Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Laundry Detergent, Homemade Style

All 3X Small & Mighty Stainlifter Liquid Laundry Detergent, 32 oz

I have used "all" detergent for years and I have no complaints about it.  But, if I can do something to save a little money here and there, I will give it a try.  I'm also trying to use things with more natural ingredients instead of the heavy chemical items. Trying another chemical filled detergent for less money wasn't an option.  I have more than one child with extremely sensitive skin and messing with detergents is a big risk. However, when I saw some recipes for homemade detergent on Pinterest, and the ingredients seemed a little more natural and a little less harsh than the store bought detergents out there, I decided to take the plunge.

I found How Does She?'s recipe for laundry detergent on Pinterest and really liked it.  (Plus, her bottle of detergent just looked so pretty!)  I waited until I used up what I already had, then off to the grocery store I went.

(I forgot to take a picture with the soap bars before I grated them.  Oops!)

How Does She?'s recipe calls for Borax, Arm & Hammer's Super Washing Soda, 2 bars of Zote soap, and baking soda, with OxyClean and Purex Crystals as optional ingredients.  The store I went to didn't sell Zote soap, so I used Fels~Naptha soap bars, instead.  I decided NOT to use baking soda since I read several comments from others that it faded dark colored clothes.  I think the baking soda is to act as an odor neutralizer, and the Super Washing Soda does that.  I also decided to leave out the OxyClean at this point and add it as needed.  It just seemed a little more harsh than I wanted in my everyday detergent.  I DID opt for the Purex Crystals because, honestly, I love good smelling laundry.

I love the bright yellow color, it smelled so fresh,
and actually felt good on my hands!

I realized the Fels~Naptha bars were smaller than the Zote soap bars, but I still miscalculated how many bars would equal the 2 Zote bars called for.  I bought and grated 3 (or maybe 4) bars and you need almost 6 bars of Fels~Naptha to equal 2 bars of Zote.  (What?  Me miscalculate something?  Never! Hahaha!!!)  But, after talking with a couple of friends on facebook, I decided to just go with what I already had instead of running out to buy more.

I followed the advice of the post I was taking this from in the way she mixed all the ingredients together.  I mixed a little bit at a time, stirring as I went, then added a little bit more.  That made it easier to make sure everything was equally mixed.

I tried to put some of it in the Purex bottle just like the blogger I got this from did, (it really looked nice)...yeah, that didn't work.  The soap separated from the other ingredients and no matter what I did, (shaking, rolling, subtracting amounts,) it still separated itself.  Since I only had a very small amount of OxyClean left, I decided to just pour that in with the mix, (it wasn't enough to amount to anything,) and use the OxyClean container and it seemed to work much better.  The rest of it is kept in a large bucket with a tight lid until I need some more.  I'm going to keep track of how long this batch lasts.  Some say theirs can last 6 months to a year, but we are a family of 5, so we shall see how it goes.  I am fairly certain it will still last longer and be more cost effective than continuing to buy detergent from the store.

It only takes 2 TBS of this detergent per load to use.  Yes, you read that right...2 Tablespoons!  That is exactly one coffee scoop full.  Keep in mind that it doesn't suds as much as store bought brands, so don't be tempted to keep adding more.  Suds are not necessary for cleanliness.  From what I have read, this detergent recipe is also safe to use in HE washers and front loading washers.  But, don't quote me on that since my washer is neither.

So far, we have been pretty satisfied with our clothes.  They come out clean, smell GREAT, and are pretty soft considering I haven't used fabric softener since starting this new detergent.  The only thing that didn't come out as soft were the towels.  I may continue to add fabric softener when washing towels, and when I run out of what I have, I will probably switch over to vinegar as my softener since it is also more natural.

Don't be afraid to try homemade laundry detergent!  I am glad I tried it and I think you might be, too.

God bless!


  1. That is very intersting. I don' think I have every heard of making your own laundry detergent. I am curious to see how long this lasts. So please up date when you run out. I may like to try this myself. But I have never heard of those types of soaps either. Is there a special place you have to go to get them?

  2. Most/all of the items can be found at WalMart, or your local grocery stores like Krogers in the laundry detergent isle. Sometimes it's hard to find the Zote Soap or Fels~Naptha, but the stores usually carry one or the other. I have several friends who have been making their own detergent for years and they love it. I will do my best to try and remember to update as to how long it lasts. But, I hope it will be a while, lol!