Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Homemade Laundry Soap!!


Sick of buying laundry soap?? Me too. This stuff is awesome because it is way stronger then the store bought laundry soap. You only have to use 1 Tablespoon per load. This recipe makes a huge cookie jar full of soap and is going to last a life time, well maybe not quit that long. I originally made mine in July and I still have a ton and I do at least 8 loads of laundry ever week. So I am thinking it will last me almost a year. 1 year of laundry soap for less than $20, have I got you sold yet? I love not having to buy laundry soap all the time anymore. This laundry soap also works just fine in  HE washers. Update: **I just ran out of laundry soap and it is March. So July to March that's 9 months of laundry soap for $20 bucks. I am pretty happy about that.**


Here is what you need:
1 4 lb 12 oz box Borax (2.15 kg or 76 oz) found in the detergent isle

1 4 lb box Arm & Hammer Baking Soda (1.81 kg) found in the cooking isle

1  box Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda 55 oz (3 lb 7 oz) found in the detergent isle

3 bars of Fels-Naptha soap, found in the detergent isle (if you use Zote bars use 2 bars instead, Zote can be found at Home Depot)

2 small containers of Oxy Clean or store brand Oxy Clean (try to get about 3.5 lbs total (1.58 kg)) found in the detergent isle.
(this is optional, I added it into mine because I have pretty messy kids and the cleaner the better)

You should be able to find all of these items at your grocery store.

**Use 1-2 Tablespoons per load. I know that does not seem like enough but this recipe does not have fillers like the store bought detergent so you only need 1-2 Tablespoons.**

This detergent is fairly mild smelling, it is not over powering. If you love a strong scent you may have to add a fabric softener or laundry crystals to each load. You can find laundry crystals in the detergent isle.

Start out by grating your Fels-Naptha soap just like cheese. You can use a food processor or just use your hand held grater, what ever you have. Those of you with an HE washer may want to run the mix through the grater again to get an even finer mix.
**Don't worry the Fels-Naptha will dissolve in your washer even if you only use cold water like me.**

Toss all ingredients in a 5 gallon bucket lined with a garbage bag. This part makes your whole house smell great. Once everything is mixed store soap however you like. The recipe makes
about 2 gallons worth of detergent. Walmart has large glass jars in the kitchen department.
I used a jar that my sister gave me a few years ago from a little home good store. Then used my Cricut to cut out the word Laundry to put on the front of the jar. I keep it above my washing machine, I also got a little scoop that is about 1 tablespoon to keep inside. Wasn't that easy? Sure was! Enjoy your soap.



 **If you are going to copy my recipe and blog about it please add a link back to my blog. Give credit where credit is due. It would be very appreciated. Thanks:)**



**Update** I have had a lot of repeat questions so I though I would answer a few here.

-This detergent is safe for HE washers. Just make sure to great your bar soap very fine.
  The detergent should be added to the barrel instead of the dispenser.
-This detergent is safe to use on sensitive skin.
-It does not have a strong scent, you can add laundry crystals to the batch to add fragrance.
-Some of my followers have used other bar soap instead of Zote or Fels-Naptha. I have personally not tried it but from the feed back I get it sounds like any bar will work.
-Use 1-2 Tablespoons per load.
-Walmart has nice big glass jars in the kitchen department!
-This is not safe for cloth diapers because it contains baking soda which affects how the diaper is able to soak up liquid. Or so I have been told. You may want to do your own research on this.
-I am not sure if this detergent is safe for a septic tank or not. I have had plenty of comments from people who have septic tanks and they say that this detergent works just fine.
- I used my Cricut to cut out the vinyl letters for the jar. I used the Story Book font.

Linked to:

Disclaimer:  Please use at your own risk.



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446 comments:

  1. Homefire- I am pretty sure that the baking soda is for hard water users. I have a dishwasher detergent recipe that calls for baking soda and it is for people who have hard water. I personally use hard water and I love this laundry soap recipe!

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  2. TaraS- I have never tried putting oil into my batch. Some of the other commentors have tried it. I am not sure how much they are using though. Sorry.

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  3. Using this recipe how much to you add to each load of laundry?

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  4. I'd like to know where the vinyl on the jar came from? Did you do it? What font did you use?

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    1. I am wondering this also. I love the jar too and wonder where that is from.

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    2. Jodi and Pam, you can always pick up your vinyl from Stampin' Up! at www.stampinup.com.

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  5. Thanks for sharing the recipe for a powdered washing soap...can not wait to make a batch and start using it!Got my jar picked out and ready to be filled - YOU ROCK!

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  6. I agree how much do you use for one load?

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  7. Been using this for a few weeks now. My clothes never smelled so fresh!!!

    I'm always nervous that the powder might leave white spots (I've always used liquid detergent), so I fill the washer with water and pour in my scoop of detergent while it's filling. Then I let it agitate for a a minute. I think it helps dissolve everything. And THEN I load my clothes. Works great. I made some for my mom too and I think my sister is going to try a batch.

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  8. Although my recipe is slightly different (mine is a liquid/gel), I usually use Ivory soap (it is easier for me to find than Fels Naptha and I prefer the scent.). I may just have to try this one, too. Seems much easier than dissolving the soap & other ingredients. How much do you use per load?

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  9. This recipe is fabluous - my clothes are cleaner, no more smells, no stains left behind and so much more affordable! (I added the crystals softener beads - one container.)

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  10. Someone asked but didn't get an answer... because of the baking soda, is it ok to use white vinegar as a fabric softener with it? If so, how much vinegar do you use?

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  11. This works great! After shredding the soap I whirled it around my food processor to make the soap finer for mixing with other ingredients. Thanks for sharing; so much easier to mix than the liquid recipe.

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  12. Hi I live in Canada and I doubt I can find the fels-napa soup, but could I substitute it for a bar laundry soap called Sunlight? It's ideal for treating stains. And I do not have hard water so it's okay to use baking soda? I have quite a few of the ingredients and just need a few things!

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  13. I have been using this recipe for a couple months now and I am fully satisfied. Even noticed that some of my dingy dish rags looked a little fresher. With three kids in sports, we do a lot of laundry so I am not sure it will last me nine months, but it will last me longer that the store bought and works better! Made the liquid homemade soap a few years ago and it was such a hassle trying to melt the soap etc...this is so easy. I had it made in just a few minutes. For another storage option, I took a plastic plant container, covered the holes onthe bottom with the lid of a sour cream container and used the bottom saucer of the planter for a lid. Looks great in my laundry room. Also useing a coffee scoop (approx 1.5tbl) for measuring it out. All in all, very happy.

