Tuesday, January 17, 2012

la-la-laundry day

It's everyone's favorite subject......LAUNDRY! 
Ok maybe not that exciting.....but here's a little something to make it more.....interesting. 

I have been seeing this "recipe" for homemade laundry detergent all over the www, and I finally decided to give it a try. 

You see, the girl has THE fairest, most sensitive skin in all the land. 
I finally found a laundry soap that I love and doesn't irritate her skin-as-white-as-snow.....but it's not cheap. 

Someone did the calculations on this homemade stuff (not I), and found it to come out to 1¢ per load! 
If you're adding essential oils, it may come out to a tad bit more.....but you still can't beat that. 

I have also talked to friends who have kiddos with sensitive skin, and they didn't have any problems with this, so one more reason to give it a try. The Fels Naptha soap does have a bit of a fragrance, so I decided to go with a small batch to test it out and see how her skin does, and we will go from there. 
I'm trying to find a good balance between delicate for her, but strong enough for stinky sweaty armpit smells (ahem, my own). 

For the big batch of detergent, check out abi's blog.

3tsp Fels-Naptha soap (grated). You can find this in the detergent section of a grocery store. 
It acts as a stain remover.
4tsp Borax. Found in the detergent section of most stores. 
Borax disinfects and neutralizes odors (like those from your stinky armpits)
4tsp Washing Soda.  Found in the detergent section of grocery stores. 
This fights stains and grease.
few drops of essential oil of your choice (optional) I used lavender.
empty container.

-Add grated soap and 3/4 cup water in a saucepan on low heat, and cook until soap is dissolved.
-Add borax and washing soda, and continue to cook and stir until dissolved, and mixture is thicker.
-Pour into an empty container (if you are making the big batch I would use empty detergent jugs if you have them). I used a jar since I just made a little bit.
Add 5 cups of cold water, and a few drops of essential oil.
Give it a good shake, let it sit overnight, and shake it again in the morning and you are good to go!
Use 1/2cup per load.
laundry1 copylaundry2 copylaundry3 copylaundry4 copylaundry5 copy
Have you made your own detergent? What's your recipe? 
I will report back on how the little girl does, and let you know if I make a different version for her.

Happy Laundering!


Tara said...

My mom has been trying to convince me to make my laundry detergent for quite some time and I swear it's that same recipe. I told her I was pretty partial to my Tide, but the cheap thing did sound pretty appealing. Definitely let me know how it does on the stinky sweaty armpit thing!

Darcee said...

I'll have to try this.

When I was in high school, I had annoying acne (didn't we all??). A friend of my aunt told me to use fels-naptha on my face. It did miracles!! I have super sensitive skin, especially on my face.

teamcowan said...

I've made the big batch and have been using it for about a year or so. I love it. I have it in a big bucket with a gamma lid. Whenever I need more I measure it into an empty detergent jug. It lasts forever! I've hardly made a dent in my bucket. The one thing I've noticed about it is that it doesn't get whites very bright. So I usually use a regular detergent on my white loads (my husband is a seminary teacher - gotta keep those shirts white!). Oh, and I didn't add any essential oil. I love the smell of fels-naptha bar. ;) Good luck!

Elisabeth Stone said...

Love this! I can't wait to try it. We've been using 7th Generation forever but we have been wanting to toy with homemade detergent. Hope you don't mind if I share this link on my Sunday Surf this coming weekend :)

Anna said...

I make a powdered version using Dr Bronner's soap instead of fels naptha (I've never seen fels naptha and have no idea what the ingredients are, but I love Dr Bronners). I also use the washing soda or borax for scrubbing sinks etc.

Katie Baba Nielson said...

io am totes gonna make some! i never heard of homemade laundry detergent before!

Meg said...

I made my own laundry soap but in the powder form and using Dr. Bronner's soap. I like it, but I am dissapointed that it doesn't really whiten my whites, even if I add extra scoups. Any suggestions?

HayleySF said...

Wow - homemade detergent. That's crazy it comes out to only 1 cent per load. I will have to give this a shot - mainly to save money. My skin-although-white-as-snow is not sensitive at all!

Tanae Nelson said...

Thanks for the post Sheena. Laundry has always been one of those things I have tried to master. How to get out stains and how come my whites always look dingy. In September I made the huge 5 gallon version of this soap as well. My girls and I have super sensitive skin so I was hoping this would help plus save a little money. At first I was not convinced that it was working very well and I did not feel that my laundry was very clean mostly with whites, the colored laundry I didn't notice as much. I live in an area with super hard water and we don't own a water softener so with our White laundry I put in a scoop of either baking soda or oxyclean in the wash cycle and in the rinse cycle I dump in some vinegar. (I just pour some in the top where the softener products go, I don't really wait around for the rinse cycle). Since adding those little things our whites look great.
As a side note, I have also been using a similar powered version for our dishwasher as well. It does clump up though so I've added rice to it to make it not stick together, but I should just try making the liquid form as well.

Nicole Jessop said...

Here is the link to the laundry soap I just made this weekend. I was pretty skeptical that it wouldn't make my clothes feel as clean but I love it. And it was so much cheaper than store bought. The girl in the blog says hers lasted 9 months. I'll have to wait and see! http://beingcreativetokeepmysanity.blogspot.com/2010/11/homemade-laundry-soap.html#comments

Amanda Mae said...

we use the same-exact-recipe! ... except we don't heat it up. Just use it as a dry powder. love it!

Keri said...

I had been making mine for a while. My recipe was very similar, if not the same. After about 6 months or so (maybe more) our clothes started to stink after washing them, and I noticed my whites were horribly dingy. I don't know if our hard water played into it or not, but I ended up going back to store-bought detergent.

one of these days were gonna set this cirus down. said...

I actually just did a laundry post on our blog today- www.hankandwhit.blogspot.com! I love our homemade soap!

Caroline said...

I made a huge batch (and am still using it now), however, my sweet husband longs for the vibrant aroma of store-bought detergents. I'm thinking if I add more essential oil it'll smell better/stronger? Any thoughts?

SHARM said...

I have seen many version but not the liquid I would love to see how this works... and thank yo very much for posting this...

Lula. said...

Seriously LOVE fels-naptha... its such a miracle by itself! So I can't imagine it in a detergent! Can't wait to try it.

Lula. said...

ps. Love the new design!

Claire said...

Sheena, YES! It's like you read my mind. I've been trying to think of ways to save money on household products and (surprisingly) hadn't even thought about laundry detergent. Love it.

I also love your new design. So fresh and clean looking. It's a keeper for sure :)

Stefanie said...

I have been doing a version of this recipe for almost 3 years and love it! I do it powdered... 2 bars grated fels-naptha with a full box of both borax and washing soda. I keep it in an empty cat litter container (easy to mix it that way too!). I have an HE front loader and pretty hard water, so I use 3-4 tbsp per load and vinegar in the fabric softener dispenser. It is a soap though, not a detergent, so after using it awhile I noticed my towels weren't absorbing as well so now I wash those in regular (store-bought) detergent but everything else with the homemade stuff.

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