We have all heard about homemade laundry detergent lately. I decided to give it a go. I bought what I needed at Alice.com. I followed the instructions pretty closely. Here is the recipe:
Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap
4 Cups - hot tap water
1 Bar of Fels-Naptha
1 Cup Washing Soda
½ Cup Borax
Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted. Put melted soap mixture, washing soda, and borax into a 10 gallon bucket. Add hot tap water to fill bucket. Stir until dissolved. Let sit overnight. The mixture will turn into this clumpy gel looking stuff.
Use 1/2 cup for top load machines and 1/4 cup for front loaders.
Now for the review:
It was a pain in the behind to grate the soap. I did not want to spend the money on the Fels Naptha, and my baby is allergic to Ivory (another substitution), so I used a couple of bars of Johnson’s Buddies LOL. When I was melting the soap, it tried to stick to the pot I was using. That kinda shocked me a bit. The ingredients were very inexpensive, less than 10 bucks for everything. I have a LOT of wasing soda and borax left over. I did not have two 5 gallon buckets so I just made one and figured I would use half the amount in the wash. To get the clothes clean enough for me, I ended up using 1/2 cup in my front loader. You do need to pretreat things like ketchup, chocolate, coffee, and heavily soiled places. Other than that, it works well! The clothes smell clean. I have a bedwetter in my house and those sheets came out smelling fresh and clean. Overall, even when I think about the cost of using a stain spray and doubling the recommended amount of detergent, it is still FAR less than other detergents. I am going to play with this a bit. I think I am going to use a bit more washing soda in the next batch. I am also going to use my food processor to grate the soap.
So I give it 5 stars for the savings, 3 1/2 stars for “on its own” cleaning, and 4 1/2 stars for cleaning when combined with a stain remover spray.