Homemade Laundry Detergent – An Honest Review

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. 


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Kimmer said...

I can't wait to try this. Just a few more days of using up what I have and I'll be making a batch! Thanks for sharing!

Kimmer said...

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http://thewhimsofkim.blogspot.com/2010/03/my-very-first-award.html . Then in the spirit of furthering what was started, please select 10 Lovely Bloggers to pass it on to!

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