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Old 06-09-2016, 05:33 PM   #1
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Homemade Laundry Detergent - My final revision...I think!

I promised I'd post this today, so here is my "new and improved" homemade laundry detergent recipe.

This recipe now includes OxiClean because I really like the stuff and a cup of it over 10 gallons of laundry detergent is a cost-effective way to use the product.

First, here are the ingredients as I use them:

1 (5 1/2-oz.) bar Fels-Naptha soap
1 cup Arm & Hammer washing soda (NOT baking soda)
1/2 cup 20 Mule Team borax
1 cup granulated OxiClean stain product

Now, here's what I do...after years of tweaking and tweaking and tweaking. Part of my final solution came from realizing that many people don't have the space or ability to work with 5-gallon buckets, lots of boiling water and storing gallon bottles of detergent.

First, drag out your trusty old knuckle grater (box grater) and grate up the bar soap. In the future it will be easier to grate if, when you bring it home from the store, you unwrap it and store it on an open shelf. This allows the soap to dry out a bit and it becomes a bit harder. I do this with all our bar soap. It lasts longer, especially in the shower.

After the Fells is all grated up, put it in the large bowl of a food processor and add the remaining ingredients. Whiz the bejeepers out of it until it is fine, fine, fine. If you don't have a food processor, you can use a blender but you will have to do the whizzing in smaller batches and, then, whisk to evenly combine the batches together.

I use my digital kitchen scale and divide the powdered mixture into 10 equal, or as equal portions as I can get, and put into zipperlock plastic bags, then store in a large FoodSaver canister that I vacuum seal. If you don't have a kitchen scale, you can measure out, to the best of your ability, 10 portions.

When I need a gallon of detergent, I empty a packet of powder into an 8-cup, or larger, measuring bowl/mixing bowl and pour about 6 cups of boiling water over and whisk with a wire whisk until the powder is dissolved. Doesn't take too long.

I let it cool. It will gel. Then I get a gallon jug (I use a Gatorade one because they're strong.) and add several more cups of the hottest tap water to the detergent concentrate. Whisk again to break up the gel and to get a silky liquid and pour into the jug. Put the top on the jug and shake, shake, shake. Let the foam/bubbles dissipate and add more hot water to achieve a full gallon capacity. Shake some more.

I've always shaken my detergent bottle before measuring out into my washer and find this is a good thing to do because the detergent has a tendency to thicken a bit. Nothing to get concerned about. That's just the me in me.

I've been following this plan for a long, long while and have not found any difficulties or flaws with it. The pluses are that the mixing has been brought down to next to nothing and no large buckets or jugs have to be stored. I simply make sure to have 2 one-gallon containers. One filled with the detergent I am using and one to prepare another "recipe" before the first one is empty.

If you have one of those new high-efficiency washers, you can use this product because you need very little and it does not suds up. It's also great for cleaning upholstery.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

I welcome any questions. Love this stuff and I used to be a dipped-and-dyed liquid Tide user.

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Old 06-09-2016, 08:04 PM   #2
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Genius Katie. I'm on this!
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Old 06-09-2016, 08:45 PM   #3
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Genius Katie. I'm on this!
Thanks, Alix. I don't know why I didn't think of it sooner.
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Old 06-10-2016, 03:37 AM   #4
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Thank you, Katie, I love this new version.
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Old 06-10-2016, 04:35 PM   #5
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Thanks Katie, I need that recipe.
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Old 06-10-2016, 05:09 PM   #6
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Katie, have you ever thought of taking it one step further and using water soluble pouches filled with your concentrated gel? They sell such products on the net that are fillable pouches that when dropped into water, dissolve. You could make your own pods!

http://www.aquasolpaper.com/pouches-...ags-envelopes/
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Old 06-10-2016, 05:26 PM   #7
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Katie, have you ever thought of taking it one step further and using water soluble pouches filled with your concentrated gel? They sell such products on the net that are fillable pouches that when dropped into water, dissolve. You could make your own pods!

http://www.aquasolpaper.com/pouches-...ags-envelopes/
Why bother when she can just scoop out the amount she needs?
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Old 06-10-2016, 05:31 PM   #8
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Why bother when she can just scoop out the amount she needs?
Why bother even buying today's pods too for that matter, right? Just keep scooping detergent out of a box. It's called convenience.
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Old 06-10-2016, 05:36 PM   #9
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Katie, have you ever thought of taking it one step further and using water soluble pouches filled with your concentrated gel? They sell such products on the net that are fillable pouches that when dropped into water, dissolve. You could make your own pods!

