Skip to comments.Do-It-Yourself Laundry Detergent
Posted on 04/21/2010 6:25:54 AM PDT by goodwithagun
While having clean clothes is obviously both hygienic and neighborly, how they get that way may be more open to imagination and experimentation than you may have considered. And consider you should, because as it turns out, the companies supplying the soaps you use to make your attire springtime fresh may be doing little more than taking you to the cleaners.
(Excerpt) Read more at finance.yahoo.com ...
1 bar Fels-Naptha, grated 2 cups washing soda 2 cups Borax
1 tablespoon per load, large or small, will do. I do add more for my husband's work clothes. He's a firefighter and it takes a little extra to get that smoke smell out of the clothes he wears under his gear.
A variation if you like liquid detergent, via http://www.survivalblog.com
Homemade Laundry Detergent — Makes Enough for About 180 Loads
1 Bar - Fels Naptha soap ($1.29 for a 5-1/2 ounce bar)
1 cup - Washing soda $3.99 55 ounce box (do not confuse this with baking soda)
1/2 cup - Borax ($3.49 for a 76 ounce box on sale price, regular price is $3.99) This is the old 20 Mule Team brand, and this can be found at Wal-Mart.)
1 - 5 gal. HDPE plastic utility bucket with lid. These are often available free from bakeries, or approximately $4-tio $5 at [Sam’s Club or] Wal-Mart, or your local paint store)
Grate the Fels Naptha soap into small pieces. You can chop it with a knife, cheese grater, or food processor. Heat four quarts of water in a large, heavy saucepan on top of stove and add soap, stirring constantly till melted. This will take a while depending on the size of your grated pieces. Meanwhile, fill the five gallon bucket half full with warm water. Add the 1 cup of washing soda and the 1/2 cup of Borax and stir well. When soap is melted pour into bucket, then continue to fill bucket with warm water until full. Stir well and let sit overnight until cool. This “concentrate” will thicken as it sits. Stir before using. Now, I use this concentrate straight out of the bucket and use 1/3 cup per large load.
What is “washing soda”? I’ve never heard of it.
4 cups of water. 1/3 bar of cheap soap, grated. 1/2 cup washing soda (not baking soda). 1/2 cup of Borax (20 Mule Team). 5-gallon bucket for mixing. 3 gallons of water. First, mix the grated soap in a saucepan with 4 cups of water, and heat on low until the soap is completely dissolved. Add hot water/soap mixture to 3 gallons of water in the 5-gallon bucket, stir in the washing soda and Borax, and continue stirring until thickened. Let the mix sit for 24 hours, and voila! Homemade laundry detergent.
no, no, no,,,,
first you steel the bags of fat from the Liposuction Clinic...
I think that’s what the Borax is.
There’s also something called a soap nut that can be used by itself. I guess if you were really interested and lived in the proper climate you could grow your own. You just throw the things in the wash, get several uses out of them and then throw them in the compost pile.
Interesting. Thanks for posting.
The article implies that soaps and detergents are the same. Chemically, that’s untrue. They both clean though, and there’s really nothing wrong with using soaps in place of detergents. The disadvantage to soaps is that they tend to form a soap scum, which the washing soda alleviates. You’ve seen this as the white scum in sinks after using soap. There’s nothing wrong with it, but for folks that have sensitive skin, it can cause skin irritation. Detergent can be just as irritating, or worse.
If the washing soda doesn’t take care of the soap residual problem, you can remove it by running another rinse cycle with just a bit of acetic acid (white vinegar) in the water. This should put the residual back into solution and remove the irritant. It seems like a bit more trouble, but it is invaluable to those with skin problems.
Two rocks and a shallow stream is also an option. ;-)
The washing soda is a water softner.
>>> What is washing soda? Ive never heard of it.
Nor had I, so I just had looked it up.
Washing soda is a highly alkaline chemical compound which can be used to remove stubborn stains from laundry. It also has numerous uses around the house, and it is used in a range of industrial applications as well. Washing soda should not be confused with washing powder, which is a powdered soap used as a detergent; it is also not the same thing as baking soda, although the two compounds are closely related.
The chemical formula for washing soda is Na2CO3, and it is also known as sodium carbonate. It is a salt of carbonic acid.
In laundry, washing soda accomplishes several things. The high alkalinity of washing soda helps it act as a solvent to remove a range of stains, and unlike bleach, washing soda does not usually stain. It is also used in detergent mixtures to treat hard water; the washing soda binds to the minerals which make water hard, allowing detergent to foam properly so that clothing will come out clean, without any residue. Sodium carbonate is also used by some textile artists, since it helps dyes adhere to fabric, resulting in deeper penetration and a longer lasting color.
Around the house, washing soda can be used to descale things like coffee machines and bathroom tiles which may accumulate mineral deposits as a result of exposure to hard water. It can also be used to strip floors of wax so that they can be refinished, and for other touch cleaning jobs like scrubbing the stove. You should wear gloves when cleaning with washing soda, because it can cause skin irritation.
Thanks so much for posting this, goodwithagun! I’m going to check into mixing up a batch to try it! I buy Seventh Generation detergent currently, which is a little pricey.
I also might add that you stay on the line to be transferred to an operator..
We’ve made this - and used it - twice, but I just can’t get past the fact that my clothes don’t smell good when they’re done. We have a large household - 9 people - including three athletic teenagers, a toddler still in diapers, and a dad who works for the railroad and often comes home with an oily metallic smell on his clothes. We have switched from Gain to Arm & Hammer, which leaves a nice smell and is half as expensive, but I wish there were some way to scent the homemade mixture. I did check on essential oils at the local health food store, but couldn’t seem to find anything appropriate. Any ideas, anyone?
We use this formula. We got away from the detergents and make our own. It’s a lot cheaper, and cleans better than anything we’ve used prior. Plus, it’s septic system approved.
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