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  14. I just started using this. My dark clothes are looking very faded. Maybe that is because I'm using too much? I couldn't find a suggested use amount within the directions. I'm supper excited to use this! Thanks for the recipe!

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  15. I add tea tree oil to my homemade detergent. It is an all natural anti-bacterial and anti-microbial so it will naturally disinfect you clothes. But the best thing is, it leaves the clothes smelling amazing. Just the right amount of freshness. I will never do laundry without it. I do about 20 drops to a 5 gallon bucket of detergent.

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  17. I just finished making a batch of this and am so excited about using it. I immediately put a load of towels in the wash. Thanks for sharing your recipe!!!

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  18. Do you use the entire boxes of washing soda, baking soda and borax?

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  19. I made the laundry soap yesterday (Fels-Naptha, Borax, Washing Soda, Oxy Clean, Baking Soda). I had a TERRIBLE allergic reaction - huge hives ALL over my body. I had to take an oral Benadryl and an oral Zyrtec plus use cream to get them to stop. Fortunately I did not have swallowing or breathing difficulties. I'm not sure which ingredient was the culprit, but I suspect the Fels-Naptha, Washing Soda or Borax. I'm bummed as I was really looking forward to using this stuff. I don't want to dissuade people from trying this; I just want to warn people who might have severe allergies. Good luck!

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    1. I put the Fels-Naptha in the micro for 30 seconds, it was just enough to soften it up so that I could cut it into cubes. After that I put it in the food processor, no grating for me thank you.

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  20. I made this today and am using it now and am very happy with it! I also put it in a rubbermaid container and used the scoop that came with the oxyclean. I wish I had read about putting crystals in earlier, I will have to do that. I am very pleased with how easy and cost effective this is. The most annoying and time consuming part is grating the soap - which isn't that bad! Thank you very much! I will always be using this recipe!

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  21. Does anyone know if microwaving would work for other bars of soap besides Ivory? I just moved into my own place and I'm not trying to buy a grater right now, and I don't have a food processor. Just curious.

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    1. I think it works for any bar, but I am not positive. I have heard that you can buy Fels Naptha already shredded at the store. Good luck!

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    2. IVORY is the only ONLY bar you can microwave because it's whipped when it's made so it already has air in it. It's safe to microwave, the other bars may spark or who knows what...don't risk your microwave, just buy a shredder or IVORY. :)

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  22. By far the BEST laundry soap I have ever used. I also use the Purex Crystals. I love how this smells. It only took me around 20 minutes to put together but has shaved me so much time. I don't have to run to the store every month to by detergent! I have been using my first batch for about 4 months and am only around half way through and I do A LOT of laundry. I will never go back to store bought detergent.

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  23. I love this laundry soap! Thank you

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  24. i was told this might affect my septic system, since we are "supposed to use liquid detergents" (washing machine, dishwasher, etc.) ... any idea how this recipe does with the septic?

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  25. I made it last week and used one large bar of fancy French soap with a delicate rose fragrance and 1/2 Fels Naptha and 1/2 Kirk's Castile soap (that's all I had)...I HAND-GRATED and thought my arm would drop off (I didn't have a processor), and I LOVE it...my clothes smell so clean and look great. I just use a fabric softener sheet in the dryer, although I have used vinegar as the softener in the final rise, too. I have a HE washer...thanks for this post; I have made up other DIY soaps in the past and none are as good as this!

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  26. I don't know if other people are having a hard time finding the Arm & Hammer Super Wash-- I live in Phoenix AZ and couldn't find it at Wal-Mart (where I got the rest of the ingredients) or CVS or Walgreens-- FINALLY I found it at Ace Hardware. So, if anyone is having trouble finding it in Phoenix, Ace Hardware sells it!

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  27. ok Ladies I just made this today and have done a dark load and a white load and I have to say this ROCKS!!!! followed directions and no problems I have a HE front loader and the soap was gone no left overs my clothes smell fresh and are clean I used one scoop of mix that came with the oxy clean and that is about two Tbs..love this and just wanted to say Thank You and you ROCK!!!

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  28. i was told this might affect my septic system, since we are "supposed to use liquid detergents" (washing machine, dishwasher, etc.) ... any idea how this recipe does with the septic? I was also wondering how this would be with the septic?

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  29. I have really wanted to try a homemade detergent to help save on money, but I have extremely sensitive skin. I have to use all the 'free and clear' stuff. We recently moved, and they do not have the 'free and clear' in a powder (only liquid and my dog chewed up our liquid dispenser for our HE washing machine. Dogs...) I see where some people have substituted Ivory soap for the laundry soap bar. Do you know if Dove would work? This would help with my allergies. Thank you!!

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    1. I have not tried Dove but I bet it would work. Let me know if it works out for you. Thanks

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  30. I have been washing all week with this..its great thanks

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  31. I am in LOVE! I used my food processor with the steel blade to pulverize the Fels Naptha. I have a HE washer so I wanted to make sure I could put the soap in my dispenser and have it desolve. I excluded the baking soda as we have a water softner. My clothes are clean and smell great too! Thank you, thank you, thank you! Next I will try the dish washer detergent as soon as my stash is used.

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  32. I was wondering if you have a septic tank or know of anybody's experience with this soap and a septic. I've heard you shouldn't use powdered soap but I really want to try this!

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  33. Holy macral this is genius!!! Thank you for sharing!

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  34. How many Zote bars should I use since they are 14.1 oz each?

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    1. It seams like last time I used Zote I used 2 Bars since they are bigger.

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  35. I made this and added half a bottle of coconut lemongrass washer whiffs from Scentsy. It all smells AMAZING! Even my 18 yr old son loves it & just storing it in my laundry room makes the room smell great! U can find washer whiffs & dryer disks(for softening) on my website www.skyescents.com.

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  36. I have had this pinned for a while. And I finally made my own batch and I LOVE it! I could not be more pleased. I just wrote a blog post all about it. . of course linking back and giving credit to you. Thanks so much. I cannot wait to try out other homemade cleaners. Here is my post: http://theintentionalhome.blogspot.com/2012/03/homemade-laundry-detergent.html

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  37. i made mine today, i found soap flakes and also bought the Nellie's brand of 'oxygen brightner' it smells fantastic! thank you for the recipe!

