Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Homemade Laundry Detergent

My second homemade recipe was powdered laundry detergent.  Ingredients are, 1/3 cup of soap, 1 cup of Borax and 1 cup of washing soda. 

I chose the lye soap over the popular choice of Fels Naptha because it seems to be more pure. You can use any bar soap you would like I suppose, I may try castile soap next time. I bought the lye soap at my local hardware store, (little pricy @ $3.79), cut it in chunks and chopped it in the blender the best I could.  I could have grated it, which would probably would have worked better in the end but patience is not my best virtue. 

Use 2 tablespoons of detergent per load.  I also made some fabric softener with 1 cup vinegar, 2 cups baking soda and 4 cups of water.  This is also supposed to help with static cling. 

My Thoughts:

So, I have been using this detergent and fabric softener for the past week.  I am pretty impressed with the detergent.  I used it on a load of towels the first time just in case it left spots or something crazy.  I was very impressed with the spot removing power of this mixture.  Reagan had a red shirt with a glob of gum stuck on it, I mean it had been washed and dried on there, hard as a rock stuck, (unfortunately I didn't take a pic cause I really didn't think I would get this out). I have never tried to get gum out before so I thought I would give my new laundry potion a test.  I added about a tablespoon of detergent and just enough water to a bowl for the spot to soak.  I checked the spot after 30 min to an hour and it was actually starting to loosen and dissolve. I couldn't believe it!  I let it continue soaking and then made a thicker paste out of the detergent and let that continue to sit on the gum.  The gum came out however, it did leave a bit of a stain, but since it was on the inside of the shirt you can't tell.  Pretty good to get gum out and not even damage the shirt or fade the color!! 

Now this fabric softener I'm not totally sold on yet.  After the ingredients are mixed together the baking soda separates to the bottom.  I shook it up and filled the liquid fabric softener holder in my washer.  When the clothes were done the baking soda was still in the fabric softener holder, which I didn't like.  I have since then used just vinegar and it seems to work ok, the clothes are not quite as soft as I like, but they don't really seem staticy.  And in case you are wondering they don't smell like vinegar when they are finished either.  So there ya have it, my science project for the week.  Has anyone else tried homemade detergent or fabric softener?

Linking up with

The Thrifty Home
My Backyard Eden


  1. I have wanted to try and make my own deteregent just haven't. I will have to make a try at it. Thanks for visitin gmy blog.

  2. It got gum out? WOW! I'm impressed! Will have to try this when my VERY expensive Tide runs out!!! Thanks for the recipe.

  3. My MIL in Mo has a really cool friend that is one of those cool totally natural people that scare me. LOL BUT she is pretty practical and she has a blog. Her name is Shayla. She has recipes for laundry detergent and fabric softener on her blog. Check it out!! http://younglivingcircleblog.com/

  4. Lauren (married mother of 2 children)November 11, 2011 at 12:33 PM

    I actually made a liquid laundry detergent that so far has worked wonderfully! They added pictures to compare between store brand and homemade. my washers and dryers are in the basement and would smell of it, not really stinky or anything just didnt like it and fabric softner (love the lavender) would just leave the purple residue in the washer or worse on the clothes. But this stuff makes the clothes smell wonderful and very clean.

    here is the website w/pictures