Homemade Laundry Detergent

Making your own homemade laundry detergent can be a great way to save on an ongoing basis. Here’s  recipe that a HBHW reader submitted. Be sure to also read through the comments section below. We have quite a bit of good discussion on the topic going on and there are many questions that came up and have been answered below.

What you need:

All ingredients can be found at your local grocery store in the laundry isle.

Homemade Laundry Detergent Recipe

  • 1 bar of Fels Naptha soap, shaved
  • 4 cups of hot water to melt the soap
  • 3 gallons of hot water
  • 1 cup of borax
  • 2 cups of washing soda
  • 1 cup of baking soda
  • 1 large Rubbermaid container about 4-5 gallons size

Here’s what you do:
Grate the soap into a saucepan. You can use either a box grater or a food processor for this. I recommend you do not use whatever tool you use for grating soap with food. I was able to buy an extra food processor very inexpensively at a thrift store.

Add 4 cups of hot water to the pan.  Simmer on low until the soap melts completely into the water.

Add borax, washing soda and baking soda to the hot water. Simmer on low until it desolves with the soap. If the mixture is not melting, add more water if needed.

Add 3 gallons of hot water to the large container. Add the mixture to the hot water. Mix with a large spoon until it
completely dissolves.
Let cool overnight. You will notice that it turns into a thick gel. Use 1 cup of this homemade laundry detergent per load of laundry

Further Reading – Keeping It Clean

This is a 3 ebook series that will help you spend less time and money on your laundry. Tawra and Jill from Living On A Dime share their best frugal laundry, cleaning and home organization tips.

Grab your copy today at http://www.hillbillyhousewife.com/laundry



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The Hillbilly Housewife Recommends:

Homemade Mixes – Make It Yourself and Save

homemade-mixes-kindleMaking your own mix from scratch rather than buying it in the store not only saves you money but also saves you from all the additives and preservatives that are put in the foods we buy. The recipes include:

  • Apple Pie Spice Mix
  • Basic Muffin Mix
  • Brownie Mix
  • Caribbean Jerk Seasoning
  • Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix
  • Corn Bread Mix
  • Cream of Soup Mix
  • Fajita Seasoning
  • Fish Fry Coating Mix
  • Fruited Oatmeal Mix
  • Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix
  • Homemade Vanilla Chai Tea Mix
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00JIVJH6U/

Comments

  1. If your looking for a good fabric softener.. Go on ebay and buy wool balls for using in the dryer… They are awesome….

  2. I make my own laundry soap, but I like mine dry. I think I got this recipe off of http://www.Tipnut.com it’s
    1 bar Felz Naptha
    1 bar dove or ivory
    1 cup of Borax
    1 cup of Washing Soda

    Grate or grind each bar and mix with the powders, then store in an air tight container. Use approximately 2 tbsp per load for large loads. Works great as a per soak too!!

    • Jane Murphy says:

      I made home made laundry soap and it is kinda runny what do I do to make it more like a gel? Can some one help me please. Thanks so much, any thoughts will be so greatful, Blessings Jane

      • jennifer says:

        you add a little more washing soda it is what makes it a gel i experimented many times i figured out if it is too liquidy add more powers to make it a little thicker till you get the right consistency i have bought a 3 1/2 gallon pot off the internet and i make it all on the stove and the next morning i know whether or not i need to add more or not

    • Margaret says:

      Does anyone know if this is safe for a newer washer that needs” he” (high efficiency) detergent?

      • This would be fine for an “he” washer. I actually just called Arm and Hammer with a question about their detergent. They said the main difference is the less sudsing formula. The suds usually come from Sodium Laurel (or Laurel) Sulfate added, but with only natural ingredients that is not a concern.

  3. Just word to the wise . . . if you are on a septic tank, this can cause you problems in the future. I found out the hard way! Thanks.

    • Julie, are you talking about using the homemade dry laundry detergent or the liquid ?