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  38. I just made this a couple days ago... done a few loads so far and everything seems to look and smell clean. My daughter (15 mo.) doesn't seem to have any allergies from it. Posted how excited I was and several of my friends have already made this (I posted the link back to your blog so they could see some of the other cool things you had)... and it's so much easier that the ones where you have to cook it. Next I have to make the dishwasher detergent. So pumped to do a years worth of laundry for under $20!

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  39. I used Lever 2000 with aloe instead of the fels-naptha and clothes smell amazing. disolves better to

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  40. oh noooo. I made this for the first time tonight then realized I forgot the regular A&H baking soda. :( Reading the comments it almost seems like it's for those with hard water. Will it not work if I leave it out, or should I go buy some and remix it?

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    1. Truly I don't know the answer to this, I think I would add it still. However if you are happy with the way it works now then you could skip it.

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  41. I am making this tomorrow...I was at Walmart and had a big glass container in my cart when I realized it had a crack in it...I was so bummed. I plan to keep my eye out for it.

    Do you know if this recipe affects septic systems at all? I purchased all my ingredients and then a friend said you shouldn't use powdered detergent in septic systems, though things I've been reading seem 50/50 in opinions..just wondered if you had heard anything.

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    1. You can go here and watch how to make it in the liquid form!

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=66puEYarq4o

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    2. I haven't heard one way or the other. But, I found a great idea (on the web somewhere...) to keep a jar with it's lid in the laundry room, and just mix the scoop of your detergent with hot water until it dissolves, and then add it to your machine. Maybe that would work!?

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  42. I'm so excited about this amazing find. I have a budget of $15/mo for laundry soap,so these savings really excite me. I can't wait to get me ingredients and get started! Thanks

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  43. I did some math after making this detergent. Depending on whether you are using 1 or 2 tablespoons, this recipe will wash 195-390 loads! The ingredients cost me just over $19 so that works out to 5-10 cents per load! You can't beat that bargain.

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  44. I found you on Pinterst. I just made a batch of this soap tonight and actually thought, "I can't wait to do a load of laundry tomorrow morning!" Thanks for the recipe.

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  45. So love this soap. I love that I don't have to cook it. I think it works beter than HE soaps. I wish we could make a batch and have it last as long as yours did. Ours only lasted 4 months but we are a family of 7 with kids that do swimming, football, basketball and such so we are always washing. Thanks for posting this. Getting ready to make batch number 2. I think it smells fine. We use dryer sheets so I don't think I need a super smelly soap. Thanks again.

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  46. I made this last night. I am IMPRESSED!!! It is a fantastic detergent!!! Cleans better than the Era I was buying by the gallons. The only 2 things I did differently was 1. I had to buy 1 big container of oxyclean verses 2 smaller generic because the shelves were about empty. And, 2. I put the fels-nap soap in the microwave as someone mentioned doing with the ivory soap. 2 minutes in the microwave and it was a huge yellow marshmellow looking monster. That once it cooled exploded into powder in my food processor. I washed a load before work and I am beyond impressed. I to am using the scooper from the oxyclean but only filling it halfway as that looks to be about 2 tbsps. Thank you so much for sharing this. We are so straspped right now and not having to pay 20 plus dollars a week on laundry supplies will be a big help :)

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  47. Has anyone used this with cloth diapers??

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    1. This recipe has baking soda which I have hear is bad for cloth diapers:(

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  48. How big is the jar? Like a gallon? Thanks!

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    1. I think mine is a little bigger than a gallon. The recipe makes more than a gallon worth of detergent. I would go with a 2 gallon container if you can find one.

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  49. If using zote, how much do you use? The fels naptha bars come in 5.5 oz packages. the Pink Zote comes in 14 oz pkgs. I would assume using one pink zote bar would suffice but assuming doesnt always work. Also I saw someone on here yelling about how bad it is for cloth diapers... has anyone else had issues with this? Thank you.

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    1. The recipe is pretty forgiving. I used 2 bars of Zote but you can use 1 if you like.

      I personally have not used this on cloth diapers but do hear bad things about using because of the baking soda.

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  50. I shred my Ivory soap bars in the food processor. Then I process batches of soap, Borax, Baking Soda and Washing soda together. This processes the soap flakes a bit more. I have an HE washer and just put the soap in the dispenser. No problem. Been doing this for over a year and have clean clothes & machine.

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  51. About the baking soda on cloth diapers, I used a cup of both baking soda and white vinegar in each load the whole time and was quite happy with the results! I used baking soda and white vinegar in every load of diapers for the whole time. I was very happy with the results and I would also use borax quite often. That is why I recognized that this laundry detergent recipe would work so well. I think this combo and proportion makes it more economical too. I used to use a cup of each, baking soda and vinegar and a 1/3 cup of borax. Now I get the right mixture and get the same results with products that are tried and true, that I recognize and have 'personally' tested for years.

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  52. I have three questions...First, how long do you put the bars of soap in the microwave for? Second, are there any advantages to doing this rather than grating the soap? Third, with either method do the ingredients seperate and need to be re-mixed?

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    1. I have a confession, I have never used the microwave to melt soap for detergent, I always grate it. I guess that microwaving it helps soften the bar so that it crumbles and you do not have to grate it. Sorry I am not much help on this. I guess I need to give it a try on next batch that I make.

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  53. I have seen the question "how does this affect your septic tank" with no answers. How many of the posters have a septic tank and have used this recipe for a long period of time (not for a couple of months) without any septic tank trouble. Or even better is there a poster that has a septic tank service that could answer the question "how it effects your septic tank"?
    I WOULD LOVE TO TRY THIS RECIPE BUT NEED TO KNOW...... Thanks

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    1. As far as I know it is safe for septic tanks, I would just make sure to process your ingredients very fine so that everything dissolves with out any problems.

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  54. This is awesome!! Such a money saver! I added some of Scentsy's Washer Whiffs to the recipe just because I like a little something extra as far as the scent goes! The Coconut Lemongrass is awesome!!! Here is a link for them: https://joshuamorris.scentsy.us/Scentsy/Buy/Category/875

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  55. Alright Ladies I needed to write my own confession because I believe this is just amazing.
    Brand New Washing Machine Front Loader and you can use dry detergant.
    I made my Laundry Soap in December. I do have a family of 6 all girls but my husband so you know we go through some serious laundry. I would say with a normal week (without playing outside or camping) We (meaning I) do between 10-15 Loads of Laundry at least 2 loads a day usually more. I just ran out yesterday. So almost 5 months and it smelled so good and got my clothes so clean I will never go back to the store again except to buy the items to make this Laundry Soap. Thanks for the Share you have saved my allot of money.

