Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Do It Yourself Detergent

Liquid Laundry Detergents

Recipe #1
3 Pints Water
1/3 Bar Fels Naptha Soap, Grated*
1/2 Cup Washing Soda
1/2 Cup Borax
2 Gallon Bucket
1 Quart Hot Water
Cold Water

Mix Fels Naptha soap in a saucepan with 3 pints of water, and heat on low until dissolved. Stir in Washing Soda and Borax. Stir until thickened, and remove from heat. Add 1 Quart Hot Water to 2 Gallon Bucket. Add soap mixture, and mix well. Fill bucket with cold water, and mix well. Set aside for 24 hours, or until mixture is gelled. Use 1/2 cup of mixture per load.

Recipe #2
1 Cup Soap Flakes
1/2 Cup Washing Soda
1/2 Cup Borax
2 Tablespoons Glycerin
2 Cups Water

Mix all three ingredients together. Add glycerin and water. Use 1/2 - 3/4 cup per load. Best when used with cold or warm water.

Recipe #3
1 Bar Soap - Any Brand, Grated (Fels or Zote works best)
5 Gallon Bucket
1 Cup Washing Soda
4 1/2 Gallons Water

Place grated soap in a small saucepan and cover with water. Heat on low until dissolved. Fill bucket with hot water, and add soap. Stir to combine. Add 1 cup washing soda and mix well. As it cools it will thicken. May be used immediately. Use 1-2 cups per load.

Powdered Laundry Soap

1 Cup Soap Flakes*
1/2 Cup Washing Soda

1/2 Cup Borax

For light load, use 1 Tbsp. For large or heavily-soiled loads, use 2 Tbsp.

* Zote soap is wonderful in these recipes. I found it in Wal-Mart's laundry products aisle in a section devoted to Hispanic products. It cleans as well as the Fels, better on some odors, I think...And the fragrance is nice.

* The liquid detergent can also be used as a pretreater for stains. I caution you that the Fels mixture if made with too much Fels can lighten the fabric if spot-treated. Been there, done that!

* Deodorant Soaps can be substituted for the bar soap. Some may work better than others. You can also use Zote soap -- works great and smells nice.


Fels Naptha is in the bar soap aisle or possibly the laundry products aisle at your regular supermarket. I have found it in my area at Meijer.

Arm & Hammer Washing Soda is in the laundry products aisle. It comes in a 55 ounce yellow box. This is not the same as baking soda. If you have trouble locating this product, you may want to ask your local store manager to order it for you. It may be helpful to provide the UPC number: 33200-03020.
Borax is usually sold under these brand names: 20 MULE TEAM or BORATEEM. It is also found in the laundry products aisle.
Ivory Snow used to make soap flakes, but I think that they have stopped making them. To make your own soap flakes just grate a bar of Ivory soap.