June 8, 2009

Homemade Laundry Detergent Update

I made the homemade laundry detergent today. It works great! I did a little more research and found out that since we have hard water there were a couple more ingredients that I needed to add

Here is the final recipe I came up with after further research after my last post.

Homemade Powdered Laundry Detergent

1 cup Borax
1 cup Arm and Hammer baking soda
1 cup Arm and Hammer Washing Soda
1/3 cup of Oxy Clean (I used a generic brand, not the high priced name brand stuff)
One bar of Zote or Fels Naptha soap (grated then processed in a food processor - or you could use a box grater for this)

Mix everything very well then put it into a storage container. Use 1 to 2 Tbsp. per load.

(Updated to add, I now always use only 1 Tbsp. per load or 1 1/2 Tbsp. for a highly soiled load. I use the Zote soap now, as it seems to work better.)

For my first load which was a very large load of very dirty white clothes I used 3 Tbsp. of this mix along with about 3/4 c. of bleach. I washed with hot water on a 12 minute cycle and they clothes came out wonderful.

I was a bit skeptical at first because not only did 3 Tbsp. seem like a tiny amount of detergent, I was worried that I would not be able to tolerate this detergent. I am highly allergic to perfumed soaps and the Fels Naptha has a strong scent. Normally I buy Arm and Hammer Dye and Perfume free detergent or ALL FREE detergent because they have no scent and clean our clothes very well.

This homemade detergent worked better than our normal brands. Everything smelled fresh, nothing needed to be rewashed which is sometimes the case with the store brand stuff. There was no trace of a scent on the washed clothes. They smelled fresh and clean but not perfumed.

I think the ingredients (container included cost about $10 and I have plenty of everything left except for the Fels Naptha bar, which was under $2. I can make several more batches of this if I buy more soap bars. The batch I made should probably wash about 40 loads.

If you want to save some money on your laundry I highly suggest giving this recipe a try!


Erika W. said...

Well, I eye this up every time I see the recipe, and it's out on a lot of blogs, and I'm just so skeptical of it actually cleaning our clothes. I have to ask, did you add the bleach just because it was a white load? Or do you do that all the time.

I think I can find everything at a store near me, and we also have issues with scents and dyes, so your report is great to hear on that.

Michele said...

Erika, I have see this recipe or ones like it all over the net. It took me a long time to want to try this because I didn't think it would work. I used bleach because I was washing whites and this particular load really needed it. I have done several loads since of colors and used no bleach and it still works like a charm. I use two Tablespoons per load. The Fels Napthat soap really does have a strong scent so when I open the container I kind of hold my breath as not to breath it in. But it just amazes me how after the laundry is washed it has no scent at all. I am going to make a batch with Zote and one with Ivory and see which I like best. I will post after I try it to let you know how it works.

Erika W. said...

I did it! Yesterday I picked up all the ingredients and gave it a try- holy cow! It does work, and it works well! I also use cold water to wash, so that says a lot.

Thank you so much for trying it out and sharing, because in my mind I just couldn't see this detergent actually working. My mind is reeling when I think of all the $$ I'm going to save by not buying detergent.

jana said...

I'd like to give this a try. Where would I find the washing soda?

Michele said...

Jana, I found it at Fry's (Kroger) and also have seen it at WalMart. If you can't find it, just substitute an equal amount of Oxy Clean or similar oxygen based cleaning powder.