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  56. I made this last year and I'm finally using it up and making another batch today. LOVE IT! thank you!

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  57. How does this work with delicates?

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    1. This recipe is not harsh on clothes so I think it would be just fine for delicates.

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  58. Hi... I bought the stuff today! Can't wait to try it!!! Question: you said 1-2 tablespoon... Is it any size load?

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    1. I usually use 2 Tablespoons in a large load and 1 in a small load.

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  59. okay, so this is day 3 of using this..ive done everything i right..i think...my clothes smell like..nothing...and my daughter has a serious bed wetting problem, all of her sheets and jammies still reek like pee..im having to rewash everything, it stinks so bad...and the soap shaving leave residue all over everything..what could i poss be doing wrong..?

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    1. Maybe you need to grate your soap shavings finer. I never have any problems with mine dissolving, but I do not have a HE washer which helps them dissolve because it uses more water in each load. Do you have an HE? If so try running your mix through a food possessor to make your mixture more fine. As far as scent this recipe is not very strong, I find that my clothes smell fresh but not over powering. If you are looking for a stronger scent try adding Purex crystals or Washer Whiffs from Scentsy. I think you laundry still stunk because the detergent did not dissolve and clean the clothes.
      I hope this helps.

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  60. According to their respective websites, all the ingredients are safe for septic tanks. So far it works great.

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  61. You can order Scentsy "Layers Washer Whiffs" to each load to make your clothes smell WONDERFUL! Order at https;//debbiev.scentsy.us I just made this laundry soap and LOVE IT! Thanks for sharing!

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  62. I was recently at the store looking at these ingredients. I wonder -- the A&H super washing soda, isn't that just borax and baking soda added together? The washing soda says it brightens clothes, softens water and that's what the borax and baking soda are supposed to do? And the washing soda has washing capabilities, isn't that what the fels naptha does?
    I am just seeing a potential for duplication and extra expense if I am reading the descriptions on the boxes correctly. Could an effective laundry soap be made from fels naptha (to clean), borax (to brighten and cleaning booster), and baking soda (to soften the water which makes the cleaning go better)?

    Thank you --
    Ann

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    1. All I know is that the combination works because I have really clean clothes!!

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  63. Thank you so much for this! My Mother In Law found his recipe first on Pinterest AND LOVED IT! She gave me a little of hers to try. My husband is a construction feild supervisor and farmer and comes home filthy and this has no problems with any of it.(Some stains I do pretreat if they look really serious). As the Mom of 2 teen age daughters as well, I do a lot of laundry. I figure this will save me almost $400 a year! Thank you so very much!!!!

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  64. I love this and I plan on making it and giving as gifts to my mom and m.i.l. along with other homemade goodies for mothers day. I also share this post and the recipe with credit to your blog! Thank you!!

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  65. My first load made with my new soap in washing now. I don't think I ma going to have an issue with front loader, as all of the boxes of ingredients say they are safe to use in a HE machine. I found everything at walmart. I think next time instead of the felsnaptha, I will try some of the other suggestions. I also purchased purex crystals for the washing machine. I purchased everything for around 20.00. I really hope it lasts a long time!

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  66. -This is not safe for cloth diapers because it contains baking soda which affects how the diaper is able to soak up liquid.

    **Would it be okay for towels in this sense? or would it prevent the towels from soaking up liquid as well?

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    1. You make a good point... However I have never had any problems with my towels.

      I don't know if it is the kind of material used in diapers that it affects. I have no experience with cloth diapers what so ever, I have only been told by other commenters that baking soda is bad for cloth diapers.

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  67. instead of grating the soap put in microwave for 60-90 seconds. It looks like a puffy marshmallow but apparently is breaks into fine pieces...should help cut down on some time.

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  68. I've been using this for months now. Raved about it to friends. Have EVERYONE I know asking for the recipe - families, women, men, EVERYONE!. Thank you so much for sharing this!

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  69. Hey ladies! While at the grocery store, I wanted to see if they had all of the ingredients for this laundry detergent (which they do). One thing that worried me about this recipe - is it safe for septic tanks? Yes it is! On the back of the Borax box, it says that it is safe for all HE machines and septic tanks. I can't wait to try this recipe.

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  70. I saw a friend's jar of homemade soap on her washing machine and HAD to have the recipe. I now have all the ingredients and am about to make it today. I have the same question as another earlier comment ... I already had a big box of Oxiclean from a wholesale club and am not sure the conversion size. In the post, it says to get about 3.5 pounds and in a previous comment it says to get about 2 pounds. Just want to verify since I don't have a small Oxiclean container to compare to.

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  71. I have been using this for about a month now... I love it!!! My kids clothes are clean and fresh. Since the ingredients list on the Fels Naptha was so vague. I used Dr. Bonners Castile Soap, in Almond. It sure smells yummy. I have given it to all of the moms in my playgroup and they are just as excited at I am about. Thank you for sharing

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  72. I made this today and my house smells great! However, I tried the half bar of soap in the microwave tip someone gave in a comment and it only melted my soap. I continued and made the detergent (minus the microwave) I threw in a small load of laundry and some of the armpits of my husbands undershirts still smelled. Would half bar of soap make that much difference? Should I go buy another bar and add it in?

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  73. I used my Ninja to grate the soap. I sprinkled some of the baking soda into the mix so it wouldn't get too sticky. I put half a bar in at a time, and got a nice fine grade powder. Easier to mix!

    Thank you for helping me be frugal!

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  74. Would it be okay to put 2 bottles of purex fabric softener crystals in the mix? I know it was said you can do one but i love lots of smell so i was curious? Thanks!

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  75. Just a note for you if somebody hasn't already said it...the reason its not cloth diaper safe is because of the bar of soap. Baking soda is great for cloth diapers (absorbs the stinkiness...) Its the bar of soap that affects absorption.

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  76. This rules! Spent about 5 bucks for laundry soap over the past 3 months. If you do some math and have a kitchen scale you can make 1/3 batch that fits in an ice cream bucket- muck more manageable. Loving this!

