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washing clothes

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Can you use either vinegar or baking soda as a replacement for laundry detergent? I'd really like to move to something less chemical-laden, but I know that I won't keep up with the recipes that require grating soap, boiling it down, etc.
post #2 of 7
I did for diapers, along with a ew drops of TTO. It didn't get stains out of our regular clothing very well though with our hard water.
post #3 of 7
Vinegar is usually used as a replacement for fabric softener.

I made my first batch by boiling down the soap 2 weeks ago, it really not that hard, and it makes a HUGE batch, like 160 loads or so. I think I am going to pull out the electric grater and do about 4 bars of soap at once and store them in baggies, so they are ready to melt down next time.

If you are using hot water in the washer, just shave a TBLS of soap into the washer with 1/2 cup of borax. The soap doesn't work as well in cold water unless it has been melted first.
post #4 of 7
I wash diapers in a dry mixture of equal parts washing soda, oxiclean, and borax. I use 2 tablespoons per load and then white vinegar in the rinse cycle. Works great.

I made a batch of the grated soap liquid detergent a couple of years ago and it worked well. I tried making a half batch last week and it didn't gel!
post #5 of 7
We just made our first batch of laundry detergent a week ago or so. Yes, we did have to grate and "cook" the soap to get it liquid. Took about 15 minutes total to do a 5 gallon buckets worth of soap!

At using 1/2 - 1 cup per load, this stuff is going to last a loooong time, so that 15 minutes was well worth it. (Average it to 3/4 cup per load and that's enough for approximately 107 loads per batch.) On a busy week, we do roughly 6-8 loads of laundry. Average that to 7 loads, and that one 5gal batch will last us about 15 weeks, or just about 4 months. For 15 minutes of work.

Now, with the soda and borax we have enough to make something like 6 - 5 gal batches, just need to buy more bars of soap. We ran a price comparison, and between the cost of Borax, washing soda, and the soap, for the number of loads we get, it costs a total of $12-$13. This is for 642 loads of laundry. The equivelent in commercial detergent would run around $85 - $90. Once it's all made, this should last approx. 91 weeks - close to 2 years!
post #6 of 7
personally I wouldnt solely use vinegar or baking soda. Although the clothes did smell clean (I accidently forgot detergent once in a load) the vinegar didnt do a good job of removing stains and oil/grease. So I would think over time your clothes would look dingy if thats all you were doing.

if grating the soap is your biggest drawback on making your own detergent there are sites that sell pre-grated soap and its still a lot cheaper and better than commercial detergents.
post #7 of 7
you can use your grating attachment on your food processor for the soap.

That being said, I didn't have good luck with my fels-naptha, washing soda and something else...baking soda or borax...combo. Clothes were always dingy. Then again, I'm a laundry flunkie, everything gets thrown in together on cold.
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