proudmommy777 said...

I wasn't exactly sure where to leave this comment, but laundry detergent seems to be the closest to the subject, so I'll leave it here.

Does anyone know hoe I could make a homemade bleach pen? That's one thing that is soooo helpful to me, but they are very expensive at the stores around here, and the cheap ones just aren't very good. I'm thinking, all I really need is a way to thicken up some bleach... I wonder if I could do that with flour? Or if I could use a cleaner like comet and mix it with some water and a little bleach. Does anyone here make their own? Or would anyone be willing to do some experiments to find out what works best? Or, if I were to experiment on my own, does anyone have any ideas that might help me?

I'd be happy with anything anyone could offer!

Thanks so much!

Aliisa and Sundy said...

From Aliisa:

Gayle, I just had to tell you that the Fels Naptha is an awesome stain remover. My daughter's coat, which is light blue gets sooo dirty. Im not sure how she does it. But I can never get it totally clean. I treat it, soak it, wash it and it is still dingy and dirty. So last night after treating it and washing it and seeing that it still looked terrible, I got out a new bar of Fels Naptha, got it wet and began rubbing it on all of the dirty areas. Now I do have to mention that this is the 2nd year she has worn it and so many of the stains I couldnt get out have been dried into the fabric.

After I rubbed it on all of those areas I washed it and couldnt believe how clean it was. It looks brand new. Nothing I have ever tried got it that clean.

I highly recommend the use of this bar as a stain remover!!!

Just had to share.

proudmommy777 said...

HOMEMADE BLEACH PEN!!

So, after a LOT of experimenting, I figured out a way to "make" a bleach pen! It's so obvious, really... all I did was thicken up some bleach with some powdered laundry detergent and some of my homemade laundry detergent. I can't really give exact measurements, but I put about a tablespoon of bleach in a bowl and added powdered laundry detergent, little at a time, until it was as thick as I wanted it. Once I tried it however, I realized that it was WAY too thick. I added some more bleach and about a tablespoon of my homemade laundry detergent and whisked that up really well.

Then I put it in my old bleach pen... I pulled the brush end off of my old pen and poured my mix in using a funnel, then put the brush end back on. And, as long as I shake it up before each use, it works exactly like a regular, store-bought bleach pen!! So, I've just managed to save myself about ten bucks a month!! Yay!! I hope this turns out to be helpful to someone else!

Kelli said...

Has anyone used this on cloth diapers?

acbaker82 said...

thanks for the recipe! I had bought some fels naptha online to make this before, because my mom wanted to make some. I dunno what recipe she used but she said it made her clothes fade bad. Have you had a problem with using this recipe? Thanks so much!

karen (gonyou) robertson said...

I'm in Canada and I can't find either Fels Naptha or Zote soap. Has anyone tried making it with Sunlight soap? That seems to be my only option besides Ivory.

Amy McSwegin said...

I made this for the second time, and I absolutely LOVE it!!!

I originally bought a plastic container with a lid, but I ended up using my large Tide container that has a pour spout on it! I've had NO PROBLEM getting the liquid through it, and if I did, I just shook it up a bit... or when it got down to the bottom, I poured it out the other end. It's been great!

My next task: To get my friend who swears she will use NOTHING ELSE but Tide to switch....

Evening Shade Morning Latte said...

The bucket you have, I see it comes from Home Depot. My question is, does the bucket come with a lid? If not, how do you store it so that it stays covered?

Gayle said...

No lid. I just keep it in the cupboard under the laundry room sink so I can scoop it out easily.

Evening Shade Morning Latte said...

Ok I made this and WOW! I love it. It really does clean well. I used ZOTE instead of Fels Naptha as it was way cheaper and it worked famously. Even Hubby remarked at how he liked how it cleans his grimy work clothes.

At 1/4 c. of detergent per load (that's what we have found to work well for our needs) we will easily get way more than our money's worth out of it.

Jeanne said...

Im lovin your site. I have a question for you....do you think you could add oxiclean to this or would you recomend just adding the oxiclean into the was as usual...OR have you found this to be good enough with out oxiclean added in??? I hope this all made sense. Thanks so much Jeanne
rjrgood@aol.com

Gayle said...

Jeanne,

I'm not sure how that would work but it sounds like it would be something to experiement with. I'd love to hear the outcome.

Cathy said...

I've made this before - both the liquid and powder version - with Fels Naptha and with Lever 2000 (found an online source that used Lever 2000). Mine never gelled up completely, but no biggie. My problem is that I do have well water, and, even though I used vinegar as a rinse aide and bleach when I washed whites, my whites STILL turned gray. So I'm back to my cheap detergent from the store. If it turned my whites gray, I'm afraid what it would do to my other clothes over time . . . and buying a new wardrobe for everyone would get more expensive than a store brand of detergent.

Kimberly said...

