Homemade laundry detergent - Mothering Forums

 
Thread Tools
#1 of 26 Old 05-21-2014, 09:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
jennsies's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Tacoma, Washington
Posts: 51
Mentioned: 34 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Hi everyone, I'm curious if anyone here makes their own laundry detergent and wondering if you could share tried and true recipes? I've come across a few on the web here and there, but not sure how good they are. I really want to start making my own as it's very cheap and not full of chemicals.
Thanks!
jennsies is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
#2 of 26 Old 05-21-2014, 01:19 PM
 
tracyamber's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 4,267
Mentioned: 547 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 96 Post(s)
Soap bar, washing powder, and borax... Works wonderful!
justmama likes this.
tracyamber is offline  
#3 of 26 Old 05-21-2014, 02:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
jennsies's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Tacoma, Washington
Posts: 51
Mentioned: 34 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Thanks tracyamber!
jennsies is offline  
 
#4 of 26 Old 05-21-2014, 06:43 PM
 
mum4boys's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Washington State
Posts: 2,930
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)

To make Tablets:

 

1 cup Borax
1 cup washing soda
1 cup grated bar soap {I use fels neptha, but you could also use Zote, Ivory, etc.}
1/2 cup vinegar
Ice cube tray or I use silicon splat mat on a baking sheet.

 

 

Directions:

Start by grating your soap 

Mix the grated bar with the Borax and Washing Soda.  Pour 1/2 cup vinegar over the mixture and stir to combine.  The mixture shouldn't be too wet, just wet enough to pack into your ice cube tray or spread across the baking sheet. . After packing the mixture into the tray or sheet, leave out to dry–about 24 hours.

After dry, I flip the soap out onto my cutting board and cut into 1 inch cubes.


Heidi
mum4boys is offline  
#5 of 26 Old 05-21-2014, 06:46 PM
 
mum4boys's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Washington State
Posts: 2,930
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)

I know some people use this recipe to make liquid laundry soap. Do not use the vinegar. Grate the soap and heat it up in the microwave. In a 5 gallon bucket add all the ingredients and fill to the top with hot hot water. Some people add boiling water. Mix an use.


Heidi
mum4boys is offline  
#6 of 26 Old 05-21-2014, 07:22 PM
 
Ragana's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Chicago area
Posts: 2,460
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 98 Post(s)

I have made the powdered version of this (no vinegar), and the problem I had was the shreds of soap would not always dissolve because I wash in warm, not hot. If you try powdered, pulverize the soap as much as you can. I haven't tried it again since getting a new washer - it's an HE one, so not sure it can do homemade soap.


Mom "D"
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
to DD1 "Z" (17)
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
and DD2 "I" (13)
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
DH "M"
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Ragana is offline  
#7 of 26 Old 05-21-2014, 07:46 PM
 
BacktotheGarden's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 2
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

You sure can. If u make the detergent that doesn't create suds, use the same amount as you would in the regular washer. Ours was more of a paste and it didn't all dissolve so we went back to liquid and it works just fine.

BacktotheGarden is offline  
#8 of 26 Old 05-21-2014, 08:46 PM
 
stormborn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,959
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 66 Post(s)
I use the Ivory, washing soda and borax mixture but leave it dry. Letting the ivory shreds dry out awhile helps with it dissolving quickly; I usually do 10-15 bars at once with my mixer shredder attachment then leave the bucket parked in front of the dehumidifier for a few weeks. In the sun would prob work too if you live in a dry climate. If I forget to dry it I'll just put the clothes & soap in and leave it soaking awhile to maked sure it melts.
stormborn is offline  
#9 of 26 Old 05-21-2014, 09:20 PM
 
Poddi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: BC, Canada
Posts: 1,939
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)

I use sunlight laundry soap or the one made by Soapworks.  I tried the dry mix and it didn't work too well either, so I mostly use the liquid version.  I don't use a lot of water so my detergent is mostly a rather solid gel.  I kinda like that consistency.  It's much less messy.

