Eureka! After scouring the internet and testing recipe after recipe, I have finally created a laundry detergent recipe that I like. It’s powerful and I swear it performs better than any commercial laundry detergent I’ve ever used. The best part? I know how to pronounce everything that goes into it. Being a powder, there is no melting, pouring, setting, or other obnoxious steps. Simply measure, mix, and you’re good to go.
Making My Laundry Detergent Recipe
Some readers have mentioned switching out the Fels-Naptha with homemade soap and having good results. I put it to the test recently and can report that it does work well. I also tried making a batch with my homemade melt and pour soap and it did great as well.
Simply mix it into a container of your choice using 1 part Fels-Naptha, 2 parts borax, and 2 parts washing soda. I find the Fels-Naptha is easy to grate with a vegetable peeler or cheese grater, just make sure it’s not going to be used with food again later because your cheese and veggies will taste soapy. Some people prefer to put all of the ingredients in a food processor. Again, make sure it’s one you’ve set aside for crafty purposes only.
Using This Homemade Laundry Detergent
To use, add 1 tbsp. per medium/light wash load, 2 tbsp. per large/heavily soiled load. This recipe is HE safe using only 1/3-1/2 the above-recommended amount. For front loaders, make sure the soap is finely grated and use the same amount as you would in an HE top loader. Using a whole box of washing soda, a whole box of borax, and three bars of soap makes enough detergent to last my family of five (with two young boys) about six months.
Stain Removal Tips
We’ve all ruined a favorite garment with an unfortunate stain, and it’s surprisingly heartbreaking. To avoid having to throw out beloved clothes in the future, remember the following tips for getting rid of common stains.
Soak immediately in lukewarm water. Dab stain with detergent or diluted vinegar. Wash in the hottest water safe for the fabric and repeat as necessary.
Soak immediately in warm water. Cover the stain in salt and let stand. Rinse salt out, dab gently with detergent, and lay face down on a paper towel. Rinse again and launder normally.
Remove excess food carefully and dab liquid detergent onto the stain. Rinse with cold water from underneath the stain (to avoid pushing it back into the fabric). Launder normally.
Butter/Lard/Cooking Oil/Engine Grease/Machine Oil
Soak immediately in lukewarm water with detergent, using a pre-treatment if available. Remove and dab stain with detergent. Place face down on a paper towel and let stand. Repeat as needed.
Soak and agitate in lukewarm water to remove as much excess as possible. Apply detergent to residual stains and let soak for 20-30 minutes. Rinse and repeat. Launder normally.
Wash in hot water and detergent. If yellowing persists, soak in warm water and let stand with a treatment of white vinegar or hydrogen peroxide. Avoid chlorine bleach as it will only cause further yellowing.
Rinse immediately with cool water. Immerse in room temperature water with detergent and let soak for 10-15 minutes. Spot-treat with an enzyme cleaner. Launder normally.
Urine and Feces
Remove excess and rinse immediately in cool water. Soak and agitate in cool water with detergent. Drain and soak again, letting stand for 20-30 minutes. Launder normally.
Some other great laundry-related stuff to check out:
This awesome book, The Busy Mom’s Guide to Taming the Laundry Monster, is a great resource for getting laundry under control. I hate doing laundry and it often gets out of control. After reading this book, it’s a bit more manageable.
The “one size fits all” laundry systems of the past don’t really fit “all”. What is needed is a system that is as unique as the family. With grace and humor, the author encourages the busy mom to be intentional about her system. – Amazon
The Not-so-Modern Housewife’s post on Liquid Laundry Detergent, which is practically the same, but in liquid form.
UPDATE I’m not sure how long this has been available on Amazon, or how long it will last, but they now offer a Laundry Soap Kit that has all these ingredients.
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