    • Julie, What happened to your septic? I have been using homemade soap for 2 years and now I am wondering if I should stop. Please advise…

    • Julie, I have all of the ingredents to make this & acaatually already have the Fels Naptha shredded & saw your comment! Can you please let me know what happened to your septic tank as I live in the country so of course have one. I am going to wait to make this – Thank You Lorri

    • Our plumber suggested flushing down a packet of yeast each month down each toilet to help our septic tank.

      • My septic guy recommended the yeast plus a little cabbage trimming shredded really fine. But I don’t know because we do have our septic pumped about every year or two. He also showed me the thick white chalky chunk on top of the muck and said that it was mostly dry laundry detergent.

    • Borax has natural anti-bacterial properties. It doesn’t distinguish between the good or bad guys. If you are on a septic system you shouldn’t use large quantities due to the fact it will kill ALL of the bacterias in your septic system. Much in the same way you also shouldn’t use chlorine bleach. The trick i’ve used is, once a month, adding one active dry yeast packet to each toilet and flushing. This replenishes the beneficial bacterias and keeps things flowing smoothly. Hope this helps!!

    • I have been using homemade laundry soap like this, I have 6 kids, we do at least 2 loads a day, and we finished building our house 20 years ago this year. We have never had a problem with our septic tank, and we have never had to have it pumped, not even once, in 20 years. All the septic guys, of course want me to hire them to empty it, but it just hasn’t been needed yet. This may just be someone saying, “Oh, yeah, that’s probably why we had a septic problem. It must have been the soap.”

    • We make our own laundry detergent and may do it a little differently, but I assure you these ingredients are harmless for a septic. (Way better in fact than the commercial kind.) When we first had a septic installed we did a lot of research to learn how to use it correctly and found out that using a lot of bleach CAN be a problem, killing the good bacteria you need to breakdown the waste. But, with our large brood of 8, we used tons of both bleach and homemade laundry detergent and never had a problem in six years of use! Our septic installer told us the number 1 mistake for people with a septic is putting food in the garbage disposal as it takes much longer to breakdown than waste and clogs it up.

  4. Powdered detergents are not good for septic systems. A liquid or gel should be okay.

    • we have used powder and liquid. I just like liquid better but if you are concerned about septic issues call a professional to get more info on that – You could also see about (if code in your area allows) having your washer drain go into the yard as gray water to water the yard then it doesn’t touch your septic and it cuts extra water cost. I read somewhere someone did this with both laundry and sinks just never toilets eww

  5. What about high efficiency washing machines? One cup would overflow in my washer’s soap cup.

    • geekbearinggifts says:

      As a rule, always cut detergent amounts in half for an HE machine. You can place the detergent in the machine with the clothes instead of in the soap cup.

    • I have used the homemade liquid laundry soap in my HE washer and have not had a problem. I use the Duggar family recipe and I just do not dilute past the 5 gallons. I use vinegar in my fabric softener dispenser for all my whites but use diluted fabric softener for my other washes. I have not had a problem.

    • These homemade soaps are fine for HE washers, because the sudsing amount is low. That is why if you use regular laundry soap you would cut the amount in half. I have called GE and asked, also whirlpool and they say these are fine. Also vinegar is an amazing fabric softener for those wondering. You do not get a vinegar smell to your clothes either.

    • jennifer says:

      the liquid is fine 1 bar of soap
      4 c. of boiling water to melt soap and powders
      1 c. borax powder
      2 c. washing soda
      1 c baking powder

      melt all in pan

      in large bucket add 3 gallons hot water poor melted mixture into stir and sit over night if it is too runny you will have to melt some more of borax or washing soda to make it a gel till you get the consistency you want

  6. Anyone having trouble with whites or graying here’s a remedy. I own a cleaning company and this is what we do. Add a small amount of T.S.P. to your formulas. It can be found in most hard ware stores. Even though it has been banned from laundry detergents it’s still made available to the restaurant industry and cleaning co’s so it’s still in use. It was banned from detergents because they say it has been polluting our waterways. If you read some of the new ingredients in commercial detergents T.S.P. is nothing compared to what’s in them now. Our plumber said there’s many more problems now then there was when T.S.P. was in use. I also have a septic field and everything has checked out just fine. There’s nothing out there that can replace the cleaning ability of this. Slight off topic but add a1/2 -1 tsp of this to your dishwasher and you will have the cleanest dishes ever. I add this to my homemade dishwasher detergent.

