gloppy homemade laundry detergent : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

I made that recipe for the homemade laundry detergent that I saw listed here on the forum. It seems to be cleaning the clothes fine but for some reason mine turned out gloppy. I used my cheese grater to grate the Phels Naptha and then dissolved it in the 2 gals of water on the stove in my water bath canner. I got the water very warm but didn't boil it. Then added the washing soda and the borax and mixed it together. I put the mixture in a bucket and put it out in my garage to gel. The next day I brought it into the house to pour into a container for use and the ingredients had separated from the water and were floating on the top and wouldn't mix in again. So, I mixed it as best I could and then poured half of it into a kettle and heated it again on the stove, again not to the boiling point. I thought maybe it separated because it's so cold out in our garage. With the warming it seemed to mix again so I used a funnel and poured it into an empty gal milk jug and put it in my laundry cupboard. When I went to use the soap later that day it had separated and was gloppy again. I've been using it, just shaking it good before measuring it out. Now, what did I do wrong? Or is this the way it should be? Like I said, it seems to be cleaning Ok, it just pours out in glops.

-- cindy palmer (, December 29, 2001


Cindy, I also tried the recipe and mine worked great cleaning,it just was gloppy too. I poured mine into 1 gal plastic drinking water containers and shook it before I used it and then at least it wasn't seperated. There was another recipe posted that called for 16 cups of Arm and Hammer baking soda, 12 cups of Borax, 8 cups of Castile soap and 3 TBSP of lavender or lemon essential oil. However I did not try this one because of the expense of the castile soap. At this point I am using store bought just because I thought I had done something wrong and didn't know how to fix it. I hope you get your answer so I can know too. Thanks for the question. Marie

-- Marie (, December 29, 2001.

Marie, you can also use glycerin soap instead of Castile soap in the recipe you mentioned. That is usually less expensive especially if you buy a plain, unscented bar. Also, check the net for bulk orders at great prices!

-- Bren (, December 29, 2001.

Cindy, I always fill my washer in hot water, mini cylcle,let agitate a few minutes.[With washing soap] After soap is agitated stop washer, reset to large load and cold water wash add clothes. You should have know problems.

-- tracy (, December 29, 2001.

Hi Cindy, Mine is gloppier since it is cold. Last summer it wasn't as thick. I try to dissove the washing soda and the borax in water as hot as the tap can get. I don't mix the soap mixture in til the water has cooled and I can run my hand in to be sure it is dissoved. I pour it in empty bleach bottles. I always give it a shake before pouring it out. When I put it in the washer, I always swish it around before adding the clothes. I love it. It works great. Be careful using clorine bleach with this. I had a light blue towel turn almost white. No big loss but it could have been.

-- Ria in Ky (, December 29, 2001.

Mine is always gloppy. I just figure its the nature of the beast. I tend to be very adaptable like that though. I dissolve it in hot water before adding the warm water and clothes. Works great. Cold weather makes mine gloppier too.

-- Jenny (, December 29, 2001.

There are a couple of things you can do to make it not "gloppy". One is go to a hardware store and buy a paint stirrer that you use with a drill. Not only does it help NOT make it gloppy but it will save your arm and time in mixing. Second, put a couple of cups of gain in your mix. I make 5 gals at a time and use two cups of liquid gain and it keeps it from congealing...


-- Laura (, December 30, 2001.

After making the above listed mixtures, how much do each of you use per load?

-- Charleen in WNY (, December 30, 2001.

I also just started making homemade laundry detergent. It works great and can't believe the money we are saving. Mine also seperates. I get this gel and then it seperates out. Thought I was doing something wrong but every batch has done the same thing no matter how long I cook it or where I store it. I just mix up the whole mess when I use it and start the washer and add the detergent in the washer and agitate before putting in the clothes. You don't get that gunky residue on the clothes that way. Doing this way, it has been fine -- just looks awful in the bucket!

