Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Worthwhile Wednesday- Laundry Soap

For almost a year, we've been using homemade laundry soap. 

It all started with looking for a laundry soap for cloth diapers that we didn't have to order special.  Detergents can build up in cloth diapers and then you are left with funny smelling diapers...and nobody wants bad smelling diapers.

After a lot of looking around and searching for a recipe that we could make with items from our area we finally settled on this one:

Homemade Laundry Detergent for Cloth Diapers:

2 cups of Borax
2 cups of Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
2 cups of Oxygen cleaning powder, we use Sun brand from Walmart (a lot easier to find and cheaper than Oxyclean)

Mix well. Use 1 Tablespoon for small loads & 2 Tablespoons for large loads.
Store in air tight container.

This is low suds version that is perfect for HE models.

**Please note that this is not my original recipe, but one I found on multiple sites on the internet and after trying fully recommend**

After washing our diapers with homemade detergent, we started to wonder why on earth weren't we making a regular detergent for our clothes?!?

So more searching and we found a powdered version we like a lot:

Homemade Laundrey Detergent

1 bar finely grated Fels-Naptha Soap (found at Walmart)
1 cup of Borax
1 cup Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
1/2 cup of Sun Powder

I had more than one rasp for fine grating, so I just donated one to soap and it works great.  Also if you are a bit clumsy, wear tough gloves why you grate so you don't nick your fingers.  If you like your clothes to have a distinct smell just add a drop or two of essential oil when you start your load.

This is low suds version that is perfect for HE models. 

**Please note that this is not my original recipe, but one I found on multiple sites on the internet and after trying fully recommend**

Finally, we were looking for a great stain remover, and stumbling onto another blog, we found this one:

Stain Pretreater

½ c. vinegar
½ c. ammonia
½ c. homemade liquid detergent or regular detergent if you prefer
½ c. water

This works great!  Plus it is so easy to make and cheaper.  I just rinsed out an old cleaner bottle and refilled it with my pretreater.  Spray on stains and throw in the wash.  I was a little worried that it might spot my clothes, but so far it is fabulous.

Lastly, is homemade liquid detergent.  Now we haven't made or used this yet, but now that I'm making my own pretreater, we'll definitely being making it.  (I used a sample packet of detergent I had to make the first batch)  Here's a common recipe I was able to find and plan to use:

Liquid Laundry Soap

4  Cups - hot tap water
1  Fels-Naptha soap bar
1 Cup Arm and Hammer Super Washing Powder
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.
-Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of hot tap water. Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax. Stir well until all powder is dissolved. Fill bucket to top with more hot water. Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken.
-Stir and fill a used, clean, laundry soap dispenser half full with soap and then fill rest of way with water. Shake before each use. (will gel)
-Optional: You can add 10-15 drops of essential oil per 2 gallons. Add once soap has cooled.

Yield: Liquid soap recipe makes 10 gallons.
-For Top Load Machine - use 5/8 Cup per load
-For Front Load Machines – use ¼ Cup per load

All of these recipes will save you lots of money and cut down on the amount of build up in your clothes! 

Two wonderful wins and very worthwhile.

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