  7. AHNA REECE says:

    I ENJOY THIS SITE, I MADE THE POWDER LAUNDRY SOAP. SOMEWHERE I GOT A DIFFERENT AMOUNT AS I USED I BOX OF WASHING SODA I BOX OF WASHING AND 1 BAR OF FELS NAPTHA. DID I MAKE A MISTAKE OR IS THEIR A RECIPE FOR THIS AMOUNT ON THIS SITE AHNA

    • I use only one bar of soap for my laundry with one cup of washing soda and one cup and borax. it works great. I think that it is up to you what you want to do. And I usually only use one tbsp per laod. unless it is a really soiled laod. :)

    • sorry I re-read you post. use only 1 cup of borax, and 1 cup of washing soda!! not a whole box! some recipes I have found have 2 bars of soap. I only use 1!

    • Wow – my recipe for powder detergent was
      2 cups Fels Naptha Soap (finely grated – you could also try the other bar soaps listed at the top)
      1 cup Washing Soda
      1 cup Borax
      ■Mix well and store in an airtight plastic container.
      ■Use 2 tablespoons per full load.

      I find that I like the liquid much better. I think that because it’s already melted it goes to work faster and my machine is a front loader so it doesn’t use as much water so I worry about the soap dissolving well and don’t want to mess with hot water, etc. Liquid is just easier to use but it takes up a lot more storage space.

      • christina says:

        We have lots of stinky kid and adult laundry so I use that recipe plus add 1 cup of baking soda. we use 2 tablespoons per load in cold water and worls great for us. I dump it in while the machine is filling so it is completely dissolved.

  8. These are great, but can you tell me where to buy Fels Naptha soap? Also – washing soda?? Thanks!

  9. I’ve substituted Zote soap for the Fels Naptha – I got it at the dollar store. When I was in California visiting friends, I found it at their 99 cent plus store (the very best dollar stores in the USA – IMHO) and they were almost double the size of a Fels Naptha bar. Wish they’d open those stores in Florida!

  10. Where do you find washing soda? I love reading all of these post and recipes….

    • Lynn,

      You can make Washing Soda from Baking Soda.

      Here’s how:

      1. Preheat your oven to approximately 390° -400° Fahrenheit. (200° C)
      2. Pour a box (or a few cups) of baking soda (not baking powder) onto a baking sheet, and put it in the oven. 3. Bake the baking soda from 30-60 minutes. I’ve seen reports of people baking it as little as 30 minutes – and people baking it as long as 2 hours. It doesn’t appear that over-baking it is a problem…so I’d recommend 45-60 minutes just to assure that the chemical reaction is completely complete.
      4. After pulling the baking sheet out of the oven and letting it cool, store the washing soda in aclearly labeled airtight container. The washing soda can “convert” back into baking soda if it’s exposed to air.

    • I get Washing soda at Kroger..I live in So. Indiana.

  11. Lynn,
    You can find washing soda in the laundry section at Wal mart. I always have to get a rain check for it because it sells out quickly.

  12. is this a good laundry detergant for some one who has skin excema and skin allergies?

  13. I have made this for the past six months and have saved a ton on laundry detergent. LOVE IT.

  14. how much does the liquid recipe make?

  15. I have used this laundry soap for a while now. but now i have a new front load washer and the guys that set it all up for me told me not to use it in the machine it would void my warranty! so i have stopped useing it because im very unsure as to what to do, we did love the detergent, but what will it do to our new machine? I hate useing and buying laundry soap, I really saved a ton of $ by making our own. Do u have any suggestions or answers to my problem??? thanks so much in advance for u help!

