Monday, February 16, 2009

About the homemade laundry detergent...

-What's the recipe for that?!

It's incredibly easy.

1/3 bar Fels Naptha or other soap such as Ivory or Zote (use whole bar if using Ivory)
1/2 C washing soda
1/2 C borax powder
small bucket (2-5 gallon)

Grate the soap and put it in a sauce pan. Add 6 cups of water and heat until soap melts. Add the washing soda and the borax and stir until it dissolves. Remove from heat. Pour 4 cups of hot water into the bucket. Now add your soap mixture and stir. Then add 1 gallon plus 6 cups of water and stir. Let soap sit for about 24 hours and it will gel. Use 1/2 C per load.

Now, the finished soap will not be a solid gel - it will be a thick gel, though.... Also, it is a low sudsing soap, so don't worry if you open the washer lid and don't see suds all over the place....
If you want your soap to have a scent, you can add 1/2 to 1 ounce of essential oil or fragrance oil when you are mixing it up. (There is a difference in the two, but I read up on it and so far, it says that they can be used interchangeably for the purpose of making detergent....)

-does your husband read this? Does he know you tell me reallllly nice things about him in email?

Yes, because I want him to know how awesome I think he is most of the time. Of course, there are times where I don't like him much, and I let him know that, too. LOL

-Creating laundry detergent? Can you create a kind that gets cat hair off cashmere blankets & send it to me?

What gets cat hair off cashmere blankets is.......a lint roller. If you find a detergent that gets pet fur off clothes, I will give up making it and buy some! Freaking animals. I love them, but aurgh.....

Anyway, I'm going to include pictures of the stuff I used for the detergent, because it helps to know what you're looking for instead of standing in the laundry aisle for 30 minutes with a blank look on your face.


I should mention that instead of the Fels Naptha, I used Zote soap...


  1. I have never heard of this stuff except for the Borax that we used one time to make Slime goop for the kids to play with. COOL BEANS! Thank you for the recipe! Question, do you keep a seperate pan to boil the soap in? Just wondering in case it leaves a residue. Don't want pasta with bubbles. LOL! Thank you again!
    LL CoolWhip

  2. I have made this soap and documented the making of it, but my recipe varied only slightly from yours. I used 1 part each of grated home made soap (in place of Naptha), borax, and washing soda. I even read about using baking soda some where today but like a goomba forgot where I saw it. The mixing sounds pretty close to the same as I use (if not exact), and it lasts for a long while given that I am doing the laundry, but faster if my other half is.
    Being as she does most of the laundry, I have little room to complain though ;-)
    As a side note on Essential oils, and fragrance oils, the E.Os are more spendy,and for a reason as they are distilled from plants, the F.O.s are man made, and therefore much less expensive.
    Dollar store perfume will work just as well, if you can find any you can tolerate, or use in moderation.
    As for using the same pot for making food in, it can be done, but be sure to wash it out really well, or else your food will taste like soap.

  3. Hi Amy,
    Yikes, you make your own laundry detergent? Now that's impressive!

  4. Wow Amy, I am seriously impressed!

  5. I will be copying this down and making it!
    Aren't the E. Oils stronger? So use less? I know I made some candles and used "too much of a good thing"-remelt, add wax, remold!

    Thanks! :) Leigh

  6. Ok. I have seen this recipe before and have wanted to make it. but I can't find this stuff anywhere. You'd think in TENNESSEE, I could find it. SHeesh.

  7. Amy, I told you about my obsession with soapmaking, right? (OK, OK, I haven't made any since some time before Thanksgiving, but my life has been, temporarily, I hope, insane.)

    Psst--I have.. um, well... a few dozen different fragrance oils, and probably 15 essential oils. I could make my clothes match my perfume. Or shampoo. Or whatever. Wheeeee...

    Think the homemade detergent would work in the front-loader H.E. machines?

  8. Oh, this is so freakin' cool; I will definitely have to try it!

    Personally, I tend to prefer EO over synthetic fragrance any day, EO being natural and all...not to mention that EO has therapeutic benefits fragrances don't have.

    Hmm...I wonder if I can invent a blend that makes people think they love doing laundry?



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