Question/Problem? with Homemade laundry detergent : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

I've made several batches of the detergent recipe that was posted here last year, and with the exception of the first batch, every one has gotten very "watery" after a few days. It jells fine, then as you begin to use it, seems to separate. Is this normal, or am I doing something wrong? Seems to wash ok, but I'm not sure whether to include the "water" as part of the measurement of detergent to use. Has anyone else experienced this? Thanks, Jan

-- Jan in CO (, February 16, 2001


I've been using the detergent posted earlier (the one with borax, fels namptha (sp) soap, and washing detregent) with great success. My stuff separates into a lightweight solid and a yellowish liquid. It was a bit of a hassle scooping it out of the 5 gallon bucket I was using, trying to get some of each and worrying if it was OK.

What I ended up doing is getting a sturdy (and clear-opaque)5 gallon water jug with a spigot. I wrote the "recipe" on the outside with a permanent marker. I can see how much I have left with out opening anything up, and before each use I give the whole thing a really good shaking. This breaks up the solids into tiny bits and causes everything to swirl around so that I get some consistency in what I pour out. I had been using vinegar as a rinse agent, but have found since I switch containers & methods I don't really need it.

Hope some of this helps.

-- Chris Stogdill (, February 16, 2001.

Can someone please repeat the recipe here for the laundry detergent. I have looked through the laundry threads and can't find it.

-- R. (, February 17, 2001.

R- The recipe is posted under "SOAP" in the archives. It really works well for me. Jan

-- Jan in CO (, February 17, 2001.

I used this soap for several years in Texas. Doesn't hurt if it separates...just try to get a bit of liquid and solid. I haven't been able to locate fels naptha up here :o(. Anyone know of a source I could order it from? I like the detergent and it is sooooo much cheaper than store bought!

-- Amanda in Mo (, February 18, 2001.

I make my own laundry soap, but not in liquid form. My favorite and easiest is to put Fels Naptha bars in the food processor, then mix with washing soda or borax. I only use this with hot or warm water because it needs to dissolve first. If I need to wash in cold water I put the soap in a cup of hot water and let it sit for a few minutes. I put a cup of vinegar in the rinse water. Clothes come out wonderfully clean without any detergent residue. I have never mastered the liquid soap formula. I never paid attention to what is in commercial cleaners until I started making my own soap, now it makes me a nervous to use anything else.

-- Linda Al-Sangar (, February 18, 2001.

I started making the laundry soap from just a bar of Ivory soap & the washing soda, which I like better. Yes, the water does separate out, but I keep the stuff in a covered bucket and just scoop the water into the washer with the soap. Sometimes I take my potato masher to it to break it up.

-- Jean (, February 19, 2001.

Amanda in MO: e-mail me your snail mail address and I will send you a couple of bars of Fels Naptha that I have had sitting in my pantry for the past year!! I just don't like the smell of it. I make my laundry detergent with Kirk's Castile Soap - lots of suds, even in our very hard water. I scrounged from the ex's trash one of those huge Tide containers with a puch button spout to keep mine in - I can give it a good shake before using it. The Fels Naptha does makes a great stain pre treatment, just rub the bar over the soiled spot.

-- Polly (, February 19, 2001.

What is Fels Naptha and washing soda?

-- Greenthumbelina (, February 24, 2001.

If the separation really bothers you, you can use a hand mixer or immersion blender, or a very large whisk to mix it up again

-- GT (, June 25, 2001.

I made this solution up and use it regularly. I have it in a 4 gallon covered bucket by the washer and use a large paint stick to give it a stir before dipping out a cup. My question is this: Is it supposed to produce suds? Without seeing suds, my mind thinks I haven't added enough.

Thanks for reading.

-- Dianne in Mass (, June 25, 2001.

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