    • The back of the Borax box gives directions for HE machines. Not sure about the washing soda and the bar soap is just soap. Not sure where the problem would be with the warranty? I would call the company and dig a little deeper before I gave up. Good luck

      • thanks heather! i will do that,
        i guess i didnt understand what the problem was either, besides the laundry soap seems to naturally
        be suds free anyhow!

    • My Dad was a certified appliance technician with all of the company’s therefore he knows all of the warranty information. He recommends the homemade laundry detergent for the HE machines that I have made for years and using vinegar as fabric softner because many of the liquids you buy build up a film in the washer that will cause bad smells, stains, and other issues. It doesn’t void the warranty that is a typical misconception because it says use only HE detergent which really is to ensure you use low sudsing detergent, you can’t get lower suds than this detergent. You can clearly tell when you work on one if the problem is caused by not using low sudsing detergent.

    • Julie Williamson says:

      I have a front loader and the liquid does fine. I have never had a problem especially since it uses so much less detergent anyway and NO SUDS! I did find that even though the powder recipe takes less space, it didn’t dissolve like it should. So, I make the liquid recipe with no probs!

  16. I wanted to share another homemade idea that doesn’t use any chemicals. Soap Nuts! They are the nut from the saponis tree and are nature’s soap and cheaper than chemical soaps at the store. You place about 5 nuts in a small muslin bag (it comes with the nuts) and toss them in your wash. They suds naturally with water and work best in warm water. Then take the bag out to air dry. It can be used about 5 more times before dumping the used nuts in a compost pile and refill with 5 new nuts.

    For cold water wash, homemade hand soap or shampoo, you can make a liquid soap by tossing 10 nuts into 4 cups of boiling water, turn water off and let sit for 24 hours. Strain nuts out and you have a quart of non-toxic safe liquid soap. It has worked great for us. There are different brands of soap nuts. You might find some at a health food store or various places online. I get mine from Laundry Tree. They have great explanations on their site about soap nuts. If you know you only want to work with the homemade liquid soap (it’s fine for warm/hot water wash too) they sell a bag of broken pieces for making the liquid “soap nut soak” soap cheaper than buying the whole nuts. There are specials from time to time. I think they sell a sample bag too if you want to give it a try without committing to a bigger bag.

    I don’t have an HE machine, but the Laundry Tree site indicates they are ideal for HE machines since there is not a lot of sudsy foam.

  17. Carrie de says:

    Why does it need to be diluted so much? I have a laundry closet (as opposed to a room) and I don’t have the space to keep a 5 gal bucket. Would mixing it in maybe 1 gal of water work, then just use less per load?

    • To save space I make the dry detergent then as needed just boil a teapot full of water mix in 1 cup of the dry detergent in a pitcher and have liquid to use. You work with the amounts to get it just right for your preference.

    • I tried using less water and a smaller amount and after a couple days, my container turned into a solid rock of detergent. I think the extra water is needed to keep it in liquid form.

  18. how does it make your clothes smell???

  19. Queenie11 says:

    This detergent has worked very well for us though some old stains have come out that tide hasnt gotten out it seems that some stains come out with this homemade version and some just don’t. I half the gelled 5 gallons into another bucket and top them off with hot water giving me 2 5 gallon buckets. Should I not dilute it so much to get more stains out or not worry about it. Some stains just won’t come out period, at least that’s how it’s looking for me.

  20. Why the baking soda along with the washing soda? No other recipe i find calls for both. What kind of difference does it make?
    Thanks

  21. I also have a recipe it calls for only 1/3 bar of fels naptha, 1/2 cup of both washing soda and borax. then the same water as this recipe. It is really thin and requires a shake before use but it works great. It only costs about 1-2 cents for load. ive only been using it for a week but love it. I have also heard of ppl adding oxy clean to this but, I have had issues with oxy clean eating thru my clothes. Also, I have went to all the websites for the fels natha, borax and washing soda. they are all septic safe and are all HE safe. I have a HE washer and i use Half cup. (my recipe says to use half cup instead of a cup) i have always been a 2 capful per load kind of person. but i do add more to very soiled laundry. hope this helps

  22. I went from rags to riches in the sight of a year, and since 2008 I have been broke. If I was not frugal when I had money; I would have been homeless. Anyway, since 2008 I have bought Sun liquid dish soap for laundry and dishes. It is the best dish soap for laundry. As a fabric softener I scrape a tiny piece of Ivory soap, and put it where the liquid fabric softener goes, and then fill the rest with cold water. It really works, because I do not need dryer sheets. I do need to start hanging my clothes on a clothes line when the weather is good; thanks for this idea. Being poor is hard, but if there is a will there is a way; that is why I signed up. Information is key for my survival.

