Monday, April 12, 2010

The Laundry Trials

Several loads of laundry have been washed with the homemade laundry detergent I made. J & I feel it's doing as well as our storebought detergent, and J said he actually thinks his socks are looking cleaner since using it. I should tell you that laundry has always been a challenge here, and we'll probably never get sparkling whites, with the water coming from our well. I have not yet done a cost analysis, and the washing soda was a challenge to find locally. I ended up buying a pool product at the hardware store, which is Sodium Carbonate, the same as washing soda, called pH up. That said, here's the recipe I used, which makes a whole lot of detergent:

12c borax

8c baking soda (helps with hard water & dinginess)

8c washing soda

8c bar soap, grated (I used some of my homemade soap; others use Fels Naptha or Kirks Castile. I think anything goes as long as you like the smell)

The directions say to use 1/8 cup per load. I thought that seemed awfully little, until J told me most detergents contain fillers. I still used 1/4 cup due to hard water and a large capacity washer. I did grate the soap by hand, as that created smaller pieces than my food processor, and I wanted to be sure it melted totally. I also used a warm water wash for the same reason. FYI: The light tablecloth on the end was singed while trying to stay warm with a Coleman stove during the Holiday Hoopla; it's not a true stain. All told, we'd give it a thumbs up.


Victoria said...

Awesome!! I always love to see what you are up too! Creative as usual!

A Friend Across the Miles said...

Yippee for homemade laundry soap!!!!

Did you know you can tweak the ingredients and use it for dishwasher detergent too?

June said...

We're so happy to be making our own. But isn't it amazing how difficult it is to find the ingredients? Brilliant to find a pool treatment! Have you tried a vinegar rinse? It really seems to add a bit of sparkle.

I'm really interested to try it as dishwasher detergent too...what a good idea.

Lovely blog!

Laurie said...

Wow, I'll need to try dishwasher detergent. And I haven't tried a vinegar rinse. Both sound like great ideas. Thanks!

Mrs. Mac said...

Your recipe is similar to mine ... (minus the baking soda ... will have to try that one of these days). I think our laundry is cleaner (whiter) than when I used bleach, commercial detergent, and liquid fabric softener. It's been about a year with the homemade stuff .. everything is deep down clean .. no scent and no residue. I often use vinegar in the rinse .. just pour it in the agitator dispenser. I used to have a high efficiency washer .. turned out to be a money pit ... so went back to an old fashioned model without a 'brain' .. One thing I do is wash everything on the setting that has a soak cycle .. it helps and I never have undissolved detergent on the clothes.