Homemade Laundry Detergent and Links

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I have had some requests for my recipe for Homemade Laundry Detergent, so here it is:

  • 6 cups Water
  • 2/3 Bar Fels Naptha Soap, Grated
  • 1 Cup Washing Soda
  • 1 Cup Borax
  • 2 Gallon Bucket
  • 4 Cups Hot Water
  • Cold Water
  • Mix Fels Naptha soap in a saucepan with the 6 cups of water, and heat on low until dissolved. In a 2 gallon bucket mix and stir until almost disolved the borax and washing soda. When the Fels Naptha is dissolved, stir it into the bucket and stir, stir, stir until all is dissolved and the mixture thickens. Add water to fill the bucket and mix well. Set aside for 12-24 hours. The mixture will thicken and become jel like. Use 1/2 - 1 cup of mixture per load.

    Just a reminder that this detergent is not going to suds like your use to with commercial detergents. The cleaning power is in the detergent itself, not in the suds as in commercial detergents. Not only does this detergent clean a whole lot better, most any one who is allergic to commercial detergents are able to use it. As an added bonus, I figure it costs less than $1.25 a bucket to make...woohoo!

    Another note: Be sure and use washing SODA..not baking soda! They are not the same thing at all!

    If you are having difficulty find Fels Naptha you can purchase it online directly from Dial Soap Comany. It runs $15 for 12 bars or $30 for a case of 24. Shipping is around $5 for a case.

    If you can't find Arm and Hammer Washing Soda, your local grocer can order it for you. You can go to the Arm and Hammer Site for the UPC code to give to your grocer for ordering.

    Feel free to email me with any questions!

    -- Karen (mountains_mama2@hotmail.com), January 25, 2002

  • Answers

    Thanks for posting this. Making soap is on my to do list for next week.

    -- Cindy (SE. IN) (atilrthehony@hotmail.com), January 26, 2002.


    I made this soap just last week. Do you really need all the water or can you make it more concentrated? I saw someone else put vinegar in for about one-quarter of the water. Do you know if that helps with softening? Thanks for the info.

    -- Dena (ddew1962@earthlink.net), January 28, 2002.

    You really don't need it any more concentrated. If it were more concentrated it would not dissolve in the washer. This is a jel and I usually start the washer and add the detergent and let it slosh around for second or two any way to be sure it is not globbed up in one place.

    I have seen another recipe with vinegar added, but have read that your detergent does not jel if it is added. I would suggest, if you want the vinegar just add it by itself to the washer when you add the detergent. I am not sure what the purpose of the vinegar would be though. I doubt it would make softer water because vinegar is an acid. But I could be wrong.

    -- Karen (mountains_mama@hotmail.com), January 28, 2002.

    I just made soap like this two days ago. The recipe I use is slightly different in amounts. Heres my recipe. 1 bar Fels Naptha laundry soap grated very fine. 1 cup washing soda (not baking soda)

    -- peggy (peggyan2@msn.com), January 30, 2002.

    I just made soap like this two days ago. The recipe I use is slightly different in amounts. Heres my recipe. 1 bar Fels Naptha laundry soap grated very fine. 1 cup washing soda (not baking soda) 1 cup borax 6 pints of water Mix in a large pan and heat until dissolved. Stir over med. heat until its thick like honey. Remove from heat. In a 5 gal bucket pour 2 qts. hot water then add the soap mix. Stir. Add 11 quarts of cold water and stir. Let it stand undisturbed for 24 hours and it will turn to a gel. I have two handicapped kids that live with me and their laundry can get pretty grungie and this stuff cleans it. I store it in opaque Surf bottles that hold 115 fl. oz. You can buy it at the dollar store for $5. My bucket that costs less than $4 to make makes almost 4 of those bottles. Blessings Peggy

    -- peggy (peggyan2@msn.com), January 30, 2002.

    There's no chance of the soap molding, is there?

    -- Cindy (SE. IN) (atilrthehony@hotmail.com), January 31, 2002.

    Peggy, can you tell me approximately how long it took it to get thick like honey?

    -- Cindy (SE. IN) (atilrthehony@hotmail.com), January 31, 2002.

    4 gal. cold water 2 can lye 7 cups melted fat 1 Cup ammonia 2 Cups borax or borateem 3 Cups liquid detergent

    mix well Don't worry about the color it will change, stir a couple times a day for several days, untill it thickens, it will look like a thick lotion and white, it works well in all washers, use 1 cup for badly soiled jeans 1/2 cup for lightly soiled

    Or you can use this receipt~for solid 1 qt. cold water 1 can lye 1/2 cup borax 2qt. rinsed and strained grease or new melted shorting 1c ammonia use any scent you like.

    make just like lye soap, grate very fine when hardned.

    -- Donna (tillotso@leru.net), February 03, 2002.

    Does anyone know if the homemade laundry soap is ceptic tank friendly? I live in the country and have to watch what I put down my drain. Thanks,

    -- Jolene Hofmeister (joleneh@sd381.k12.id.us), March 10, 2003.

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