  23. I used 2 bars napatha soap, 1 c washing soda, 1 cup borax and 5 gallons of water. But when I try to dip my 1/4 cup into it, it like gel strings coming from the cup to the container, so I can never actual fill the cup. Does anyone know what causes that? Did I use to much napatha soap. I got the recipe on-line.

    • I bet it was the 2 bars of soap. I made mine with one and dont have that happening. Its still in a gellike state, but not like you described. Im making it with Zote soap this time and that bar is twice the size so I may cut it in half

    • Nancy…I think you used too much soap. I use 1 bar of soap to 2 cups each of borax and washing soda…but it makes 10 gallons! So maybe use 1/2 bar to 5 gallons.

  24. Question – I made my liquid detergent about a month and a half ago and it works wonders (I use it on sofa stains, food stains, etc.) but, I find that my liquid soap and water separate and wonder if I made it too fast. ie @ too high of a temperature. I am just about ready to make another batch, but don’t want to have to stir it everytime I was a load of clothes. Any tips!?

    • Sarah Sheldon says:

      Hi! I just made liquid detergent for the first time and mine did this too. All the water was on the bottom and the soap ingredients formed a solid layer on top! Did you figure out what went wrong?
      I tried breaking it up and re-stirring and that helped some but there are still big chunks floating around. And it’s not very gel-like
      Does anyone have suggestions on how to make this batch still use-able?

      Thanks!

  25. I have been making my own laundry soap for about four months and i do love it…usually;however i have found that it doesnt get milk stains out of my kids clothes….and i never know that until they come out of the dryer with a big ring and a dry texture. Anyone ever have that problem? I have also been making my own stain remover that works pretty well….not perfect,but good. one part Dawn dishsoap to 2 parts peroxide.

  26. Emily, My laundry soap tends to separate also, my solution is to put about half a gallon in a gallon milk jug and just give it a quick shake before I pour it into the measuring cup to do a load of laundry. Much easier than stirring it. Hope that helps

  27. If you use a hand (stick) blender to mix the detergent after it gells and separates, it dosnt separate anymore. Just stays a nice thin gel consistency.

  28. I have never made this before, thinking about giving it a try… I do want it to have a scent though, what do you all think of adding 15-20 drops of an essential oil?

    • Kristin says:

      I have a friend who uses essential oils in her detergent and she only uses about 5 drops. I would recommend not adding too much, because you can always add more.

  29. Lindi Pellett says:

    Can I use the laundry soap right away if I need to? Or do I have to wait for it to “set up”?

  30. I love this soap. My clothes are softer and cleaner they do not have that residue left behind by Tide, I add 4 Tbsp. bluing and 1 cup vinegar to above recipe. My front loader performs better and I’m saving so much $$ going to try it in my dishwasher too.

  31. Lisa, I’m not sure how this would work in your dishwasher. I make my own dishwasher detergent with 1 cup Borax, 1 cup Baking Soda, and a packet of sugar free lemon koolaid mix. I put it into a Tupperware container and shake it up. I use a tablespoon in each load with a bit of vinegar in the jet dry compartment. Works wonderfully.

  32. hello. does anyone know how to rid a washer of a bad smell?
    also, what is the best homemade powdered laundry detergent

    • Run it through a wash cycle with the hottest water you have and add plain old white all purpose vinegar.