 

Oh and it's perfectly fine for HE washer.  There's not much suds at all.


Mom to 2 beautiful autistic boys (13 & 12)
Poddi is offline  
#10 of 26 Old 05-22-2014, 04:28 AM
 
justmama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 5,931
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 65 Post(s)
Yeah we do too. Same general process. Grate soap, melt in water on stove top. 1c washing soda, 1c borax, dissolve in 5G bucket of water, add melted soap ans mix. It gels as it cools. Use like normal detergent. Works great, even on sweaty dirty karate clothing.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
justmama is offline  
#11 of 26 Old 05-22-2014, 08:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
jennsies's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Tacoma, Washington
Posts: 51
Mentioned: 34 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
You ladies are awesome! Thank you! I did read online that some people have trouble with the powder not dissolving in cold water, so I think I'll try liquid (love the ice cube tray idea too)! I've also been researching homemade fabric softener too. Looks like a lot of people use vinegar in the rinse cycle but have read a few other interesting ideas like a couple strips of aluminum foil or a washcloth with a few safety pins attached. Apparently the metal helps with static. I'll have to do some experimenting.

Thanks for the tips!
jennsies is offline  
#12 of 26 Old 05-26-2014, 05:56 AM
 
meandk0610's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: MD
Posts: 1,094
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)

Does anyone know how to keep the liquid detergent from getting clumpy? I'm using a powder in my top-load HE machine and sometimes it doesn't dissolve all the way. I'd be willing to give liquid another go but it came out with large, um, clumps of gel (if that makes sense) last time that also wouldn't completely dissolve and made it impossible to use a laundry bottle to hold it; I had to leave it in the bucket.



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
-
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
-
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
-
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
-
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
meandk0610 is offline  
#13 of 26 Old 06-08-2014, 07:23 PM
 
aslandess's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 81
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)
So when we got our house I looked high and low for laundry detergent recipes. I finally stumbled across Soap Nuts. There a fruit from a tree, that they dry and take the nut out of the middle. I bought a bag of "on the half shell" which was just their fancy way of broken pieces (which doesn't matter because I break mine up anyways.) I use cold water to wash with so I make a batch of soap nut "tea" in my crockpot, just soapnuts and water. (If you use hot water to wash with you can just throw them in the wash in a little potpourri-esque bag they give you.) Anyways I spent a $100 on ten pounds two years ago. Here's the thing we use cleaning cloths and don't use papertowels (except for some home remodeling) and do a ton of laundry and I've only used a 1/6 of them. So the $100 will last me 12 years, and will only cost $8.33 a year! My DH was leery when I first bought them, but actually admitted I did a good job with that.

For other laundry help look at this other thread:
Laundry help -- please!!
aslandess is offline  
#14 of 26 Old 06-17-2014, 03:40 PM
 
mum4boys's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Washington State
Posts: 2,930
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
I used to love soap nuts but unfortunately with my families allergies, the soap nuts made everything worst.

Heidi
mum4boys is offline  
#15 of 26 Old 06-17-2014, 06:36 PM
 
justmama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 5,931
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 65 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by mum4boys View Post
I used to love soap nuts but unfortunately with my families allergies, the soap nuts made everything worst.

That's weird because they say soap nuts are so natural and gentle and stuff but my kids with sensitive, ec*ema-prone skin reacted to them like cra*y too.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
justmama is offline  
#16 of 26 Old 06-17-2014, 08:38 PM
 
stormborn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,959
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 66 Post(s)
Wow, Justmama, I haven't "seen" you here in a long time. Hi!
stormborn is offline  
#17 of 26 Old 06-20-2014, 01:48 PM
 
justmama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 5,931
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 65 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by stormborn View Post
Wow, Justmama, I haven't "seen" you here in a long time. Hi!
I've been very quiet for a long time.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
justmama is offline  
#18 of 26 Old 06-27-2014, 08:54 PM
 