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  77. I am just getting ready to make my second batch of this soap. I had to use 7th generation for a bit because we moved, and I CANNOT WAIT to have this soap back. It's amazing. I use a little extra Oxyclean or white vinegar if I need it - the vinegar works great on whites! Thanks so much for this. It's been my best find on Pinterest to date. I'm about to make the switch to your homemade dishwasher soap, too! :)

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  78. This is so wonderful!!! My friend and I made it and we love it!!!!!

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  79. I love this recipe! I was having trouble with my washer smelling bad, but as soon as I started using this stuff, the smell was gone!! I have since gotten a new washer, but I'm still using this detergent. I love it so much I had to blog about it (http://simplelivingbasics.blogspot.com/2012/05/clean-up-that-mess.html)...... and of course I provided a link to your blog. :-) Thanks for putting this recipe out there.

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  80. All the ingredients are Septic safe

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  81. Loved the idea of putting the soap (Zote) in the microwave and watching it morph into an abstract glob was neat, but one word of warning - do not use the microwave at 100% power on Zote soap. It will burn, and had I not been carefully watching it as it changed into this funky glob, no doubt it could have caught fire - I stopped it when I saw smoke! Nevertheless, the microwaving it is SO much easier than grating!

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  82. I saw your copyright disclaimer and was wondering where you got your recipe from? I've been using this recipe that I got from youtube over 2 years ago if not 3. I agree, we should give credit where credit is due.

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    Replies
    1. You are right I should give credit where credit is due.... I would like to say thank you to my dear sweet Mother for giving me her homemade laundry soap recipe that she came across from who knows where. Somewhere long before Pinterest and blogging even existed.

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  83. I made your recipe and so far so good, but I have had to add Calgon for more water softening for our hard water. My question to you is this: I'd like to try the liquid form of this recipe, but I'm not ready to committ to an entire recipe of it. How can I dilute one load's worth of the powder to see if I like the liquid form better?

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    Replies
    1. I have never turned this recipe into liquid before. In order to turn powdered into liquid I believe you have to boil the soap. If you want to turn 1 batch into liquid I would suggest following a tutorial and only using 1 batch worth of powdered soap.

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  84. Hi! I loved this recipe so much after making it and trying it myself. I shared it on my own website!

    http://sugardotsbyd.blogspot.com/2012/05/homemade-laundry-soap-soap-jar.html

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  85. Love this recipe! It was super easy & cheap to make :) I even wanted to spread the love in my blog about it:
    http://crunchyhotmama.com/2012/03/21/make-it-yourself-laundry-soap-toothpaste/

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  86. I just made my second batch of this soap, the first lasted 8 months! I used Zote soap and .99 store oxy clean (only 1 container though) and it cleans like a dream! My kids are 5 1/2 and 1 1/2, both get NASTY dirty while eating and this soap works amazing. If the kids clothes are stained I will add spray and wash or a colorox color booster (tablet), I have never really had trouble with anything coming out except set in stains.

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  87. I am a housekeeper and I wash tons of loads of laundry each week for my clients; thank you for sharing this so I can finally start saving some money.

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  88. LOVE LOVE LOVE the soap! And everyone i shared my first batch with has wonderful comments and have begun to make their own. Because i have used some of the same ingredients to make Dish washing Detergent, i don't have full boxes. Have you broken down your Laundry recipe to Cup Measurements? I would appreciate it if it is handy.
    I believe i have scanned through all your comments and missed it if it was there. Thanks Being Creative!

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  89. Grand total of $14.05! The only complaint, sneezing.

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  90. I just did your recipe minus the Oxiclean since it's just my husband and me. (I'm pretty messy so considered adding it later if I needed to.)

    Okay wow. I have washed a couple of big heavy cotton blankets with dried yellow cat puke on them. Came right out. I have washed a pair of gray yoga pants that had icky hems from dragging on the ground a bit ("stains" that have been there forever). Came right out. I am a convert for life. I might add the Purex for the smell, maybe, but for now I'm happy with it the way it is.

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  91. I just saw this and thought I would try it! I'm soooo excited. I also saw a comment you had for a homemade dish washer detergent. I am havin problems getting my dishes sparkly clean and they detergent doesn't always clean. Would you mind giving me that recipe?? My email is sage.hanks@gmail.com

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    Replies
    1. Here is the link for the dishwasher detergent. http://beingcreativetokeepmysanity.blogspot.com/2011/01/dishwasher-detergent.html.
      I would recommend using Lemi Shine for your rinse aid, it works wonders!!

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  92. Love this idea and would love to give it a whirl. But...I live in the desert and my laundry is in the garage. Any idea how this would hold up being stored in a crazy hot environment? I mean seriously hot.

    Thanks

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    Replies
    1. I bet it would be fine in hot conditions. The only thing that could melt would be the bar soap, just make sure to grate it really fine and I think you will have no problems!

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  93. Scentsy has a great product, Washer Wiffs, similar to Downy Unstoppables, with amazing scents! https://katiem2189.scentsy.us/Scentsy/Buy/Collection/883
    As well as corresponding Dryer Disks that are fabric softeners that are also anti-static! https://katiem2189.scentsy.us/Scentsy/Buy/Collection/884

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  94. If it helps, this is what I do. I didnt like the grated soap. Cut it into cubes, and microwave it for 90 seconds. It swells up like peeps. Let cool for about an hour. Then send it through the food processor. PERFECT! I dont use the oxygen booster, and it STILL gets the grey and white baseball pants CLEAN!

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  95. Making this today- a friend recommended it- says she uses it on cloth diapers- I personally wont be doing that. Excietd to try it out in our HE washer. Thanks 4 sharing- 'm going to blog about it an will refer ppl here. :) yay!
    Bobby Jo
    www.wheretheblacktopends.weebly.com

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  96. I ran out of this recipe soap last week and have been using my old store bought detergent. It doesn't even compare! I need to make a run to the store to restock. I won't let this happen again! ;)
    We are a family of 5 and it lasted from October last year to May of this year. Seven months for ~$20!

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  97. This is important to remember---

    DO NOT use fabric softener of any kind on clothing for kids. There is some kind of chemical in it that strips the flame retardant off of children and baby clothes. Many child and baby clothes, especially night wear, have a flame retardant to protect the child.

    Most tags say not to use fabric softener but don't explain the serious reason why.

