Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Laundry detergent

This all started with sour smelling towels. We would use our towels for 2 days and they would smell moldy. Well, after some research, I found out that most detergents don't rinse out completely. So the moldy smell came from soap that had accumulated over time. I tried adding vinegar, which did not resolve my problem. I had a recipe to make my own detergent. I didn't expect the outcome to be this good. We only use this detergent now, my family has been using it for three years. A week ago, I ran out of it and was looking for the ingredients, I didn't find everything that night at the store. So, in a pinch I brought some detergent to hold us over. It was instant! The laundry did not smell or feel as clean. My husband even noticed! This stuff is good. You do need to treat stains with this detergent (most detergents have harsh chemicals to get out stains, most of the time they get out a few stains, but I always needed to use a stain spray even with Tide, Surf and Gain). So now I use 2 tablespoon of the detergent, a capful of downy and spray and wash on my stains and everything comes out smelling and looking good!

Okay, this is what you need.

-a big container, one that holds a couple of gallons (Mine holds 33 cups)

- Food processor, large knife,  a spoon,

- 4 bars of Fels-Naptha soap

- a box of Borax 4lbs 12oz

- Super Washing Soda 3lb 7oz

- That little cup from the NyQuil container, it measures 2 tablespoons or 1 oz (that's what you need per load, no more!)

You can find these ingredients at Kroger's. I've also seen them at Walmart and Meijer's. Look for sales. My bill for everything was $11.41, that was without any sales. This batch will last me almost a year.

Okay Let's make it! Get your container ready, make sure it has a lid. Mix the Borax and Super Washing Soda together, set aside. Cut up the bars of soap into small 1 inch blocks, put the blocks of soap into the food processor. Don't worry, remember it's just soap, the same thing you wash your dishes with. Pulse until the soap is a little smaller than pea size. Mix all the ingredients together in your container with the spoon. That's it! Use only two tablespoons per wash. Don't worry it will be clean! Shake up the detergent from time to time before using. It keeps forever! Enjoy!

Have a wonderful Vintage Day!



  1. What a brilliant idea! Especially since I don't find detergent particularly does what it claims and is so expensive, especially with a baby.

    I might struggle to find some of the ingredients in the UK, what is Fels-Naptha soap? Trying to think what the alternative soap type/brands might be...

  2. Hi Molly, Fels-Naptha is a laundry soap. It looks like a bar of regular soap. I have also used a pink bar of zote. You may find them over in the UK. Here is the website I really like using the homemade laundry soap. I am still using it with good results. Just spray your stains with stain remover. I hope you find all the ingredients. Thanks so much for following and reading! Also I have heard of people using ivory soap. Don't know how that works.

  3. I have a kiddo with very sensitive skin and a allergy to perfumes, I think this soap might be the answer to our prayers! I just don't think our free and clear does the job anyways! I am going to give this a try. Thanks for posting. So glad I ran across your blog tonight!
    Crystal Jean who wishes she could sew.

  4. Hello again, an update to say I have been using homemade laundry detergent for over a year now. I enjoy making it and it is definitely cheaper. I found household soap in my supermarket, I have to buy Borax or Borax Substitute online (Amazon) - its hard to get here! I have been playing with the recipe and tried out other options like adding a bar of ground up Vanish stain remover, using deodorizing soap, adding bicarb of soda, powdered stain remover (BioTex) and other things... It doesn't get the tough stains out like you say but the laundry does feel fresher and it lasts a long time too. Thanks again for the inspiration!

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