Tuesday, August 11, 2009

an update on homemade laundry detergent

i am still making my own laundry detergent. the clothes come out clean and smell fresh but not perfumed-- which i prefer actually.

i am doing one thing different though. after grating my fels naptha i run it through the food processor. it adds another step and more dishes to wash afterward but it is so worth it! the detergent now looks like this:


more like a traditional powder. the benefits of doing it this way are

1. the powder is more uniform so you are getting more even amounts of the ingredients.
2. i no longer have to make sure the fels naptha dissolves before adding the clothes. i turn on the water, add the two tablespoons of detergent, add the clothes. done.

since making the detergent is a little more time consuming with the added step of the food processor i double or triple the batch. it works really well and the detergent seems to last forever as long as you keep it in a airtight container.

have any of you made your own laundry detergent?

(i just have to add- use common sense!! make sure you wash all dishes and utensils very well. you don't want to eat this stuff. that would definitely ruin whatever delicious food you have whipped up!)

26 comments:

jen said...

I forgot that you were making your own soap! That is WAY cheaper than buying a box. Our huge Costco box of Tide is nearly gone...I am going to try this. Where did you find the "Fels Naptha" bar soap?
Are you still adding white vinegar as a rinse or did you end up adding essential oils?

Erin said...

jen- you can find everything you need at harris teeter in the cleaning products aisle. i am still using the vinegar. i haven't added an essential oil to the vinegar yet but i plan to one of these days!

Cathy said...

I have not tried it.. I really need to try this..

Jenn-Lee said...

I haven't tried this yet and probably won't until after I move. Thanks for posting the update with the tips. Glad its working great.I can't wait to try it.

ayan said...

How much soap do you use per load? I have a high-efficiency front-loader, so I'd probably have to experiment with amounts anyway.

Has anyone tried making up a raw rice sachet and putting it in with the stored laundry soap mix to keep down moisture? It's why we put rice into sugar and salt shakers here in the South. I wonder if it would be a benefit here? (To make, pour 1/2 cup raw rice into a 8" square piece of cheesecloth and tie off - voila.)

Erin said...

ayan-
i have a regular washer (lame!) and i use two tablespoons per load. i have no idea how much you would use for an HE washer but if you figure it out let us know!

i haven't tried a rice sachet but that is a great idea. i live in the south too an surprisingly haven't had a problem with the detergent clumping. i think it must me because i store it in a container with a lid. my regular powdered tide in a cardboard box always clumped!

Jewels & Ry said...

I have made my own laundry soap off and on for 5 yrs. If you unwrap your Fels Naptha and let it cure on a shelf for a few weeks, it will harden and when you grate it, it will grate into powder. My soap looks like yours with only using a cheese grater and skipping the food processor step.

Erin said...

that is a great tip jewels! i will definitely have to try that. thanks!!

jess said...

hi there! just wanted to say i love your blog, especially the entertainment unit kitchen makeover. I am seriously trying to get my hubbby on board. I want one! hehe. Anyways, cool blog, and hello!

Better After said...

Hi there! I also wandered over here because of your entertainment center makeover. Do you mind if I feature it on my blog? (with credit to you, of course!) I'm starting a new blog of all my favorite before and afters. Thanks!
betterafter@live.com

Heather said...

I've made my own laundry detergent for a couple of years now. I've been pleasantly pleased with the results. I never thought I'd be one of "those" people, but now I find myself branching out into my own stain spray, dishwasher detergent, etc.

Jen said...

Looks just like mine :O) I've stopped using Borax and replaced it with OxiClean. Ever try that?

prairiesings said...

Funny I should come across this post. I had been mixing my own laundry detergent for years, but was irritated at having to use hot water to make sure it melted.

A few months ago, I finally got around to making liquid laundry detergent. I could kick myself for not doing it this way sooner. It wasn't as time-consuming as I thought it would be and will probably last us a year (we are a family of 6).

Tina

prairiesings said...

Oops, forgot to add --- Now I wash my clothes in cold water, so it is extra savings there too.

Tina

Cheryl said...