    Also, I love this soap. I can use this batch for over a year in my house. We have only 3 people in the family, so it lasts forever!

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  98. I just made this and I love it. It cost me $18.90 for all the supplies and took about 10 minutes to make.

    I got pre grated Zote bars so that took a bit of time off the prep.

    I also used a study 5 gallon garbage can with a lid to store it in and have filled the Oxyclean container to put on top of my machine. This saves so much space. The garbage can fits perfectly between the washer and the wall.

    I've shared this page with everyone and will probably be doing this as a Christmas gift this year. Time to start saving jars!

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  99. I made this laundry soap last week and I doubt I will go back to store bought mix. I found all of the ingredients at WalMart. The only thing I did different was to add the Purex Crystals like someone else had suggested. One thing I will suggest is that if you decide to make this on a regular basis, get a second food processor to be used solely for the soap. I LOVE THE SMELL!!!

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  100. This sounds fantastic ! I'm going to make this as soon as we move into our new house. I'm glad to see that everyone, except ONE or TWO people, are having great success with it using their front loaders as that is what we are going to buy. Thanks for the post ! :o))))))

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  101. Curious about the septic system question,too....

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    Replies
    1. The feedback that I have received says that it's fine for septic:)

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  102. I was wondering if dove soap would work.

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    Replies
    1. I have heard not to use any bar soap that contains lotion. So not sure if the dove would be a good choice.

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  103. I made my first batch today and it worked really well on a top load HE washer. I washed a load of towels and they came out smelling fresh. Thank you so much for posting this. You have made a convert out of me! No more $18 bottles of detergent for me. :)

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  104. I LOVE this stuff! I made it about 4 months ago and still have about half of it left. I can't wait to use it on my cloth diapers after our baby is born!

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  105. Hi there everyone! I am making this tonight. So excited! My friend found you on pinterest and quickly spread the word. She has tried and loves it. I did notive that you said you saw some fading... doesn't all laundry degerent eventually fade clothing? Im curious if maybe you noticed it fast with this detergent than maybe the liquids or brand name soaps? Thanks for all the tips! Im going to add the downy unstopables to my soap. Cant wait! -Kylee

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    Replies
    1. I can't say I noticed fading any faster than normal with this detergent!

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  106. I have been using this recipe for 3 mo. I have 4 children under the age of 10 (3 boys, 1 girl). I'm consantly behind on laundry which means our dirty clothes sit for a week or more before being washed. Everything comes out fantasticly clean! I added the Purex laundry crystals to my 1st batch but will omit them in the future because they don't seem to add much fragrance to the dry laundry. I used the Zote soap instead of Fels Naptha. I used 2 empty ice cream buckets to store my batch and so far have only used up 1 bucket. I kept track of how many loads I got out of that bucket (essentially 1/2 the batch)... 139 loads in 81 days (I used 1/8 cup per large load). I also use Vinegar for the clothes that are really dirty/ smelly and bleach for whites. Just wanted to share my findings and I'm so glad I ran across this blog on Pinterest! Thanks for sharing!!!

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  107. I am allergic to all of the "oxy" products, so I made a recipe from a combination of other one's I've seen - and yours.
    Borax - 4 lbs.
    Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda - 3 lbs.
    Arm & Hammer Baking Soda - 2 lbs.
    Purex 2 ColorSafe Bleach - 29 oz.
    Bar Soap - 2 FelsNaptha & 1 Irish Spring
    Grate soaps VERY fine. Add all ingredients into 2 gallon bucket lined with new garbage bag. Twish top well to seal & mix ingredients by rocking back and forth. Use 1 - 2 T. per load.

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  108. Love this detergent! Instead of mixing mine all up in one container, I kept the ingredients separate in five small (1 cup size) tupperware containers. We then just put a 1/2 Tablespoon of each ingredient in each load of laundry. I thought this would prevent the hardening issue that she spoke of (which it does prevent it!) as well as ensuring an equal part of each ingredient is in each load. My husband complained that it was "too much work" at first - gasp - five tablespoons!! However, he now loves it. It is much cheaper than store-bought detergent, and it smells much better than store-bought detergent. The clothes - especially his work uniforms and our gym clothes - even seem cleaner! Also, we have a front load HE washer that would tend to smell like mildew, even with leaving the door open. It doesn't smell with this homemade detergent! We still leave the door open, tho. :-) I definitely recommend this!

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  109. I open and dry out my Fels Naptha before making another batch of this. It grates much finer in the food processor when dried out.
    We have had 3 different washing machine repair men tell us that this detergent is GOOD for an HE washer, and NOT to use liquid detergent, because the fats in it clog up the pumps. This is also much better for the sewer lines, as it dissolves completely and the fat content won't gum up the works.
    Our clothes are much cleaner, and stains no longer a problem since making and using this detergent. I use vinegar in my rinse, and we do clean our HE washer once a month with hot water and vinegar.
    At WalMart where I live, the baking soda in the detergent Aisle is a nickle cheaper than the exact same stuff in the cooking/baking Aisle. Go figure.

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  110. Can this be used on carpet? It's kind of late for me to be asking this :) but my dog got into some chocolate and threw it up on my white carpet. He decided to do this 15 minutes before I had to go to work so in a panic I threw some of this detergent on it and sprayed some carpet cleaner on it to make a paste. Good news was that the stain totally came out (yay!) bad news is, the place where I used the cleaner is quite a bit whiter than the rest of the carpet. I can't tell if the carpet is just that dingy (I just bought this house and think this is 20 year old carpet so there is a good chance it is). Do you think it would hurt to use this with the steam cleaner?

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    Replies
    1. I am glad to hear this detergent works well enough to use on carpet!! I would try and turn it into liquid if you are going to use it in a carpet cleaner, I am not totally sure how to do that. I guess it's time for me to learn since I have had plenty of requests to do so.
      Don't you just love spot cleaning! It let's you know how dirty the rest of your carpet is:(

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  111. I use a similar recipe and use Purex crystals with it. They work great!

