Laundry Detergent Loads : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

You buy a box of detergent and it says on the side "42 Loads". How many of you have actually gotten the number of loads mentioned on the side of the box? It seems like we go through a box about every two weeks and I know we don't produce 36 loads, 42 loads or whatever the box says.

-- r.h. in okla. (, April 16, 2002


It can depend on how hard your water is and the type of washer you have. For instance, a front loader will use about 2 Tablespoons of liquid detergent (and this will vary depending upon the hardness of the water). Top loaders generally use more. Also, remember that the dry detergent is sold by weight, and, like anything else, will settle over time, so you may inadvertently use more because it has compacted.

Most people use 'way more detergent than they need to, because they're going by the directions on the box. You might want to try cutting back on the amount (say, start with half the amount), and see if it still is doing the job.

-- GT (, April 16, 2002.

You are using too much soap. The manufactures count on you doing that. Most scoops only are meant by the manufacturer to be filled half way. We have found our laundry gets just a clean using only a quarter of scoop. :^) experiment and see how little you can get away with...also the tightwad gazette gives a great recipe for homemade laundry detergent. we did this when we went through our very poor period in Mexico. It worked just fine!

-- Najia (, April 16, 2002.

I've used about half the recommended amount for years with hard water. When I think of it I add borax. If you use as much as the box says it won't all rinse out.

-- Bonnie (, April 16, 2002.

I've about given up on laundry detergent, except I still keep some liquid to use for hand-washes because it's easier to rinse. Otherwise I use laundry soap. I pre-treat stains by wetting and rubbing with a cake of laundry soap, and brushing with an old toothbrush if necessary; and I grate enough for a load off another cake. Pre- treating stains is the secret to getting by with less of whatever you use to wash with.

-- Don Armstrong (, April 16, 2002.

R.H., I switched to liquid several years back because it is both easier to rinse out and also easier on the pipes and septic from what I understand.

I have the same problem with the load/use ratio - I finally decided that 1/4 to 1/3 cup should do the job, (depending on whether I am washing sheets or dirty work jeans) and it seems to do just fine. That way, even if I put a little extra in, I still come out at least even, usually a little ahead.

I also use a little borax sometimes - I'm beginning to think it works better on my whites than regular bleach!

-- Christine in OK (, April 16, 2002.

Here is the recipe for laundry detergent. I haven't tried it yet. The old lye soap works well too.

-- kim in CO (, April 16, 2002.

I have a wonderful homemade laundry soap recipe. It is easy and fast. Plus it clean so well my husband asked that I keep using it. It also softens clothes and you would never know I do not use a fabric foftner. Email me if you would like it. PLus I spend about 5.00$ for about 2 months of it.

-- Jennifer (, April 17, 2002.

hi jennifer, I tried e-mailing you but it was returned. I just wanted to check with you and see if this post shows your correct e- mail address. I am interested in your recipe!

-- Sariah in S. Idaho (, April 18, 2002.

Twenty Mule Teem Borax? Anyone remember the commercials? Use half the detergent, and include that ole ingredient and you'll be pleasantly surprised at the results. Borax is a surfactant. Softens hard water, heals the sick and raises the dead. Actually borax softens water so you don't need so much detergent. Of course if you're really serious about clean you'll use soap, not detergent.

-- Dennis Enyart (, April 18, 2002.

AND, every now and then when I get busy and forget, I wash clothes with NO detergent of any kind. Believe it or not they get pretty clean. Don't know whether it's because I have naturally soft water, residual soap/detergent on the clothes, the agitation, or other. Anyway, I sometimes believe that those ionic/magnetic disks work by the same method... Use less detergent! And be miserly from the first, not when it's half empty!! (and instruct the kids to use less too)

-- Gailann Schrader (, April 18, 2002.

Jennifer, could you please put the laundry soap recipe on here. I am sure a lot of people would be interested. Thanks, Dian

-- Dian in TN (, April 18, 2002.

Hello Everyone, Here it is. I use Ivory soap. OOps it looks like I did mess up my email address. I hope I did not mess to many people up. I have not figured out per load but I have a family of 4 and Hubby has to change his clothes twice a day because of work. And two very messy girls one 6 and one 17 months old. I love my Landry soap. It works wonders. I can give you my recipe and if you need the actual mesurements email me back. I have them here somewhere. The mop bucket is important cause it is kinda heavy and you can mix and store your detergent in it. 1 grated bar Ivory soap 2 cups borox 1 mop bucket Fill one soup pot with water, add grated soap melt, stir occasionally during commercials. Make sure it dosent boil over. Add two cups boxox to mop bucket. And then add some boiling water from soup pot to melt the borox. Stir. Dissolve all the borox. Add the rest from soup pot to the mop bucket. Stir. Add cold water to the line at the top of the mop bucket. Piddle around for a few more minutes( let them think you are still working). Finish the chaper you are reading or eat the last cookie(hehe). Cover with old dish towel and let set over night. I use the scoop from an washing powder box for my loads. you can add oils for scent or buy a box of liquid detergent and add a capful for scent if you like. That one box should last a while since you are only using a small cup per week for two. Good luck/ If you'd rather have the actual water measurements just let me know ok. It should gel up while you are sleeping. But I have had to use it ungelled in a pinch. Jennifer

-- Jennifer (, April 18, 2002.

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