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Homemade Laundry Detergent Revisited

I don't usually mess with my recipes once I make them. Especially my cleaning recipes. If they work, why mess with them?

Also, I hate to fail. Usually, failure costs money and I hate wasting money too.

The truth is that I liked my homemade laundry detergent, but I wasn't in love with it. It worked great, but I thought it could do better. I didn't like what it was doing with my whites, but I have resigned myself to a lifelong affair with OxyClean. I guess that makes me a little demanding, but I can live with that.

Also, I wanted to find something that killed the smell of clothes that have been a car too long. Those who have teenagers in sports might feel my pain.

I started doing some research and found that just about everyone makes their laundry detergent just a little differently. Some recipes have more borax than I used. Some recipes used more bar soap. Some added essential oils. Some omitted the borax altogether.

So many options...more confusion for me...

I finally decided to mess with my original laundry detergent recipe. I felt a little hesitant to do this. I decided to add another bar of soap and a 1/2 cup more borax.

Revised Homemade Laundry Detergent

6 Cups Hot TapWater
1 Fels-Naptha Soap Bar
1 Soap Bar of Your Choice (I use Yardley)
1 Cup Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
1 Cup Borax

1. Grate both bars of soap into a 3-quart saucepan. Add 6 cups of hot tap water and stir. Melt the soap on medium-low heat on the stove until completely melted.

2. Fill a 5-gallon bucket half full with hot tap water. Add the washing soda and borax. Stir until dissolved. Add melted soap and stir again. It will start to gel.

3. Fill the bucket full with more hot tap water. Stir. Place lid on the bucket and let sit for at least 8 hours so it can properly gel.

4. When ready to use, open lid and stir again to break it up and easy to scoop out.

5. To use, add 1/2 cup to 1 cup of laundry detergent to your load depending on the size of your washer and the condition of your dirty clothes. I use 1 cup because I have a commercial grade super size washer.

As always you can add essential oils to give this laundry a light scent. Research combinations that work for you.

I love the results of this laundry detergent. I feel it does a better job of cleaning the clothes and getting the smell out of neglected practice clothes. I also like the light scent I get from using the second bar of soap although it is certainly not necessary.

Am I done experimenting? No. I want to get to using products that are non-toxic and I am not there yet. I also want to try using Castile bar soap in place of either Fels Naptha or the other bar soap. Both have some questionable ingredients that I would like to eliminate.

Sometimes messing with recipes pays off in the end!

Update 7/7/2020: The last time I made this, I added 1/2 cup of store brand OxyClean. It really helped with the stains! 

Thanks for reading!


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