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Author Topic: Homemade laundry soap  (Read 6822 times)

arlin

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Homemade laundry soap
« on: April 23, 2013, 11:16:40 AM »
I found this recipe for homemade laundry soap on a frugality forum many moons ago. It's so much cheaper to make the soap yourself (I believe it works out to about $.40-.50 per gallon) and it's also free of some of the nastier ingredients that are often found in commercial laundry soaps. It really easy to make. Takes about 20-30 minutes. And you get at least two gallons. You do have to shake it a bit before each use as it tends to clump a bit, but your clothes come out clean and smelling only of the fabrics they are made from. You used to be able to get all the ingredients from your local supermarket, but we mostly shop Wal-mart for paper/cleaning goods and I haven't been able to find the Fels Naptha in my store for quite awhile. I ordered enough online to last me a long time.

Ingredients/Materials

1/3 bar Fels Naptha Soap

1/2 c. Arm & Hammer Washing Soda

1/2 c. 20 Mule Team Borax

6 c. water

Bucket large enough to hold 2 gallons.

3 empty, well rinsed out, 100oz laundry soap bottles (optional-but make sure bucket has a tight fitting lid if not using)

Grate 1/3 bar of Fels Naptha soap. Heat water in saucepan on stove, but not to boiling. Add grated soap to water, stir until dissolved, do not boil. Add 2 quarts hot water to bucket. Remove soap/water mixture from heat. Add washing soda and borax, stir until completely dissolved. Add soap mixture to hot water in bucket; stir. Add enough cold water to bucket to make 2 gallons; stir. Transfer soap to laundry soap bottles before it gels. Use 1/2 to 1 cup per load.

Tips:
Make sure borax is lump free before adding to soap.
Place bottles on a towel, use a funnel and cup to transfer soap from bucket.
Pre-mark a 2-gallon line on bucket using a permanent marker.
Soap will look "funny" and might separate in bottle, shake before use.
I use 1/4 to 1 capfull per load, depending on load size/soil level.
If you have a large enough bucket, it's useful to make a double batch.

deanna in AR

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Re: Homemade laundry soap
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2013, 09:52:21 AM »
I like using white vinegar instead of fabric softener sheets. I just pour it into the fabric softener dispenser when I put my detergent in. Clothes are soft and do not smell like vinegar :))

Rita

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Re: Homemade laundry soap
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2013, 08:01:37 PM »
I was just reading the paper this morning, and they were saying that antibacterial soap has a chemical in it that may do harm:
http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/health/2013/05/03/popular-antibacterial-soap-ingredient-draws-fda-scrutiny/

Teresa

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Re: Homemade laundry soap
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2013, 07:49:20 AM »
I used to make this exact recipe years ago when my kids were small and I was doing roughly 97 loads of laundry a week (just kidding, it was really only about 40.)  I can't remember where I got it exactly, but I also used to hang out on a frugality board (I think started out as Frugal Moms and eventually became Frugal Families?) so that's probably where it came from. 
 
 
~Teresa

arlin

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Re: Homemade laundry soap
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2013, 04:17:29 PM »
(I think started out as Frugal Moms and eventually became Frugal Families?)
40???  :o
Yep. Frugal Moms! We're old friends Teresa. LOL
It saves a ton of money and it's easier on the clothes.

Teresa

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Re: Homemade laundry soap
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2013, 05:39:37 PM »
Well...it felt like 40!  What a small world!  I was mom27kids there. 
~Teresa

arlin

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Re: Homemade laundry soap
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2013, 07:58:11 PM »
Well...it felt like 40!  What a small world!  I was mom27kids there.

That sounds familiar. I was Priv. Moderated the quilting forum. DD was mommy2three. I'll bet she remembers you. She remembers everyone!!  :)

Teresa

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Re: Homemade laundry soap
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2013, 06:25:42 AM »
I think I remember you both.  Man that feels like a lifetime ago!  Well...it's nice to meet up with you again regardless!  :D
~Teresa

arlin

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Re: Homemade laundry soap
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2013, 08:57:40 AM »
It was a lifetime ago. Good times though! DD remembered you right away. I think I sent you a little angel once when you weren't feeling well. Can't remember for sure. Doesn't matter. Good to see you again too, and good to know that you're doing so well!

Jan in Key West

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Re: Homemade laundry soap
« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2013, 01:26:24 PM »
Has anyone heard of the Smart Klean laundry ball from Sweden?  My DIL went to the Green Festival in Chicago over the week end and bought one......cost around $39 and supposedly does 365 loads of laundry!  Here's the link.....


http://www.smartklean.com/

Rita

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Re: Homemade laundry soap
« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2013, 08:24:20 AM »
I wonder if that would ruin your clothes with that much rubbing against the clothes

Jan in Key West

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Re: Homemade laundry soap
« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2013, 01:31:18 PM »
I don't know....good question!  I read lots of independent reviews and they were favorable......most said their clothes smelled fresher than when using soap.  At the lake, I'm on a septic system so I'm always cognizant of what I put down my drain.....guess I am anywhere!  Ordered one to try so will let  you know. If it works and you can do 365 loads using one ball, then I'm in!

Wheatless in Seattle

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Re: Homemade laundry soap
« Reply #12 on: May 28, 2013, 03:54:39 PM »
Quote
If it works and you can do 365 loads using one ball, then I'm in!