Water Soluble Packaging, Dissolvable Bags & Pouches | Aquasol Paper
The water soluble pouches would be impractical for my recipe because each "packet" makes a gallon of liquid detergent that I use as needed. Plus, I'd have to store a large amount of small quantities. As it is, I only have to store 9 packets. Yes, it makes 10, but I always make up a gallon of detergent when I make the powder. Each packet is about the size of a snack-sized zipperlock plastic bag, which amounts to nearly nothing.

I also have a problem with bite-sized portions of detergent. Too much like something a child would view as something tasty to eat.

Thank you for the suggestion, though. The dissolvable packets might come in handy for another purpose.
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Old 06-10-2016, 05:57 PM   #10
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The water soluble pouches would be impractical for my recipe because each "packet" makes a gallon of liquid detergent that I use as needed. Plus, I'd have to store a large amount of small quantities. As it is, I only have to store 9 packets. Yes, it makes 10, but I always make up a gallon of detergent when I make the powder. Each packet is about the size of a snack-sized zipperlock plastic bag, which amounts to nearly nothing.

I also have a problem with bite-sized portions of detergent. Too much like something a child would view as something tasty to eat.

Thank you for the suggestion, though. The dissolvable packets might come in handy for another purpose.
One blessing about dissolvable pods with me is I no longer have to worry about dark clothes getting streaked because of too much detergent at one area of the wash. I suppose that can be gotten around by how you add it to the wash. I'm not that savvy at home economics

How about dissolveable packets for cooking? Just thinking 22nd century out loud here.
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Old 06-10-2016, 06:37 PM   #11
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One blessing about dissolvable pods with me is I no longer have to worry about dark clothes getting streaked because of too much detergent at one area of the wash. I suppose that can be gotten around by how you add it to the wash. I'm not that savvy at home economics

How about dissolveable packets for cooking? Just thinking 22nd century out loud here.
From what you're saying here, I am guessing you are speaking about powdered detergent. What my recipe produces is a liquid...from a powdered concentrate.
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Old 06-10-2016, 07:01 PM   #12
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Why bother even buying today's pods too for that matter, right? Just keep scooping detergent out of a box. It's called convenience.
Exactly. I said that earlier Too many people succumb to crap advertising about convenience products, and many people these days lament that they can't save, yet they blow money on convenience. I personally don't encourage it.
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Old 06-10-2016, 07:05 PM   #13
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One blessing about dissolvable pods with me is I no longer have to worry about dark clothes getting streaked because of too much detergent at one area of the wash. I suppose that can be gotten around by how you add it to the wash. I'm not that savvy at home economics
It's not complicated. When you turn on the water, put the detergent in so it can dissolve. After a couple of minutes, put your clothes in. Ta da!
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Old 06-10-2016, 07:28 PM   #14
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It's not complicated. When you turn on the water, put the detergent in so it can dissolve. After a couple of minutes, put your clothes in. Ta da!
The funniest one I ever heard was a lady saying that her husband was too stupid to ever use HER washing machine.
I said oh, I guess he is unable to work then.
She came back with no "he has a PhD in some very intelligent field and has a high paying job.. (I have forgotten the exact field but it dealt with complicated equipment. )
I then said well then I am sure your husband could figure out the washer since my not near as educated husband could run the washer if need be.
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Old 06-10-2016, 07:45 PM   #15
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cinisajoy,
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Old 06-10-2016, 10:59 PM   #16
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I'm really so glad to hear so many people are interested in using homemade laundry soap. The money it saves, so you can buy a better steak is always an option.

Soaps and detergents, are just like the shampoo you use on your hair. It's always a good idea to use something else (if you use the soap, change over to detergent once every few months) so there is no build up.

Some homes have water softeners and some don't. The recipe can be tweaked to fit your own water situation. Some people use vinegar in the rinse.

One of my friends that I gave the recipe for the laundry soap to, sells the laundry soap to a local nursing home and makes it fragrance free. People with allergies to certain smells can make the laundry soap from a fragrance free soap. Fragrance free laundry soap is also good for laundering hunting clothing to remove fragrances before hunting. My brothers who hunt really like the unscented stuff.
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Old 06-10-2016, 11:50 PM   #17
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From what you're saying here, I am guessing you are speaking about powdered detergent. What my recipe produces is a liquid...from a powdered concentrate.
Katie, oh dear...liquid Wisk is what caused this newb to have streaked black jeans. Wisk is very concentrated. I must have not poured it in correctly. I don't want to wait for the water to fill up. Pods are a godsend to guys like me.