Re: The Oxiclean. We just made this lastnight, and thought we'd add in a cup or so oxiclean to the mix when we added in the borax etc. IT BUBBLED ALL OVER MY STOVE, and the cabinets below.. and the floor. It grew and grew and grew! All my husband and I could do was laugh, and say a few choice words. OOPS! Wont be doing that again. LOL.

Trisha said...

On the Oxiclean website I found this Q: Can I store OxiClean® Versatile Stain Remover in a sealed container once I have diluted it with water? A: Once mixed solution should NOT be left in a sealed container. It will continue to give off oxygen and the container may rupture and cause injury. Dispose of all unused solution after 6 hours by pouring into a drain or toilet.

I just bought 30 oz. Sun Oxygen cleaner (like generic oxyclean) for $2 at Big Lots. I'm going to try adding it occasionally to my laundry loads to keep my whites whiter and clothes brighter.

Trisha said...

I also make my own laundry soap, I use zote, it seems to thicken nicer.
I have been looking into dish detergent and see where some have added 1 bar zote to 3c washing soda and 3c borax. Keep it as dry powder, and use 2 tsp. in dishwasher (or use it for laundry by using 2 TBSP) Haven't tried it yet, but I'm going to give it a try since basic borax/baking soda leaves a nasty white film on my dishes that will only come off by handwashing.

Gayle said...

I've tried SO many dish detergenet recipes...powders, liquids, borax, vinegar rinses, baking and washing soda...you name it. I have yet to find one that doesn't leave a film on my dishes. I have heard of one using castille soap but I can buy store brand for cheaper so it defeats the frugal purpose for me. If you find one that works I'd love to hear about it.

Trisha said...

I tried the dishwashing detergent today, using borax, washing soda and zote. I made about two cups and added a tbsp of oxiclean for good measure. It still left a film on my dishes. Not as bad as w/o the zote, but enough that I will have to wash them again. Someone mentioned to use two drops of dawn dish soap. I guess I'll try that next. If it doesn't work, I'll just stick with what I already use (Great value powdered) since it is not terribly expensive and does the job. I have also read where some ladies have Used 1-1-1 ratio of their regular dish washing powder-borax-A&H super washing soda, which stretches it out longer for less $. If all else fails, I will probably go that route. I'll try and keep you posted.
P.S. My sister uses the borax/washing soda and has no problems. She has hard water, I have soft, that may be the difference on why some can use the homemade dish soap and others cannot.

Ginny said...

I live in the Memphis area (Bartlett really). I searched all over Memphis for the washing soda and fels naptha and couldn't find it. Then I looked at a few places around my neighborhood and found everything I needed. Borax powder-$2.98 at Super Wal-Mart (detergent isle), Washing Soda-$2.99 at Kroger (detergent isle) and Fels Naptha-$1.99 for 1 bar at Stewart Brothers, Do-It-Yourself Center. I don't know if Lowe's or Home Depot carries it but they might. Stewart Bros. was closet so I figured I'd try there first.
Figured I'd let everyone know if they were having a hard time finding it. Also I checked Amazon.com and they have the washing soda and fels naptha on there for sale if you can't find it anywhere in your neighborhood. Enjoy!

Anonymous said...

For those having problems with homemade dishwashing soap, try this recipe:

1 cup borax
1 cup washing soda
1/2 cup kosher salt (sea salt can be substituted)
1/2 cup lemishine (found with the dishwashing detergents) OR 1/2 cup citric acid (hard to find but can be found in health food stores) OR 3 pkgs of UNSWEETNEED LEMON KOOL AID (only lemon!!!)

combine together and shake or mix well. Keep stored in airtight container. Use 2-3 Tablespoons per load (1 T in each cup should be sufficient, though if your load is extra dirty, you may wish to add a 3rd T)

Use Vinegar in the jet dry dispenser.

I had no luck with any recipes until I tried this one. The salt helps soften the water and the citric acid/lemishine helps keep that film off the dishes. It's the best recipe I've yet seen.

Trisha said...

Anonymous said "For those having problems with homemade dishwashing soap, try this recipe:"

I am curious at the price of the lemonshine. If it is cheaper just to buy the detergent. I buy a big box of powder dw detergent for about $3.50 at Walmart. Also, I believe I already have soft water, so what would it do to mine? I am aprehensive about trying again, that film is so bad that there were some plastics that it wouldn't come off of at all, even after handwashing and running through a normal load in the dishwasher.

Donna said...

Does anyone know if this is safe for septic tanks? I'd be afraid of clogging up my system with the soap!

digitaldoodlebug said...

borax and soda are ok, but i looked up the fels soap on wiki and found this

"it should not be used as an overall body soap or regular laundry additive since it contains Stoddard solvent, a skin and eye irritant."

there are homemade laundry soaps that are natural, though they cost more

Gayle said...

The dilution ratio of fels naptha to water creates absolutely no irratation at all. We've been using it for at least a year on my sensitive skin kids without having an issue. So don't let that hold you back.

Bryan's Sweet Pea said...

