Sunday, September 30, 2012

DIY Laundry Detergent

Happy Sunday!


Edited to add:  I use this soap in my HE (high efficiency)  washer and have had no problems at all so far.  I've also noticed that the machine does not ask to be cleaned as often as it used to.

A friend of mine from work made her own laundry soap and shared some of it with me and I LOVE IT! I loved it so much I made more and I will continue to make more in the future. It's going to save us lots of money too!  My friend got her recipe HERE.
The ingredients you see above cost us $27.70, all from WalMart.  These ingredients will make enough soap for a year if you wash 6 loads per week.  It could last you longer than a year if you do less laundry. Oh and the best part is...you only use 2 tablespoons per load.

Here's what you will need to make a very large amount of soap:
1 Large container with lid (ours is 24 qts)
1 Grater with a small grating area
1 (4 lb 12 oz) Box of Borax - $3.38
1 (3 lb) Container of OxyClean - $7.52
2 (14.1 oz) Bars of Fels Naptha Soap (You can also use Zote Soap) - $.97 each
1 (4 lb) Box of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda - $2.66
1 large or 2 small Bottle of Purex Crystals Fabric Softener - $8.96 (large size)
You will need to grate the bars of Fels Naptha soap. Get your poor arms ready for a work out! Whew!  I mostly used the smallest part of my grater but every now and again I would grate a bit on the large size. You will end up with about 3 cups of grated soap.
The Fels Naptha is a pretty yellow and smells really nice too.  You can see here the larger pieces I threw in every now and again. Again, this is the hard part and will give your arms a good workout for sure!  Once you've finally grated both bars of soap you will use a large container to mix it all in.  Be sure to mix it well so its all stirred up and distributed evenly. I used a wooden spoon to stir mine.
I used my canning funnel to fill my large size Purex softener bottle.  It held 7 cups of soap nicely, but you possibly could get 8 in there.  The regular size bottle holds 4 cups and I also had some large creamer bottles I've been saving and they hold 3 cups nicely.  See the blue cap on the Purex bottle?  It has 3 lines one it and the middle one is approximately 2 tablespoons.  AWESOME!
Even though this was a bit of work to get put together, it makes the house smell wonderful and clean and best of all its very easy to use and cleans great!

It doesn't have to be done all at once.  It is a slow process in the works! C-ya next time!
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54 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing this recipe. I have one question ... does this soap leave your stored sheets and towels smelling fresh for a long time like Gain does?

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  2. YES! We've been using this recipe for about 3 weeks now and when we wear clothes that have been washed and hung up days or weeks later they still smell wonderful!

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  3. Guess my question would be...does it get the clothes clean and sanitary? Do you have to use suppliments still for heavily soiled clothing?

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    1. you can keep a bar of the soap and use on stains. Grandma use to use it on our cloths. just wet and rub. but yes gets most everything out

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  4. Great tip, have you tested it with high efficiency washer?

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  5. Hi Cheryl! Since we have all adults in our house we are really limited to the really dirty clothes (like kids can give you) so I can't say if you would need to use any other items or not. Sorry 'bout that! :)

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  6. Hi Luis! YES! We have the HE machines and it works perfectly.

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  7. I generally use clorox bleach for my whites...have you tried it? Or is it even necessary?
    BTW...thanks for sharing your great idea!

    Nadine

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  8. I generally use clorox bleach for my whites...have you tried it? Or is it even necessary?
    BTW...thanks for sharing your great idea!

    Nadine

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  9. Hi Nadine! You're very welcome! I have not tried using clorox. The oxy clean in the mixture is your whitener and I have noticed the the whites (mostly socks) look brighter since I started using it.

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  10. Will the Oxi Clean bleach dark clothes?

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    1. No it doesn't :) I have been using this since September and have had NO issues with hubby's black socks/pants/shirts.

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  11. This sounds like a wonderful recipe--thank you! My only concern is with the Oxyclean, which IIRC contains 'oxygen bleach', environmentally safe, but (straight, at least) ruins woolens and silks. We've used a natural detergent with the same ingredient, and it didn't appear to do any harm. Any ideas? Thanks again! :)

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  12. PS - We sometimes use bluing (Mrs Stewart's brand) in the rinse cycle to brighten/de-yellow whites. All the best to you and yours.

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  13. Hurrah! Thank you, Mellissa Cassagne. Now I can make a massive batch. Prolly not enough of a percentage of oxygen bleach to deteriorate mixed woolies/silkies. Will test it on scrap fabric first to be certain.

    All the best!

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  14. Would you put the soap into the soap dispenser in your machine? Or directly into the tub to wash?

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  15. Would you put the soap into the soap dispenser in your machine or do you put directly into the tub?

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  16. Can't wait to try this! Do you put this in the dispenser part or in the drum with the clothes?

    Thanks!!

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  17. Can't wait to try this! Do you put this in the dispenser section or in the drum with the clothes? Thanks!!

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  18. This recipe is great! I use Downy unstopables instead of crystals. My family likes it better. This is also great for my daughter with her disability she is able to use this all in one in her front loader and is very easy since I refill the downy bottle with it for her. We are on our third batch. Thanks so much!

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  19. This recipe is awesome! Instead of crystals I use downy unstoppable, family likes it better. This also works great for my daughter that has a disability. I refill a downy bottle and she pours it into her front loader. Thanks again, we are on our third batch.

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  20. Making this now....
    11/11/2013 in Massachusetts.
    I got everything at Walmart with the exception of the Borax which I bought at Market Basket (grocery store).