And yes GC, the extra step needed to do it the way it's been done for years is fine. Our modern world seems to want to sell us things that cut out steps as a way of progressing. Why wait a couple of minutes? Today says...Do away with boxes of powder or liquid containers of detergent, nevermind needing a scoop to measure the amount...just toss in this little detergent pod.
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Old 06-22-2016, 10:40 PM   #18
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I forgot to subscribe to this one.
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Old 06-23-2016, 11:13 AM   #19
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I'm really so glad to hear so many people are interested in using homemade laundry soap. The money it saves, so you can buy a better steak is always an option.

Soaps and detergents, are just like the shampoo you use on your hair. It's always a good idea to use something else (if you use the soap, change over to detergent once every few months) so there is no build up.

Some homes have water softeners and some don't. The recipe can be tweaked to fit your own water situation. Some people use vinegar in the rinse.

One of my friends that I gave the recipe for the laundry soap to, sells the laundry soap to a local nursing home and makes it fragrance free. People with allergies to certain smells can make the laundry soap from a fragrance free soap. Fragrance free laundry soap is also good for laundering hunting clothing to remove fragrances before hunting. My brothers who hunt really like the unscented stuff.
All the benefits you mention are part of the reason I began to make the stuff. My most compelling reason, initially, was that it was amazingly inexpensive. The ingredients to make 10 gallons of the stuff sets me back under $5. That's less than what one bottle of commercially-produced detergent costs.

Not having any detergent allergies myself, I took that as a bonus for other family members who might have them. Nothing to worry about even from visitors needing to do laundry at our home.

Additionally, I saw the benefit of not adding large plastic jugs to our landfills. I used to use washed-out milk jugs but they were a bit too flimsy for me, so I switched to gallon-sized Gatorade containers. Perfect. I had our son save some of his for us. We drink Gatorade but mix ours from the granulated form. Again, no bottles to put in the trash.

Now that I've streamlined the detergent to making "packets" to be mixed as needed, I don't have any big buckets to contend with when making the stuff (just the jug I need at the time) and I don't have to stash 9 surplus jugs.

At the moment, I have 26 portions stored in a container that's smaller than a 3-pound (or whatever they are today) coffee can/container.

The only addition I made to the mixture is, as I noted, I added some OxiClean. Per recipe, each portion weighs approximately 70 grams and fits in a snack-sized zipperlock plastic bag.

I introduced the detergent to my youngest brother last week and he's sold on it already. Loves how it cleans. Me, too. Even the crappiest stuff.
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Old 06-23-2016, 11:52 AM   #20
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All the benefits you mention are part of the reason I began to make the stuff. My most compelling reason, initially, was that it was amazingly inexpensive. The ingredients to make 10 gallons of the stuff sets me back under $5. That's less than what one bottle of commercially-produced detergent costs.

Not having any detergent allergies myself, I took that as a bonus for other family members who might have them. Nothing to worry about even from visitors needing to do laundry at our home.

Additionally, I saw the benefit of not adding large plastic jugs to our landfills. I used to use washed-out milk jugs but they were a bit too flimsy for me, so I switched to gallon-sized Gatorade containers. Perfect. I had our son save some of his for us. We drink Gatorade but mix ours from the granulated form. Again, no bottles to put in the trash.

Now that I've streamlined the detergent to making "packets" to be mixed as needed, I don't have any big buckets to contend with when making the stuff (just the jug I need at the time) and I don't have to stash 9 surplus jugs.

At the moment, I have 26 portions stored in a container that's smaller than a 3-pound (or whatever they are today) coffee can/container.

The only addition I made to the mixture is, as I noted, I added some OxiClean. Per recipe, each portion weighs approximately 70 grams and fits in a snack-sized zipperlock plastic bag.

I introduced the detergent to my youngest brother last week and he's sold on it already. Loves how it cleans. Me, too. Even the crappiest stuff.
I too love not carrying large jugs and boxes into the house, (for bought detergent) then having to carry them out again, and look at the environmental benefits!

We have a bucket w/lid in the basement for our homemade laundry soap, and when it starts to get to the bottom, DH brings it up and asks me to cook up some of it.
I have stored shredded soap measured out in zip lock bags, with, my borax and washing soda. I put a big kettle on to boil the soap until clear, mix in the borax and washing soda, mix and add cold water and put in bucket, and let cool. Then DH takes it down to the washing machine in the basement.

It doesn't matter which method you use, shredded, powdered, dry, wet, it works great and saves so much money! For every penny you earn, you get a penny, for every penny you save, you get a penny, all those pennies add up and can be spent on what you REALLY want.
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