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Frugal Living: Homemade Laundry Soaps Thread #3

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gardenwife
Newark, OH
(Zone 5b)

August 25, 2005
10:54 PM

Post #1719686

This is a popular subject! This thread is continued from http://davesgarden.com/forums/t/449622/

Here's the scoop, from my original post on thread 1, located at http://davesgarden.com/forums/t/35195/
It's been modified with info gleaned along the way to this third thread on the subject.

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I found these on Themestream, which has since gone out of business. Google had a cached copy of the page, thank goodness, so that saved the re-typing! Here are several recipes quoted from the author of the article, Sandy Shields. I've included additional notes, too.


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.


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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.


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Recipe #3

Water
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.


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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.

* Edited 8/17/2005 to say that 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.


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TIPS

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.

Essential Oils can be added to soap for fragrance.



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FINDING INGREDIENTS

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. (Hint: let your kids do this part!)


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COMPARING PRICES (Approximate)

Fels Naptha Soap: about $1.00 per bar
Borax: about $2.99 per box
Washing Soda: about $1.29 per box

Each box of Borax and Washing Soda will yield 30 gallons of laundry soap mix. 5 bars of soap will yeild 30 gallons. Buy your soap on sale, and save even more! (I got Zote on clearance for $.50/bar at Wal-Mart.)

Ballpark figures, it costs $9.48 to make 30 gallons of homemade mix. That is approximately $.30 per gallon!

1 gallon of pre-made, store-bought detergent can cost between $4.00-$7.00. If you normally pay $5.00 per gallon, after making 30 gallons of your own mix, you will save $141.00!

~~~~~

INFO ABOUT WASHING SODA:

Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda product page:
http://www.thelaundrybasket.com/Our_Products/Our_Products_Super_Washing_Soda/our_products_super_washing_sod.html

Product Q&A: http://www.thelaundrybasket.com/Questions_Comments/Questions_Comments_Super_Washing_Soda/questions_comments_super_washi.html

You can sign up for e-mail offers here: http://www.thelaundrybasket.com/Latest_News/latest_news.asp

You can get the Super Washing Soda & Borax both at Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0006M64XE/104-1841619-7481545?v=glance&n=284507&v=glance

Super Washing Soda is 100% sodium carbonate.
Baking soda is 100% sodium bicarbonate.

Soda ash is sodium carbonate:
http://groups.google.com/group/sci.chem/browse_thread/thread/e742a3ef73b05438/95da5e7ba906ae95?lnk=st&q=buy sodium carbonate&rnum=3#95da5e7ba906ae95

(Makes sense...Carbon = leftovers of fire, or ash.)

This FAQ about fabric dying says you can buy sodium carbonate/soda ash at pool supply stores:
http://www.pburch.net/dyeing/FAQ/sodaash.shtml

They say that it is purer than the sodium carbonate packaged as washing soda because those products contain optical brighteners. I don't know if that would make a difference in how it works in detergent; I wouldn' think so.

This message was edited May 12, 2006 4:43 PM

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