      Laundry detergent: I started making my own and really like it. It was easier and cheaper than I expected.
      I “shred” the fels naptha bars in my food processor. Then I take off the shred blade & put in the small blade that cuts. That will transform the shreds to powder. When you mix it with the borax & washing soda
      you have a powder that is about the same texture as Tide. I put it in my washer & start the water filling so that the detergent totally dissolves. Haven’t had any problems, the clothes are nice & clean……and this stuff is cheap! Beware it doesn’t suds much (or at all), so don’t be alarmed.

  33. Hi All,
    I loved reading all your comments. I love the home made detergent, though I have been using a cup of liquid. Is that too much. I plan on trying the essential oil drops as well. I have made the dishwasher detergent too. Only problem is that it sometimes hardens in the dishwasher and is still there when the wash is over, but I have had that problem with regular liquid as well. I would love to convert to cleaning with all home made stuff. I had lemons and found a recipe for cleaning enzyme, but yet to try it.

  34. 3 tablespoons Dawn dish liquid
    3 tablespoons washing Soda
    3 tablespoons Borax

    Makes 1 gallon, I use to make the Fels Naptha recipe but I got tired of grateing the soap and found this recipe somewhere online. I have been making my own for over 3 years! I love both recipes and I have never had a problem with septic issues. As far as I know as long as you do the liquid recipe it should be fine the powder may cause problems because it may not fully disolve in the washing process. But with that said you can also have problems with any name brand powdered detergent. I have done lots of research and as long as it is soap based you can run into that issue and you wouldnt know until it is too late. Somewhere I found photos and it is not pretty.

  35. I have added Ivory Soap to this recipe because I like the smell and it does not add much to the cost. I have also found that if I freeze the soap it grates easier.

  36. I use 1/3 bar of Zote soap chopped with a chefs knife. Add to one quart of very hot water and let it set overnight. The next morning warm the mixture and add one cup borax and one cup washing soda. Pour into a large bucket and add two gallons and three quarts hot water, stir and pour into containers. Shake before using. I use 1/2 cup for my high capacity he washer. I add 1/2 cup vinegar to this and 1/2 vinegar in the softener cup, because of had water.

    I run a bed and breakfast in my home and have used the homemade soap for over three years so it is a real savings. My husband no longer has itchy skin.

    For liquid hand soap, I chop about three slivers of soap to one cup hop water and set overnight. Mix and pour into a soap dispenser.

  37. LIz Walker says:

    Amanda,
    How much of your liquid do you use per load?
    Thank You

    • I agree. How much liquid to use per load of laundry. I’ve been searching online forever and no one EVER answers this question other people ask. I’m guessing a cup full. I don’t know though. Any help would be great!

    • Heather says:

      I used the 1 Felds-Naptha bar, 1 cup borax, 1 cup washing soda to 5 gallons of water recipe and use 1/4 cup per load in my HE washer. Works great and it is SO cheap!! I am never going back to store-bought detergent… I recently bought some essential oils to add to it to give it a fresher scent and can’t wait to try it out.

  38. I have a question -anyone who uses homemade laundry soap- do you have a problem with some items having a greasy feel after they are dry? I use the recipe of 1/3 bar of Fels, 1/2 cup borax, and 1/2 cup of washing soda and water. Maybe there is something I can add to the mixture that will cut some of the greasy feel? This problem usually happens to my teen’s t-shirt and kitchen washcloths.
    I would appreciate any help. Thank you.

  39. michele says:

    This is the same recipe I use. Use white distilled vinegar in the rinse – To make it easy, I fill a downey ball. That way I don’t forget and miss the cycle.

  40. I use the recipe with Fels-Napha soap. Just made my second batch-this time a bigger batch. I love this stuff because I am saving a ton of money,and it doesnt take me long to make it. I also like the smell. I did try the homemade dishwasher soap-but because I have very hard water I will have to experiment again,the last time the dishes still came out with the white film on everything. All in all, this is a good thing to do…

  41. My question is with making the dry mix if it is stored in a nice container what is the shelf life? I have found if I only make one batch the rest of the poweders I have left get real clumpy so I was gonna make several batches and use up theopen containers that I’ve got but I’m unsure of the shelf life of this? thank you

    • Hi Becky, your laundry soap should have an indefinite shelf life as long as it does not get wet since the ingredients are all shelf stable. I’ve been making the powder for a while and I’ve had very good luck with it so far. You will probably have to break up an occasional clump though. Hope this helps.