-- Karen (, December 30, 2001.

thanks everyone for your kind responses. It looks like I am doing nothing wrong since everyone else, so far, has the same outcome. It does work fine - and it's not much to ask to shake it before use. I just thought maybe I made some error that could be corrected. Since we have our daughter, her two children and husband living with us right now the cheaper laundry soap has been a great blessing. I plan to keep making and using it. Thanks again to everyone and Happy New Year !!

-- cindy palmer (, December 30, 2001.

Charleen: The recipe that I believe Cindy is referring to is 1/2 cup Borax, 1/2 cup Arm and Hammer washing soda, and 1/4 bar Fel Naptha soap. Grind bar of soap in food processor or grate on hand grater. To 2 gals. of Hot water add all three items and dissolve, let gel overnight. Use 1/2 cup per load. It becomes a very soft yellow color. One other person mentioned adding vinegar to it to avoid hard water deposits on your washing machine. I am going to try the Gain suggestion to see if it works for me. Marie

-- Marie (, December 30, 2001.

I also make the laundrey soap. I have had it separate twice. When I make it now i grate the fels on my cheese grater on the finest side. I put this on the stove in a couple cups of water in a small pan and heat and stir almost til it boils. Then I take it off the heat and mix in the soda and borax. Stir, stir, stir. Then I add this mixture to 1 1/2 gallons of very warm tap water and 1/2 gallon of vinegar and stir stir stir. It will gel up almost like store bought . If not just give it a good shake. Take care--Colleen

-- Colleen (, December 30, 2001.

I can't tell you how excited I am about this detergent. I am on my third batch. It does seperate but I can handle shaking it. The stains that it gets out (both old and new) are incredible. I have washed jeans that my husband wore to work on the tractor (they had been previously washed in reg. store detergent) and they are so much cleaner. And I have found that I do not have to use fabric softner anymore. Previously my clothes would be scratching and now they feel great and they smell clean instead of perfumey. And we won't even discuss the money we have saved. No more laundry detergent prices plus the cost of the softner!

-- Chris in PA (, December 30, 2001.

Just a related question. I have a bar of laundry soap and as everything is in spanish which I am not familiar with I wondered if that would work instead of the felsnaptha as I can't find it anywhere cindy

-- Cindy (, December 31, 2001.

I use a similar soap recipe that I love. Grate a bar of pure(as pure as you can get) soap into a saucepan. Just cover it with water and let it set over night. In the a.m. heat it slowly til all the soap seems to be melted. Then I put a 5 gal. bucket in the tub and 1/2 filled it with hot water and poured that soap/water mix in. Add 1 cup washing soda and stir. Finish filling the bucket with hot water and stir again. Let it sit a few hours to cool off. Then I stick my hand in there to break up any clumps-sometimes the soda does that and then I fill 1 gal containers not quite full. The stuff settles to the bottom and the jug needs a good shaking if it sits a few days. I use about a cup-more or less depending on the mess. My Emmy uses her sox like shoes and I never thought they would come clean. This stuff is taking out the old stains as well. I used the castille soap and will try Ivory next just to get a comparison.Karen

-- Karen Cardot (, January 02, 2002.

I made a new batch of home-made a couple of days ago and it still hasn't separated. Here's what I did this time: #1--boiled approx 2 1/2 quarts of water. #2--poured approx 1 qt of this hot water into a large mixing bowl. #3--mixed in 1/3 cup of finely grated laundry soap (brand name "Linda"). #4--whisked this water/soap mix briskly for a couple of minutes. #5--poured the mix into a 5 gal. pail where it sat for a couple of minutes, while I ... #6--poured in the rest of the hot water (approx 1 1/2 qts) into my now empty large mixing bowl. #7-- added 1/3 cup of washing soda and 1/3 cup of borax. #8--whisked this water/soda/borax mix briskly for half a minute. #9--poured the water/soda/borax mix into the 5 gal. pail of water/soap mix. #10-- whisked this water/soap/soda/borax mix briskly for a couple of minutes. Two days later, no separation, none. Keeping my fingers crossed, Orest.

-- Orest Solonynka (, January 10, 2002.

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