Does the dry home-made laundry soap really work? - Mothering Forums
The Mindful Home > Does the dry home-made laundry soap really work?
USAmma's Avatar USAmma 11:23 PM 06-09-2011

I'm intrigued, but right now I'm very happy with our name brand detergent. We have super hard water. Thoughts?

AllyRae's Avatar AllyRae 07:02 AM 06-10-2011

We use homemade dry detergent (washing soda, borox, and this yellow bar of natural soap) and it works really well for us.  We have never tried it with diapers because none of our kids were in diapers when we started, but it's worked on everything from our martial arts uniforms to messy toddler clothes. :)

Abarat's Avatar Abarat 05:14 PM 06-15-2011

I make my own laundry soap too, though I use a 5 gallon bucket and make it in liquid form.  I just feel it works better since I wash everything in cold water.


We have very hard water as well.


I've washed all of our household laundry and diapers in it.  After a very long time I did notice a issue with buildup on clothes, but I combat that by doing a wash with detergent every few months or so.  You only notice it because towels don't wick moisture as well and diapers will have issues....but a wash once in a blue moon with detergent will take care of that.  Also, our whites don't get nice and bright, but then again we're combating laundry from gardening in 100+ degree heat all day and socks that are running around on hard floors that also house 4 indoor/outdoor dogs and a cat.  I'm okay with dingy whites, my clothes feel and smell clean.  With very hard water a buildup is inevitable if you are detergent free, but it can be worked with.


I'm not sure if using Fels Naptha in your recipe would help with the buildup.  I make all of my own soap, so the bar I use in my recipe is homemade, hence no detergent.

cparkly's Avatar cparkly 09:43 AM 06-16-2011

I have used it (liquid/gel recipe with fels naptha) for all of our laundry including cotton prefolds. We do not have hard water. After a month or so, I noticed that the whites were dingy and the diapers did not seem to be as absorbant. So, we too temporarily switched back to Sun and Earth or Ecos with an oxygen cleaner added. We switched back and for that way for a while, until my DH told me he really did not care for the homemade. We finished out the 5 gallon bucket that I made and I did not make any more of that recipe.


We experimented with soapnut "tea" and that was pretty cool. We have found a relatively inexpensive source for Sun and Earth 2x Concentratated and Ecos, so we are using those for now. But, I am not ready to totally give up on the homemade variety.

USAmma's Avatar USAmma 10:00 AM 06-16-2011

Thanks! I have been trying it since I posted and so far it's been fine, but I do have the old detergent on stand-by. I like  your idea of doing strip washes every so often.

justmama's Avatar justmama 07:31 PM 06-18-2011

I've been using the Duggar detergent recipe for almost 18months now and like it.  Like others said, our socks kinda stay dingy so every 2 months or so I will soak them in some oxyclean when it really starts to bug me but other than that, I like it.  It doesn't bug me enough to start buying more expensive detergent.  I use it on diapers as well but in a larger amt than called for and it's been working AWESOME for the last 4 months or so.  Actually it works better than Tide in my HE front loader.  It's the only thing that keeps the stink away and I'm not sure if it's homemade detergent in general or just the much larger amt but I'm not about to switch and see.  I'm happy!

jtsmom's Avatar jtsmom 07:37 PM 06-18-2011

I've been using hm powdered detergent for a year or so?  I use Soulemama's recipe, and I haven't notice a difference in dingyness in my laundry, or a buildup either.  I don't use much, though, and I wonder if that is why?  I use about 1/2 of an iced tea scoop on each load.  I don't have hard water.