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  112. I LOVE THE INGENUITY and insight on making this laundry soap. I especially enjoyed reading about the gal that replaced the Fels-Naptha soap with Ivory and how she got it to become powder. (HOW DID YOU EVER THINK OF THAT? LOLZ??) The image in my head about the 5lb. marshmallow will keep me laughing for days! Here is what she said, if interested. Smart gal! I substituted 3 bars of Ivory soap. which needs no grating. You simply put 1/2 bar on a piece of parchment paper in the microwave and nuke on high for about 2 minutes. It blows up like a 5 lb marshmallow, but let it cool for about 5 minutes and when you touch it lightly it turns into a flaky powder. It mixed perfectly with all the other powdered ingredients in the plastic bag in the Home Depot bucket ! I immediately made some of my sons clothes the guinea pig load, since they were really dirty and smelly. I used 1 tbsp, and upon removing them from the washer I noticed they were absolutely clean and fresh (NOT perfumey) smelling. When I took them out of the dryer my jaw dropped...I have never had clothes sooooo soft. Needless to say, I am a true believer, and you are WONDERFUL ! I can't wait for all my girlfriends to get off work so I can share..(I bet they love having you as a friend) thank you all! I will try it today :)

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  113. A question ... when you say Ivory Soap do you mean the white bar soap that you just get in the soap section -- the stuff that floats in water? I have a lot of it in food storage and don't care for it for bath use.

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  114. I've read about people mentioning liquid detergents, do you have a recipe for that as well?

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  115. I am making this on Sunday! Just wanted to say thank you and I did copy/paste it to my blog (myjourneyhome2you.blogspot.com) but also added your link to the post too...I hope that is sufficient. If there's any other way you would like it done please let me know! Thanks so much again! <3

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  116. I have been using this home made detergent for years and never had a problem with my HE machine. The one thing that did damage the mechanism on the door hinge was the vinegar. I was obviously pouring and spilling some and it was dripping down, causing components to rust. So be very careful with the vinegar rinse. I will start using a Downy ball for my vinegar rinse from now on.

    I think if you don't wash in hot water now and then or often enough your components will get gunked up like the lady who said her HE broke and it was aid it was the detergent. This can happen with any detergent. The good thing about using the vinegar rinse is it will keep components working smoothly.

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  117. I know you said you spend a lot of time answering repeat questions but I honestly did not see the answer to the following question, and I'm wondering the same thing. Thank you so much!

    Being Creative to Keep My Sanity September 15, 2011 8:51 AM
    Joan- You need 32 oz (2 lb.) of Oxyclean. You can use a name brand if you like, it works just as well. Let me know if you you need any other info.

    Replies

    shutterbug (Elaine) March 4, 2012 10:55 AM
    In the post you say try to get 3.5 lbs of Oxy Clean but in this comment you say 2 lbs. I'm getting ready to make this so can you let me know which it is as soon as you see this, please? Big difference there! Almost twice as much in the original post. Lol :)

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    Replies
    1. This detergent is so forgiving, honestly I make it a little bit different every time. My last batch I used a large container that I am guessing was about 3 lbs.

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  118. Is this safe for baby clothes?

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  119. Whew! I just read through ALL the comments. I think that took longer than it will making your detergent. I have copied and pasted many of the helpful ideas along the way. I also Googled to compare Zote vs Fels Naptha, but thought why couldn't I use half and half and get the best of both worlds? Does it have to be either or?

    Also, found another great idea (out there somewhere). Keep a jar with a lid in your laundry room and mix your detergent with some hot water until it dissolves before you add it to your washer. I loved that idea, 'cuz I DO love my liquid laundry detergent. But reading all the comments on the liquid homemade detergent and all the problems people were having making it made me search elsewhere. AND here I am!

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for your recipe, and your graciousness you give to all us comment-ors!

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  120. Thanks for the recipe. I am a detergent snob so I have been using Gain for quite a while. I used your recipe today and I am so excited! I am still going to use the gain fabric softener and my bounce sheets, but will still save a fortune on detergent! Thanks again!

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  121. is fels naptha safe and chemical free??

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    Replies
    1. I am comfortable using it in my detergent. You may need to do some research so that you are comfortble before you use it on your clothes.

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  122. I really need to know if anyone has found if this recipe is safe for septics??

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  123. Was there a printer=friendly view of this recipe anywhere?

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    Replies
    1. There is not. That is an awesome idea though, I may have to make one.

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  124. I love this recipe, I don't use the Oxiclean. I wash my clothes on cold too, but once in a while I do a small load of rags on hot with some vinegar/ or bleach depending on the load just to clean out the washer and make sure there is no scum buildup for those worried about buildup.

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  125. Mine has lasted from March to July--so not quite as long. I use the scoop from the oxyclean as well. Too much?? Also--my HE washer has the ability to remove the liquid dispenser dish so you can put in powder. Has worked like a charm. Best part is the first month when you still have that amazing smell coming from the laundry room.

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  126. I was wondering if the detergent is both safe for colors and whites?

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  127. Just finished making mine! Total cost: 16 dollars, including 2 storage containers from the Dollar Tree! I stopped grating after 2 Fels, my arms were beat. But I can always add more later. Now to go do some laundry!

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  128. I just used this to dry clean my carpet and mattress. I've been using this stuff for about 8 months and love it. Today I decided to try it elsewhere. I sprinkled it on my mattress & rubbed it in. Let it sit and vacuumed it off... It is so clean and smells yummy, Next I sprinkled it on my carpet and did a veeeeery light spay of vinegar water solution. I got a cloth and did a little rubbing on spots then got the boom and swept it in and let it sit. I vacuumed it up and WOW oh WOW! Everything is so clean now and my room smells so good. I used the pink Zote which smells great... Now about about to order my a new headboard for cleaning my room so well! teehee :)

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  129. LOVE this idea! However, do you have an approx cost for all the start-up materials?

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  130. You are a life saver!!!!! My boyfriend is a welder and when I use Tide or any other brand his pants still come out of the wash black. But when I use this stuff (two scoops on his work pants because they are EXTRA nasty) they come out spotless!!! I seriously couldn't believe it. The money savings aren't so bad either ;)

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  131. How is it on bold colors?

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  132. I read through most of the comments, but didn't see this: I just went to Walmart and found Zote already in flakes. The one box ($2.97) is the same amount as two solid bars. So..it is a dollar more than buying the bars, but it is already in flakes for you. Love that!

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  133. Hi!
    You're recipe for laundry soap is in my italian blog:
    http://mikyhomemade.blogspot.it/2012/08/detersivo-per-lavatrice.html
    Thank you so much,have a lovely day! Miky.

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  134. I have been wanting to try this recipe for a while, but was waiting until I ran out of my other detergent I had stockpiled from coupon shopping.