  42. Hey, I have been making my own powdered laundry soap for maybe 6-8 months and I love it. Yesterday I tried converting it to a liquid, but after it cooled I ended up with an inch-thick solid layer on top of a clear liquid layer. One person’s post was to add more washing soda to correct this problem, but how do you do it? Do you warm it back up I guess? On a side note, this is and awsome site. I had no idea that so many people made their own soaps. Everyone that I’ve told about making my own laundry soap, with the exception of my mom and my husband, gave me a strange look.

    • The Hillbilly Housewife says:

      I’m glad you found us, Sherri, so you can get a little support for your homemade soap projects! ;)

    • Well, I think I figured it out. I thought about it for a while and realized that I was trying to concentrate it too much and the soap could not fully disolve. So I heated the soap back up and added more water. I think that it takes about 1 gallon and 2 extra cups of water per bar of soap for it to diolve. Now I’m happy with it. So for you DIYers out there that run into the same issue, maybe this will help you.

  43. Charlotte says:

    Can oxyclean pwd be added to the homemade mixture to clean really to stain that have been in for a while

    • julie mace says:

      I don’t see why not, but it’s so expensive. So I just soak my stained clothes in the washer overnight with about 1 cup to 2 cups of oxyclean and hot water. The results are great!

  44. My friend helped me make my 1st batch yesterday. How much do you recommend me using in my machine? I have a high capacity top loader…not a HE. Thx!

  45. Cherish says:

    Alright! I’m going to try this! I won’t be out too much money if it doesn’t work, right? Any advice on storage, “pretty” smelling oils, and anything else would be appreciated!

  46. I just moved and now have a septic system. For years, I’ve been using Fels-Naptha. I haven’t found Zote in the stores in Michigan but wonder, when you say Ivory soap, do you mean the same bar soap I would use for showers?

  47. I found this recipe in our newspaper…it calls for 3 Tablespoons Borax, 3 Tablespoons Washing Soda and 2 tablespoons Dawn dishwashing liquid….says put it in a one gallon jug, add 4 cups boiling water. Swirl until ingredients are disolved in the liquid……..Let liquid cool, then fill almost to top with cold water. Use 1/2 cup per load. For a stain recipe use 1 cup water, 1 cup Dawn dish soap and 1 cup ammonia.

    • I just made some of this up but forgot to let it cool first. Looks like it did a WONDERFUL job. I have a front loader too. I found the power scrubber dawn for $2.00. A price I am so willing to pay as dawn is a great stain fighter AND one medium size bottle will go a LONG WAY! TY for sharing this. It sure helps save space!

  48. I made my first batch of laundry soap last night! I did a half recipe of the HBHW origional post. I had the soda’s and borax from previous uses and went to the store for the Naptha soap. (Never heard of it before) It took a very long time to dissolve the powders and it really scraped up a nonstick pot from stirring. SO, I suggest only a stainless steal pot and using an immersion blender as it cools to thoroughly blend the mix. I am happy to have found this site and read all of the postings to reasure me that I could do it!

  49. I made my first batch of laundry detergent last week. I love it. My recipe is a little different from what I have read on here but, it works and smells great.
    3 cups Borax
    3 cups Armor Washing Soda
    6 bars Fels-Naphta soap
    2 cups of baking soda
    I shredded the soap bars with a regular hand held shredder ( took some time) but it worked well. I then mixed all the other ingredients together in a large Rubbermaid container. i use mine dry. It dissolves well in the washing machine (I have a Maytag top load). The clothes come out soft and smelling clean. I do lots of laundry every day, kids, sports, dogs, and a husband that works in a rubber tire factory. Try this you will love it. I am passing out samples to my family at first they thought I was nuts but, now they see.

  50. cathy fox says:

    is this safe for HE washing machines?

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