    3lb A&H Washing Soda $3,.24
    2 bottles 28oz Purex Crystals for Baby $4.76 + $4.76
    4lb A&H Baking Soda $2.24
    2 bars 5.5oz Fels Naptha $0.97 + $0.97
    3lb OxyClean $7.52
    4lb Borax $3.99

    $28.45 total

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  21. Making this now....
    11/11/2013 in Massachusetts.
    I got everything at Walmart with the exception of the Borax which I bought at Market Basket (grocery store).

    3lb A&H Washing Soda $3,.24
    2 bottles 28oz Purex Crystals for Baby $4.76 + $4.76
    4lb A&H Baking Soda $2.24
    2 bars 5.5oz Fels Naptha $0.97 + $0.97
    3lb OxyClean $7.52
    4lb Borax $3.99

    $28.45 total

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  22. I LOVE this laundry soap. I have been making it for years. Because we have sensitive skin, I don't put in the fabric softners crystals and use the Baby Oxy clean (found in the baby department)instead of regular. I truly only use 1 to 1.5 Tablespoons per load. I use homemade stain treatment on stains. Sometime's I add 1/2 Cup of white vinegar to the load. I find this dry recipe so much easier than the liquid homemade kinds. I used to use Tide or All brands and I notice no difference in the cleaning ability. It works just as good.

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  23. I need a liquid soap any dry soaps do not work b/c my water is extremely cold (live in Alaska ) I’ve tried them all & will not waist any time or money on anything but liquid

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    1. Hi Lori, I completely understand your problem! Although I don't have a liquid version recipe, I know I've seen them on Pinterest so you might check there for a good recipe. Good luck!

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  24. Hi,
    Is the fabric softener a liquid or a solid ?

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    1. Hi there! The fabric softener I posted is a liquid

      See post here:http://ourcloverhouse.blogspot.com/2017/10/homemade-fabric-softener.html

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    2. If you mean in the detergent, it is a solid. They are crystals. Like little beads.

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  25. Hello! I only just found your blog and I'm hoping you'll see my question since you made this post awhile back... But, with this 'recipe' of I'm making my own liquid fabric softener, do I still need to include the Purex Crystals? Or should I still use them to act like a 'unstoppables' type of ingredient? Thanks so much for your help!

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    1. Hi there! You can leave them out if you want, but they are mostly just for scent anyway. I use both the homemade laundry soap and the softener and my laundry is perfect every time!

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  26. live in canada and can't find site or Fels Naptha Soap in stores. will any laundry bar soap do the trick?

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    1. Hi there! Yes, I would imagine any type would work. Sometimes I don't even add the bar soap if I'm feeling lazy and don't want to go to the trouble of grating it! lol!

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  27. Just saw your recipie for homemade fabric softener on Hometalk,and came here for your recipie for laundry detergent. I'm Soo excited to try both...Thanks a bunch for sharing 👍👍

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    1. Hi Michele! So glad you're going to try them, I've been using the laundry detergent for years and I've never went back to store bought since. I hope you enjoy them both as much as I do! :)

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  28. Just saw your recipie for homemade fabric softener on Hometalk,and came here for your recipie for laundry detergent. I'm Soo excited to try both...Thanks a bunch for sharing 👍👍

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    1. Hi Michele! You're very welcome and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

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  29. Hi DeeDee,
    Thank you so much for posting this. I can't wait to try it. I do have a few questions though.
    1. Once you grate the bars of soap, all you do is mix the rest of the ingredients in the large container. Then you just transfer a small batch to the crystal container to make it easier to use. Is that correct?
    2. Does this go into the drum of an HE washer or into the soap dispenser?
    3. Is there any substitute I can use to replace the Purex Crystals? Because of allergens I can't use that brand?
    Thank you!

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    1. Hi Jenny! 1. Yes you are correct! 2. Into the soap dispenser. 3. You can use any of the "smelly good beads" on the market these days. Good luck and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do! :)

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  30. Just made this and washing a load now, can't wait to see results. Are you using 2T. for a regular size load? If I'm washing an extra large load should I use more?

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    1. Hi Jodi! Yes, if I have a larger load I will add more, but most times I just use the Purex Crystals bottle cap for measuring! :)

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  31. If you have a regular washer can you just add it to the drum with the clothes?

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    1. Hi Aleesha! Yes, you sure can! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

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  33. I have found, this may seem silly, but for absolutely filthy whites boiling them on the stove gets them ridiculously white. Add your detergent, about a tablespoon, and if you choose to use bleach, I do, add a cap full to the water. Turn it on high be sure that the items are saturated evenly and there is enough water to cover the items and a little over the top, about a quarter inch depending on the size pot used. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce to low heat and use a large pair of grilling tongs to move things around to be sure everything is evenly distributed, doing this a few times, and leave covered and on low heat for 30 minutes or so.. I promise you will be amazed at the results. I have on extreme occasion, poured the water off after 30 minutes and added fresh water, plain or with a softener and repeated the 30 minutes. I then rinse in cold water and squeeze excess then put in the washer on a quick cycle. Phenomenal results...

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    1. Thank you Cathy! That is such an awesome tip and I WILL be trying this! :)

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  34. Great recipie! Sounds great for us mommies that cloth diaper as well- just leave out the crystals as they will coat the diaper and will affect the diapers, doublers(inserts) and thier moisture wicking abilities!
    For cloth diapers though, watch out for any "coating" or "softening" agents ( vinegar works great)

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    1. Hi Elizabeth!Thanks so much for the sweet comment and the great tip!

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  35. Can you use a food processor to grate the soap?

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    1. Hi Karen! I have read that some people do that very thing, they just chop the soap into smaller pieces first before they go into the processor. :)

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  36. Can you use a food processor to grate the soap?

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  37. Love both of the recipes. Softener and detergent. I will be making both. Thank you!

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    1. Thanks Patricia and you're welcome! Enjoy! :)

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