    I found all of the ingredients at my local Walmart. The total cost was around $24, but I also added a bottle of Tropical Scentsation Purex scented crystals ($4.97) to the mixture. It smells fabulous.

    Since I bought a 3 pound tub of Oxiclean, I am using that container to store my detergent in for daily use and the extra I am storing in a plastic tote under the counter.

    I am getting ready to wash my first load and can't wait to see how it performs!

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  135. Beware of using this detergent on black, navy blue or dark green clothing. After seeing this recipe on Pinterest recently I made this and was eager to begin using it. I used 2 tablespoons and to my horror it completely ruined all of our dark clothes!!!! They were all completely discolored and faded and we cannot reverse the damage. Now we are trying to replace all of our items which is causing somewhat of a financial hardship as my husband and I are trying to support our family after we both lost our jobs as well as our home. To think that I made this detergent to try and save us money only to have it ruin our clothing and cost us money in the end is extremely disheartening and I wish we would have been warned about this ahead of time :-(

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  136. Thanks for the idea! I have done this myself and it works wonderfully! http://livingcheapandhappy.blogspot.com/2012/08/laundry-easing-up-on-costs.html

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  137. I am making this for the second time. Mine lasted 6 months but I have two kids 3 and under, I re-did a bedroom of which I had to wash everything, we've had the Norovirus (all 4 of us) and a tonsil/adnoidectomy - all since I made it the first time. I love it and have shared it on facebookk - via your link! I just wanted to tell you how much I love it! Thanks!

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  138. Just found this and made a small batch to try! Super excited to see how it works! Love your blog!!!!

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  139. HE Washer question. Would you recommend using 1 or 2 Tbl. spoons?

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    Replies
    1. I am thinking 1 because HE washers use less water.

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    2. In an earlier comment you said HE washers use more water. Which one is it?

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  140. I just made a batch of this tonight and so far I like it. I added a bottle of the Purex crystals in it for smell though. I blogged about it and linked back to you here:
    http://www.adventureswithcaptaindestructo.com/2012/08/homemade-laundry-soap.html

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  141. I have gone shopping looking for the ingredients and am having a hard time finding the bar soaps and the arm and hammer washing soda. I tried Save On Foods, Cooper's Food, and Home Hardware. Please help me locate these items.

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  142. Can you please help? I have searched these posts and couldnt find any answers. Do you add the oxy clean to the ingredients or to the wash with the home made laundry soap. I saw one post that said they added the oxy clean to the ingredients and that is what I did also. oops. Could you please verify the information on the oxy clean? Thanks a bunch, cant wait to try it.

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  143. I have made a similar soap for many years. This uses way less Fels Naptha and my other didn't have the oxi clean or baking soda. I think I'm going to try this because even though the other is good, this sounds better for me. I'm also going to add the Scentsy Washer Whiffs into the mix because I just love the smell. :)

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  144. i was wondering if anybody was having problems with this soap not getting everyday stains off clothes. i've noticed my clothes not looking very clean and looking progressively dirty with every wash. i do spot treat my clothes, but i'm just surprised to see that i've had to throw away more clothes using this detergent than i have when using store bought. i did not add the oxyclean to my batch b/c i didn't think we were that messy of a family..just wondering what others experiences have been without the added oxyclean.

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    Replies
    1. I would add the oxy clean. It is a stain treater and would probably help.

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    2. I have a shirt I've washed almost 10 times, and still it smells like a foot. I don't use Oxy Clean because I use this detergent on my Cloth Diapers which Oxyclean can ruin. I did put oxy clean into the wash itself when washing regular clothes, after adding the clothes and the laundry soap, but it didn't seem to make much difference in cleanliness and the shirt still stinks lol. I started adding Vinager to the wash to help get the smells out of clothes, but that shirt still stinks! I am going to wash that shirt in some dawn by hand. Everything else seems to be coming out clean, except a handfull of clothes every once in a while. Might by my washing machine too... I'm browsing the web for more ideas... Going to try 3 bars of Mrs. Meyers Castille bar soap with the next batch I make, instead of Fels Naptha since animal fats can harm washing machines.

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  145. I love it when my laundry smells good. "Scentsy" (wickeless candles) just started selling "Washer Whiffs" and "Dryer Disks". They come in Coconut Lemongrass, French Lavendar, Quiver and Sunkissed Citrus. I love them! It's nice to have more than just a clean smell. You can see more about them on my site: kcmerrill.scentsy.us If you have any questions, you can email me. As for your recipe, can't wait to try it. I've been using my nieces, but this has a few more ingredients. I'd like to see the difference.

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    Replies
    1. I tried the address for your site and it did not work. Can you send me the link?

      Delete
  146. Making my second batch today. I made the first on January 1st so I would remember howlong it lasted. I will be able to do 2 more loads with the old batch. We are a family of 7, 11 year old boy, 8 year old boy and a set of triplets that are 5, plus my husband and me. The kids are all very active in sports like baseball, soccer, and swimming, to name a few. I do laundry almost everyday and this detergent has been great. I love not having to run to the store and spend so much on detergent that barely lasts 2 weeks. Thank you!!!

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  147. Thank you!!! I made this a week ago and have been using it ever since!! I have noticed even old dingy things looking brighter!!! I will be sharing with everyone I know!!!

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  148. Unfortunately this has caused me to get yeast infections and gave my husband Jock itch. I used this exact recipe but only changed one thing. I added Downy scent balls to it. The reason I know the home made laundry detergent is the problem is BC we went back to arm and hammer for our underwear and a pair of my panties got put into our regular clothes with the homemade stuff and I put them on without thinking and boom, itch city in the crotch by the end of the day. Has anyone else had this problem?

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  149. Sounds fab - I am always looking for cheaper/better alternatives to shop bought products. I do have a question though - I live in England and am not sure I can get the same products - any suggestions??

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  150. Does this have an affect on wicking clothes? IE: Athletic gear, socks etc

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  151. I made my first batch 8 months ago, gave two oxy clean sized containers away, and have enough left at this point to wash about 10 more loads. None of us have had sensitivity issues, not even the baby. Just made my second batch. Couldn't be happier!

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  152. Just made my first batch and every excited to use it. The only part I didn't like was the shredding but on the up side my arms got a great workout! I am going to share this with my money saving friends! I think this would also be a great gift idea because it does make so much. Thanks for posting :)

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