how long have you made your own laundry detergent?
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  1. #1
    Registered User vickilynn's Avatar
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    Default how long have you made your own laundry detergent?

    How long have your used home made laundry detergent or dishwasher detergent? How do you make it?

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    I've used homemade laundry detergent since we got a front loading machine about 5 years ago. I stopped for about a year when we moved and lived in an apartment because I just didn't have space to store my mixing bucket but as soon as we bought our current house I was back to mixing up batches of soap.

    I grate a bar of mild soap (normally something like Ivory) and dissolve it in water on the stove. Once it has dissolved I mix in borax and washing soda. Then I add more hot water to a bucket, mix it in and make sure everything is dissolved. Then I mix in more water, give it a good stir and let it sit overnight. The next day I stir up any lumps that have gelled and use a ladle and funnel to put it in my old laundry detergent bottles. For an exact recipe you can google and find lots of variations to try. I like it because there's no scent and it doesn't suds up much in the washer.

    To save even more time, I normally make up laundry soap "kits". Since I already have the grater out, I'll grate each bar of soap and put it in a plastic bag or old jar. Then while I'm measuring out the borax and washing soda I'll measure out more into old jars. I now have plenty of storage space so I have a box near the washer with the jars of grated soap and premeasured borax and washing soda ready to go. The next time I need to make up a batch I just grab the jars and cook it up.

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    I've made homemade laundry soap mixtures on and off for at least 20-years, and even though I primarily use Charlie's Soap, I still keep all the ingredients for making homemade, in storage.

    I like the dry version because it takes up less space:

    Grate 1/2 bar of ZOTE (about 2 c.) and mix with 2 c. Borax and 2 c. washing soda. (Note: I like ZOTE better than Fels Naptha because it has optical brighteners in it to help clothes appear to be whiter, plus it costs 80-cents for a 14.1-oz. bar while Fels Naptha is $1.29 for a 5-1/2-oz. bar. We also slice ZOTE into 1/2-3/4-inch slices and use it as a bath bar in the shower.)

    Add in's: To help keep whites looking bright, add 1-2 T. of a phosphate-containing dishwashing detergent to the white load (in a top-loading washing machine). The enzymes in dishwashing detergent also helps to lift dirt from heavily soiled clothes. Phosphates have been removed from detergents, but were recommended years ago for doing laundry in hard water.
    -------------------------

    Liquid Homemade Soap (Castile Soap Version)

    1/3 - 1/2 c. liquid Dr. Bronner's Castile Soap
    1/2 c. washing soda
    1/2 c. borax

    Mix all ingredients in a 2-gallon bucket. Add hot water to fill the bucket and stir well. This will be thin. Shake mixture before you use it (it tends to separate). Use about 1/4 to 1/3 c. per average load (top loader). (Note: Add only 1-gallon of water for a concentrated version.)
    ----------------------------------

    You might take a look at all the "recipes" found at this link and see if there's anything there that would interest you:

    http://www.naturalcleaningrecipes.com/

    Because of hard water, I can usually use homemade laundry soap mixtures for about 6-months and then everything gets rather dingy from soap scum build-up and I have to use a commercial detergent for awhile, or do a treatment where I add a cup of water softener to the load and wash it in hot water only - no soap or detergent added (I may have to repeat that treatment to get the soap scum out of whites). I also think things wear out faster using homemade soap mixtures. That's a characteristic of soap VS detergents.

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  5. #4
    Registered User The Muse's Avatar
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    I've made my own laundry detergent for almost a year. I've posted a tutorial on my blog.

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    Registered User vickilynn's Avatar
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    thank you for the info on laundry detergents.

    I bought baking soda instead of washing soda...oops.

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    I've made my own detergent for about 2 years now. I recently went back to work and haven't found the time to do it as much recently. What I do, though, is use an environmentally friendly detergent (A&H or something similar) and use a cup of that mixed with dissolved washing soda and borax. I add water and put the mixture in bottles. It works very well and really streches out the store-bought stuff. I can make many bottles of detergent from one bottle of the commercial stuff. It just saves me the step of grating the soap, etc.

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