Monday, February 1, 2010

Laundry Links

Here are the recipes I've used for homemade laundry soap:
  • This link has a list of 10 or so recipes and a link to a pretty good FAQ for homemade laundry soap. I've been using recipe #9 lately. I'm not sure yet if it's quite as cheap as the next link, because I don't know for sure how long it will last....(but for sure a while) but I do feel like it cleans better.
  • This link is the first liquid recipe I tried. Definitely very cheap. The bucket lasted me about 6 months and cost me about $11 to make. It seriously calculated out to cost me less than a penny per load. I used to buy a box of powder soap at the grocery store that cost that much and only lasted me 3-4 weeks.
A few things about homemade laundry soap:
  • It's definitely better on your skin. I've never used the store-bought brands that are recommended for sensitive skin, but I did always have to run an extra rinse or my kids would have a rash. I don't have to do that with homemade.
  • The softer the water, the better it cleans. I think this is why I like the recipe in the first link better. It has more borax compared to everything else, which is supposed to help soften the water.
  • You can't use chlorine bleach with the recipes I've tried or it will dull and gray any whites. But, if the source I got this from is correct, Washing Soda is chemically the same thing as Oxi-Clean, so you're covered.
  • You have to be more on top of stain treating. With the store-bought soap I could throw anything in the laundry basket, leave it there for a week, and use a little Spray 'n Wash right before I tossed it in to wash. Now I have to spray everything as I toss it into the basket.
  • If you're making a powder soap, it's best to use a food processor to get the soap as fine as possible, to help it dissolve better in the water. Especially if you use a cold water wash, or have hard water. If it doesn't dissolve it leaves little greasy looking marks on your clothes, (they'll come out though). Plus it's tons faster. I used my food processor to pulverize 7 bars of Fels Naptha in about 2 minutes. (Use the grating attachment first, then put the chopping blade in to make it fine.) It would have taken FOREVER to grate that by hand.
  • Using vinegar instead of fabric softener is not only cheaper, but helps rinse your clothes better if you have hard water. Use 1/2 c. per load.
  • Not that I'm lucky enough to have an HE machine, but if you are, everything I've read says that homemade detergents are safe to use. The whole issue is the suds and these recipes are non-sudsing.
Sorry, this post is getting really long.....but one more thing! If you buy these ingredients in bulk, there are more uses for them. You can use the washing soda and borax (or I've seen baking soda and borax) in equal parts, (like 1 c. each) and mix together to make dishwasher detergent. Use 1-2 T. per load. Again, if you have hard water you'll want to use 1/2 c. of vinegar in the rinse aid cup.

And, I've been using the baking soda to wash my hair. LOVE it! Read more here if you're interested.

Now, if you want to kick me off the blog team for my first three ridiculously long additions, feel free. :) Much love!


  1. Keep the long posts a comin! I for one love all the info. Anything that can help our budget is a huge plus. When I am done with the liquid detergent I think I will give the powdered one a try. Thanks Katie!

  2. I am really looking into try this, and I am really excited. I just have one question...I know that there is just normal wear and tear on clothes that makes the color dull, but I rotate my clothes and wear them so often that it seems like I am washing them a ton , but I am wondering if this keeps the colors fresh longer. I just switched to tide like 6 months ago to try to keep our clothes more 'vibrant' that really isn't the word, but you know what I mean. Anyway, I agree that anything to help our budget is a huge plus, and I am looking forward to giving this a try. Also, I love to use vinegar and baking soda to clean so to just be able to buy that in bulk seems like it would help out in a lot of other expenses too.

  3. Whit,
    I haven't noticed any difference on the color fading between this and store-bought.

  4. i made the liquid soap last night. i posted it on my face book account and every one wants to know how to make it. thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

  5. It works! So many people said it would not but it does. I feel to thrifty!