bereamama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 48
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Has anyone tried these recipes with a cold water wash? I used to make this recipe (liquid) but I didn't like how it worked. I assume it was because I washed with cold water. I might try the dry formula, but use Ivory instead of the Fels-Naptha (I realized it has talc in it).
bereamama is offline  
#19 of 26 Old 06-27-2014, 11:07 PM
 
spiderdust's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Silicon Valley, CA
Posts: 1,624
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 25 Post(s)
I haven't had a great deal of success with homemade detergents myself, but I also have *extremely* hard water. There are hard-water recipes out there, but I have no idea how they work with a HE front-loader washer. I would love to try again, if anyone has feedback on using it with high-calcium content water.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Mama to Munchkin 
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
and Chickadee
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
, co-parent to 3 additional children... plus one on the way.
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
spiderdust is offline  
#20 of 26 Old 06-29-2014, 05:38 PM
 
aslandess's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 81
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)
My daughter has eczema and had it way worse when she was a baby. I did all her laundry in Dreft back then. Since then I've tried all sorts of hypoallergenic laundry detergents. Her eczema has gotten a lot better the older she gets but she still has it. I've been using soapnuts for two years now and her eczema has not gotten worse. One thing I found that worked for her eczema (not to derail the thread but just fyi) was I was trying this oil cleansing method which is 20% castor oil and 80% jojoba oil. My daughter had got out of the tub and I was out of the homemade lotion I normally make, so I tried some of this on the back of her knees and the next morning her rash was 90% gone.

If people have sensitive skin or eczema prone family members be careful using any recipes that include borax. It is a known skin irritant. It's also poisonous so you have to keep it out reach of the littles.

These I have all tried and tested with cold water washing and I have hard water:
Stains- (non greasy type) shake heavily with baking soda, spray until thoroughly saturated w hydrogen peroxide let dry completely (throw everything into wash)
Grease Stains- mix baking soda with dish soap until a frosting type consistency, spread on stain, spray lightly w hydrogen peroxide, let sit a day or two (throw everything into wash)
Laundry Booster- baking soda
Water Softener- baking soda
Smells- spray with vinegar before you put in dryer, stink and vinegar will disappear when dry
aslandess is offline  
#21 of 26 Old 09-03-2014, 02:21 PM
 
naturesbabies's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 78
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by aslandess View Post
So when we got our house I looked high and low for laundry detergent recipes. I finally stumbled across Soap Nuts. There a fruit from a tree, that they dry and take the nut out of the middle. I bought a bag of "on the half shell" which was just their fancy way of broken pieces (which doesn't matter because I break mine up anyways.) I use cold water to wash with so I make a batch of soap nut "tea" in my crockpot, just soapnuts and water. (If you use hot water to wash with you can just throw them in the wash in a little potpourri-esque bag they give you.) Anyways I spent a $100 on ten pounds two years ago. Here's the thing we use cleaning cloths and don't use papertowels (except for some home remodeling) and do a ton of laundry and I've only used a 1/6 of them. So the $100 will last me 12 years, and will only cost $8.33 a year! My DH was leery when I first bought them, but actually admitted I did a good job with that.

For other laundry help look at this other thread:
Laundry help -- please!!

I am a huge fan of soap nuts. Where did you find a deal like this?
naturesbabies is offline  
#22 of 26 Old 09-04-2014, 02:03 AM
 
elliha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Sweden
Posts: 266
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 28 Post(s)
I have tried soap nuts and while they made the clothes visibly clean they apparently did not make them clean enough because I started having yeast infections like crazy. I moved back to using a hypo-allergenic mild laundry detergent I had used before and the problem stopped so I am pretty sure the soap nuts were the problem. As for other recipes I have heard that many of them work well for older washing machines that use much more water than modern ones and that if you have a modern machine home made stuff might make it last a shorter time than expected. Given that even the most expensive laundry detergent still will be much cheaper than a new machine after 2 years I stick to store bought ones that are environmentally friendly and hypo-allergenic.
elliha is offline  
#23 of 26 Old 09-04-2014, 07:42 PM
 
sillysapling's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 1,700
Mentioned: 31 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 241 Post(s)
For grated soap- apparently blitzing it in a food processor (blades, not grater) will get them small enough. I've also heard of epsom salts for fabric softener.

