Tuesday, April 6, 2010

My Experiment in Laundry Detergent...

For a few months I have wanted to make my own liquid laundry detergent and this week I finally did it! I had hoped to use Zote soap because I heard it had a pleasant smell to it but could not find it anywhere so I ended up using Fels Napfta instead. The next obstacle was finding Washing Soda. I looked in all the local grocery stores, 4 different Wal-Marts, Kmart, Target and all the dollar stores and no luck. So not wanting to order it online, I did some research.

According to a few sites, they stated they had taken Baking Soda and baked it in the oven and that you get the same results as if you were using Washing Soda.

So first step was 'making' the washing soda. My recipe called for one cup so I took one cup of baking soda and put it on a cookie sheet and put it in a 450 degree oven for 30 minutes.

The next step was using an old box grater and grating the entire bar of Fels Napfta. After researching I found that you can use Zote, Castille, Ivory or any other mild soap. (one guy said he even made a batch with Lever 2000)

Next I put four cups of water on the stove to boil. Once it started to boil, I gradually added my soap till it was all melted. Some recipes say you can put it all in there at once but even doing small amounts I had clumps.

Next step was adding the one cup washing soda and 1/2 cup of Borax, stirring until it dissolved. You will notice it beginning to thicken and 'gel' up.

Remove it from the stove and carefully pour into a five gallon bucket. Add another four cups of warm water, constantly stirring.

Next you will add another 2 and 1/2 gallons of warm water. It will look like it is thinning out but believe me.... It will turn back to gel.

Cover loosely and let sit for 24 hours before using. Now... for little tips I figured out.... My original recipe said nothing about stirring occasionally so I did not. This morning.... I had a bucket of thick gel. After stirring it did break down to a lumpy consistency but I am told that this is normal. I think next time I will stir it occasionally afterwards.

I tried it this morning and it worked great! You use between 1/2 to 3/4 cup of soap. I will definitely be doing this again. Possible with unscented soap and adding my own scent. I love the smell of Tide but never buy it because its so costly but I found a site that sells the Tide fragrance.


Ready for a few phrases?

#1 - Cogli l'attimo.

cohl-yee l ah-tee-moh

Seize the day.


#2 - E' tutto finito.

ay toot-toh fee-nee-tow

All finished.


I hope you all had a wonderful Easter. Ours was quiet here. Jaygen spent the day with all his other cousins at his other grandma's house. I spent the day working on a psychology project for Wendell while he cooked! I think he got the better end of the deal. I was working on the thing till almost 9pm.

Today I am boiling the carcass of the leftover duck we roasted and planning on making some homemade noodles. I found a recipe in a farm magazine we get and the picture sucked me in. *laughing*

Take care and hope you are enjoying a sunny day with a lot less wind than we are. (25 to 35 mph!)



  1. Wow Debbie, looks like your soap turned out GREAT! Alot of folks that make the homemade detergent complain about the lack of a "fresh' smell on the clothes, that tide scent would sure remedy that:) Hope your enjoying the day!!!

  2. Im glad your soap worked out!! I might have to try that! DId it get the stains out good? DId you have any soap residue on your clothes??

  3. Debbie,
    I've never made laundry detergent before..sounds interesting.
    It is very windy here today and 85 degrees. We had storms last night...and are expecting more tomorrow. And storms are the part of Spring that I don't like!!

  4. Hey, I sent you an e-mail! :)

  5. This was fascinating - what a great idea to make your own detergent! I bet more cost effective too!