I made up this recipe with Zote, but I think maybe I didn't heat it long enough on the stove. It kept clumping up. When I stir it in the bucket there are chunks of soap (soft) that I squeezed with my hands and they got smaller but never totally disappeared. I still used it, but occasionally find a chunck in the filter part of the washer (HE). Should I make it up again?

Gayle said...

If it's actual chunks of Zote than I'm thinking that the soap didn't get completely melted during the cooking process. I sure wouldn't throw it out but I would add the soap directly to your HE tub instead of running it through the dispenser and clogging it. But remember, the finished product is somewhat jell like and still can clog up the dispenser. I use my fingers to smoosh it through the grate of my new front loader.

Bryan's Sweet Pea said...

Thank you! I will do that then and melt it better next time.

Susan said...

If you use extremely hard water - will the recipie work as well - or should I buy a distiller to make the detergent - also - I think (don't know) that using white vinegar will prevent the dinginess from the soap on whites

Pam said...

This is the same recipe I've used for quite some time now. My family actually likes it better than the store bought kind. I did a post a while back on the results I found using it. We had a red, white and blue blanket that had been washed with another red item that bled. So, it had become a red, pink and blue blanket. It stayed that way for a really long time - until I began using this laundry soap. I was really amazed.

RobinsonHome said...

I have a question about this, my family and I have really sensitive skin. I was wondering if anyone has tried this who has that problem and had success. I'd like to know before I make a huge batch of it :) Thanks

Melissa

SoCalmoneysavindiva said...

wow that is great!! How much do you think that you save on average a year doing that?

Gayle said...

I was buying pretty cheap laundry detergent to begin with, maybe $12 a month. My double batch costs me about $2 to make and lasts me about 3 months. So my savings per year is around $136.

Brooke said...

my family has super sensitive skin, I have been making our laundry soap for about an year and we have had no problems. I have found our whites are looking a little dingy, but I'm going to add some bleach and see if that helps. My recipe is slightly different, but same principle.

MK said...

We have sensitive skin too and had no issues w/ this. I started using a slightly diff recipe w/out the borax (think 1 cup each of washing soda, ivory soap & oxiclean). I do the powdered version too btw. It works great. The kind w/ borax did too, but I hate working w/ the stuff. Unfortunately the only diaper safe recipe I can find includes it so I still have to mess w/ the stuff for that.

Marcee said...

Do I understand that this homemade laundry soap should be added directly in with the clothes (front load high efficiency Bosch washer) rather than in the soap dispenser?

Gayle said...

Yes Marcee. It's kind of gelatinous so it can clog up the dispenser. I put it right in my front loader tub with the clothes and it works just fine.

Marcee said...

Okay, I'm off to the store to look for ingredients! I'll let you know how it goes. By the way, I make my window, mirror, granite, stainless steel cleaner with vinegar, rubbing alcohol, water (1/3-1/3-1/3) with a dash of Dawn(R). It works better than Windex(R). Okay, I'm a trademark lawyer...I have to give trademarks their due!

Trisha said...

I've never had any trouble with it clogging up my he washer. Every now and again, I do take out the drawer and clean out the inside where it will cake up a bit, but never clogs. I also have a window/counter/etc cleaner that I use for everything, I use 50/50 vinegar and water, and add a tsp or so of tea tree essential oil. I also use TKO (which is a natural cleaner concentrate, made from orange peels) and diluted at different strengths you can use it on everything from your tables to the garden. I love it. Expensive but one bottle lasts forever!

Anonymous said...

I am going to start making my own detergent but have a few questions first. I noticed in a few posts people mentioned using Ivory since it is a milder soap. Do you mean the Ivory hand/bath soap bars that you find in the 'bathroom aisle' at the grocery store?? I know this seems like a silly question but I am so new to this I just don't know! Also I have started using cloth diapers (hence the reason I am looking to make my own detergent since I know I'll be doing lots more laundry and need to pinch pennies wherever I can!!) and would like to know if this recipe is safe to wash them in or is there a recipe out there specifically for cloth diapers?? Any info any mamas out there have would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

Sarah said...

I just made this laundry soap I LOVE the idea of making my own, not only is it more cost effective, but it's SO easy.
However, I do have a frustration.... I can't get this blood stain/smell out (even after soaking it in cold water for the stain). Also, my husband bicycle commutes to his job, and those BO odors aren't coming out either. I've done this same load two times and no change. Should I be adding more of something in addition to the laundry soap? Or should I make the soap XXTRA concentrated?

MK said...

About the cloth diapers. I've seen quite a few people say they've used it w/ no probs on them... but soap & diapers don't mix. I found another recipe that was a 1:1:1 ratio of borax, baby oxiclean & washing soda that works well. I'm still looking for one w/out borax because I'm not comfortable w/ it. But it works.

Lisa said...

Those of you who have had problems with the gel not going through the filter on your front loader: try mixing the finished product (after it has set for 24 hours) with an immersion blender. This helps create a more consistent texture. I keep my homemade soap in an old Purex bottle and shake it well before each load and haven't had any problems with it getting stuck in my front loader.