Me, too, Jan.  But I'll wait for your review before ordering. ;)

Jan in Key West

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Re: Homemade laundry soap
« Reply #13 on: May 28, 2013, 05:38:43 PM »
I've done three loads....so far so good! My DIL didn't read instructions and had some streaks on sheets but they recommend that you clean your machine before using with several tubs of white vinegar, which I did and I've been pleased with the results. Apparently, the soap scum that builds up on the sides of your washer may come off on clothes if you don't clean your washer first. They also say to add hydrogen peroxide for a whitening agent.....that worked too! The ball costs around $49.00......but is good for 365 washes, is good for the environment and will be much cheaper in the long run.

Rita

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Re: Homemade laundry soap
« Reply #14 on: May 28, 2013, 05:48:13 PM »
Good to know.   I can't help but wonder how well your clothes will hold up in the long run.

Jan in Key West

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Re: Homemade laundry soap
« Reply #15 on: June 19, 2013, 04:17:24 PM »
An update on my "Smartklean" laundry ball.....I love it!

deanna in AR

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Re: Homemade laundry soap
« Reply #16 on: June 23, 2013, 08:44:23 AM »
Jan, I'm thinking of ordering this. Did you buy the stain remover too?

deanna in AR

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Re: Homemade laundry soap
« Reply #17 on: June 25, 2013, 06:17:29 AM »
Jan...second question...I read that you don't need to rinse your clothes after using the laundry ball. Does this mean that you need to take the ball out between your wash and rinse cycle? If you don't, does that count as 2 wash loads off your 365? Or you don't let it run thru a rinse cycle? Hmmm...I may be over thinking this!

Jan in Key West

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Re: Homemade laundry soap
« Reply #18 on: June 25, 2013, 06:42:31 AM »
Deanna.....no, you no longer need the rinse cycle. We've been happy with our results!

Jan in Key West

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Re: Homemade laundry soap
« Reply #19 on: June 25, 2013, 06:57:14 AM »
When the internal little magnets, ions etc. are gone, then you buy another ball.  I really love the smell of my clothes!

deanna in AR

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Re: Homemade laundry soap
« Reply #20 on: June 25, 2013, 01:53:35 PM »
Wow! So you use half as much water too!!! Jan, do you try to catch it at the end of a wash cycle...or do you just choose one of your rinse cycles instead of a wash cycle? This will be perfect for our motor home...one selection is a short wash cycle only.

Jan in Key West

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Re: Homemade laundry soap
« Reply #21 on: June 26, 2013, 06:45:42 AM »
Yes Deanna, half the water too!  While here on the lake, I have a well and septic system so using less water is more eco-friendly. The only catch is that my washer is an older model so I have to manually stop the rinse cycle.

deanna in AR

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Re: Homemade laundry soap
« Reply #22 on: June 26, 2013, 09:16:24 AM »
Thanks for all the info Jan!!

Jan in Key West

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Re: Homemade laundry soap
« Reply #23 on: August 26, 2013, 03:31:57 AM »
FYI....I'm still using the Smart Klean laundry ball....with the exception of washing cleaning/dish cloths and then I use soap (after which I run some white vinegar through a cycle to clean my washer).

deanna in AR

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Re: Homemade laundry soap
« Reply #24 on: June 24, 2016, 01:34:43 PM »
Hi Jan, I haven't seen any of your posts lately, so I hope you're still checking in here. I finally just ordered the laundry ball, and I have some questions about it:
1. Are you still using it and do you still like it?
2. Are you still running your clothes only through a wash cycle...and no rinse cycle?
3. Do you think using a small amount of white vinegar, in the wash cycle with your laundry ball (maybe 1/2 cup) would affect the performance of your laundry ball...even though there's NO RINSE CYCLE?
4. Do you add an essential oil for fragrance and, if so, which one? I read that someone uses lemon.
5. Any other info you have gleaned from using the Smartklean ball?


If anyone has Jan's email address, please email her and tell her these questions are on here...I'm hoping she'll give me this info.


Btw, has anyone else used this product?

deanna in AR

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Re: Homemade laundry soap
« Reply #25 on: July 05, 2016, 07:36:04 AM »
I received an answer from Jan on this. She's no longer using her laundry ball.

Rita

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Re: Homemade laundry soap
« Reply #26 on: July 05, 2016, 12:50:38 PM »
Good to know.  Did she say why?

deanna in AR

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Re: Homemade laundry soap
« Reply #27 on: July 05, 2016, 04:49:52 PM »
Hi Rita, Jan said she used it for 6-8 months, but her husband kept making negative comments about his clothes...smell, etc. so she stopped using it.


I'm sending mine back. I don't like having no fragrance...also I thought I would be able to use the rinse cycle so I wouldn't have to run it through a second cycle, but my rinse cycles don't run long enough. And I'm not willing to run a wash cycle, then have to try and catch it to turn it off before the rinse cycle starts. That's why I was interested in it...so I'd just be using half the water, but I'd never be able to catch it at the end of the wash cycle...and don't even want to try.


Jan said they really like the "My Pillow" though. I miss her communications on the forum.



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Re: Homemade laundry soap
« Reply #27 on: July 05, 2016, 04:49:52 PM »

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