Not sure if we want to try this or not. I'm looking into options. I definitely think I'll give homemade dishwasher detergent a shot since I've never found one that works to my satisfaction. (and also to spite my dad who complained about how my 'namby pamby hippy' detergent was why the dishes weren't getting cleaned- nevermind that no water was coming out!)

Two proud daddies and our little monster
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
4/13
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
1/15
this is just a moment in time, step aside and let it happen
sillysapling is offline  
#24 of 26 Old 09-11-2014, 04:34 PM
 
aslandess's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 81
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)
@naturesbabies Occasionally Naturoli sells soapnuts "on the half shell" which are bulk broken pieces, but since I make "soapnut tea" so I can wash in cold water it saves me time in breaking up the pieces. I just checked and they have them on sell right now for $39.95 for 5 pounds.

@elliha Good point about the new HE washing machines. Almost all new washing machines (including top loading) are High Efficiency and need low sudsing type of detergent. Be careful with the soap bar based homemade recipes with that type of washer machine! When you used soap nuts did you make soap tea or just use the nuts in the bag? How did you store the the soapnuts in between washes?
aslandess is offline  
#25 of 26 Old 09-12-2014, 03:59 PM
 
elliha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Sweden
Posts: 266
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 28 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by aslandess View Post
@naturesbabies Occasionally Naturoli sells soapnuts "on the half shell" which are bulk broken pieces, but since I make "soapnut tea" so I can wash in cold water it saves me time in breaking up the pieces. I just checked and they have them on sell right now for $39.95 for 5 pounds.

@elliha Good point about the new HE washing machines. Almost all new washing machines (including top loading) are High Efficiency and need low sudsing type of detergent. Be careful with the soap bar based homemade recipes with that type of washer machine! When you used soap nuts did you make soap tea or just use the nuts in the bag? How did you store the the soapnuts in between washes?
I tried both using them as they are and as they grew harder with age to cook them with water (I assume that is what you mean by soap tea). Both worked in terms of making the clothes visibly clean. I used the plastic bag I got them in for storage (dry nuts that is, the used nuts that were still working I dried and stored in a cloth bag). The woman I bought them from recommended this, she imports them herself from India.

I have also used them for washing the dishes (by cooking them in water first and using the water as washing soap along with more water of course. That worked pretty well but I found my normal dish soap better. I tried using it to wash my hair too and that was a total fail for my hair at least. I have also tried it as body wash and that was more promising but I am too lazy to cook soap nuts every week to use as body wash...

I used soap nuts exclusively for about 1,5 years, then I used them for at least 1,5 years for things that were not underwear (see the previous post) but then I grew sick of using two different things and moved to store bought detergent for everything.
elliha is offline  
#26 of 26 Old 09-12-2014, 06:03 PM
 
aslandess's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 81
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)
@elliha Oh, I meant how did you store the nuts or soap tea between uses?
aslandess is offline  
Reply

Tags
Frugality


User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off

Online Users: 14,167

29 members and 14,138 guests
autumngrey , Deborah , greenemami , Greg B , healthy momma , hillymum , Janeen0225 , Josiah , katelove , Katherine73 , Kelleybug , lhargrave89 , Michele123 , moominmamma , Motherof3already , MountainMamaGC , psimmons , redsally , RollerCoasterMama , sciencemum , sniffmommy , sutton_02 , tapatio , Wendybird42
Most users ever online was 449,755, 06-25-2014 at 12:21 PM.