I just started making my own laundry detergent. I use a cheese grater and havent been pleased with the consistency. I think i'll try what Ry said above and let my soap cure a bit before grating it. I don't have a food processor but that'll be next because i'd like the entire recipe to be more 'mixed'. I do LOVE the detergent. I have a HE washer and use the 2 tsp per load. I have had no problems at all. Also, for some reason my HE washer sometimes would have this mildew smell and i'd have to leave the door open. I haven't had this problem since using this detergent. I use the fels naptha, borax, oxyclean & washing soda formula. Great stuff!

Jennifer said...

I've made my own detergent for years now. I tried making the liquid/gel but it's too much trouble and works just as well as my powdered detergent. Powdered is sooo much easier to make!

My recipe: 1 bar grated soap, 1 cup Borax, 2 cups baking soda (was out of washing soda & found it does better with my hard water), 1 cup water softener (did I mention we have really hard water?). I leave the Oxy Clean out so I can use bleach if I want on some of the whites. Mix it in the food processor to refine it and it's done! I store it in an old plastic coffee tub. Couldn't be easier or more economical! I plan to make some and give it as gifts to some of our neighbors this Christmas.

I also use my detergent in the dishwasher-1 spoonful is all it takes to get dishes sparkling clean!!!!

Erin said...

jennifer- i love the idea of using the detergent in the dishwasher. gotta try that!

Chelsea said...

I use the same ingredients but I make it into a liquid, let it sit overnight and it gels itself up. It's fantastic.

Steph said...

I've been making my own cleaning products for years, except for laundry detergent. Thanks for a great idea!

koala brains said...

Hi! I found your blog via oneprettything. I have all the ingredients to my the detergent, just haven't done it yet. Nice tip about the fels. Will definitely do that. BTW, I've been using that baking soda shampoo for a year now and like the results. I use it every 3 days (in between I use a store bought organic shampoo).

sayer13 said...

Hello - I make my own laundry soap too but instead of grating soap, I use "Boraxo Powdered Hand Soap". It's a fine powder and works wonderful. I also use essential oils in mine to make it smell good.

livesimply said...

Hi there,
I love reading your blog! I just recently bought the ingredients for making the laundry soap, but I have one question. With the powdered laundry soap, do you have to use hot water, or will it dissolve in cold water just as well?

Anonymous said...

I used to make my own detergent and used it for a while. It worked ok. In truth, after a while I found that my laundry was brighter and fresher smelling with the store bought stuff. I save money buy buying in bulk and using coupons. I pay (on average) about $1.50/bottle of name brand liquid detergent. When there is a high value coupon ($2-$3 off) I buy them (the coupons) in bulk on ebay for $1.50 for 20. Then buy the detergent on sale. We are a family of 5 and 20 bottles of detergent lasts us about 6 months.

Anonymous said...

I am a little confuse on when you add the vinegar? My washing machine doesn't turn off before the rinse cycle. Would I place the vinegar in one of those funny balls (usually used for fabric softner). What is the point of the Vinegar again??? Thanks!

Alice said...

Hi! Love the Blog! Have a few questions about the laundry soap. I made my first batch today and found hand grating was nauseatingly stinky!! If that is a word. And I wanted to use my food processor but my husband freaked saying the residue will never come out of my processor and that it can't be used for food if I use it on the bar of soap. Therefore, my first batch is super chunky until I can find a cheap processor. Any advice???? Or ideas about the smell and hand grating?

Erin said...

@Anonymous on 11/30- The vinegar is to replace fabric softener. When I use it (I don't always) I pour it into the liquid fabric softener well in the center of the agitator. Then it is released at the right time. If your machine doesn't have something like that then , yes, I would suggest a fabric softener ball.

@Alice- I haven't noticed a 'nausteatingly stinky" smell. :) It just smells like soap. I do try not to inhale the soap dust that enters the air when grating the soap.

I use the same food processor for laundry soap as I use in my kitchen. I understand your husbands concern, I had the same thought originally. After making soap I soak the food processor parts in very hot water (helps to break up and dissolve the soap residue) and then I run it through the dishwasher. It comes perfectly clean. I have been making my own laundry detergent for over 18 months and haven't had any problems. I hope this helps!!

Post a Comment

Thanks for leaving a comment. I love 'em! They make me feel special! :)

If you have a question make sure you have an email address linked up to your blogger account or leave your email address in the comment so I can respond otherwise I will answer your question here in the comments section.

OR you can email me at suttongraceblog(at)gmail(dot)com

Related Posts with Thumbnails