Monday, April 30, 2012

Super Fast and Easy Homemade Laundry Detergent!

My initial attempt at making my own homemade laundry detergent started back in July of last year.  I have to laugh at my first post about it because I was so “up in arms” about the high cost, etc. that I finally said “enough is enough” and haven’t ever gone back!

I HAVE however made some tweaks to my system along the way and have shared them as well.

On August 20th, 2011 I revisited my first post with a few more insights into the process because at that point I’m pretty sure I felt like I was an “expert”. ;-)

Then in January of THIS year I posted a Step-by-Step-by-Step-by-Step Photo Tutorial of exactly how I made my detergent for those who seemed to be confused about the process.

And JUST when everyone was finally figuring it all out….the next month I threw you all a curve ball and changed up the whole recipe to a No-Grate method. Honestly, at that point I wasn’t intending to use this recipe exclusively. I was just offering it as an alternative to those who I knew for a fact wouldn’t grate soap…like my sisters. ;-)  Little did I know at the time that this would become my “laundry detergent of choice”….at least for now.  One never knows when something even better will come along. :-)

Which brings us to TODAY! The reason I am bringing up all this homemade laundry soap history is that today was soap-making day and since I was making my usual 3 gallon batch…I thought I would take a few pictures and show you how easy it is!

And just so you know….I have NOTHING against the original recipe I posted. It’s good stuff! It’s just that PERSONALLY this is SO much faster for me to make and my soap-making time is SO limited as of late! It would make much more sense for me to just go back to buying it at the store…but I honestly don’t think I can make myself do that. I am a complete convert to the homemade stuff. :-)

So this is what I do now…and I offer it merely as an idea/alternative for whomever thinks it might be something that would work for them as well.

Jillee’s Super Fast & Easy Homemade Laundry Detergent

(recipe amounts are for one gallon and I make 3 recipes/gallons at a time.)

3 Tablespoons Borax
3 Tablespoons Washing Soda
2 Tablespoons Dawn Ultra Dishwashing Liquid

I like to line up my (3) one gallon jugs (old Minute Maid O.J. bottles) and then add the ingredients assembly line style. I use a small plastic funnel for this and it helps to make it all go much faster and with much fewer spills.

Once all three jugs have the 3 ingredients inside, I pour 4 cups of VERY HOT water into each one. I just use water from the kitchen faucet, it doesn’t need to be boiling. Swirl each bottle until all the ingredients are dissolved in the liquid. Then fill almost to the top with cold water. (Bubbles will overflow out of the bottle a little.)

                        

 

DISCLAIMER: (I AM NOT SHOUTING….I JUST WANT TO MAKE A FEW THINGS ABOUT THIS RECIPE PERFECTLY CLEAR!)

It is NOT a THICK liquid detergent. It’s quite thin in fact. But it works JUST AS WELL! It has little to no suds (just like the grated soap kind) and it is fine to use in HE washers for that reason. VERY low to no suds.

BECAUSE it is thin….I end up using more of it than the thicker “cooked” version…usually AROUND a cup. Sometimes a little less, sometimes a little more. But I am fine with that because it is SO inexpensive (and easy) to make! (I’d try and figure out the actual cost…but my brain is WAY too tired right now. Maybe tomorrow. Or maybe one of you math whizzes out there will take pity on me and figure it out FOR me! :-)

UPDATE: Lisa took pity on me!! :-)  Thank you Lisa!!

Lisa April 30, 2012 at 7:35 am
Jillee, I love your blog with such useful tips, I figured all the good tips you give me, I’d do the math I’m no mathematic genius but here it goes .. I paid 3.83 for borax at Walmart , 1.99 for washing soda, and $ 2.00 for dawn. Ok I rounded up to nearest whole dollar so 1 box of borax is 76 ounces so it makes 50 gallons of detergent equaling =0.08 per gallon. One box washing soda is 55 ounces which will make 48 gallons of detergent=0.05/load. The dawn was 48 ounces so it will make 36 gallons of detergent =0.04 per gallon. So my educated guess is each gallon cost is $0.17 !! Now that’s one good thing!!!! P. S. I love your cafe rio sweet pork recipe!!!!

 

I also use this along with the other “weapons” in my laundry arsenal: homemade “Shout”, homemade “OxiClean“, and homemade fabric softener.

I have been VERY pleased with this “system” for my family….of course I’m always willing to learn new tricks! :-)   Let the commenting begin…….


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412 thoughts on “Super Fast and Easy Homemade Laundry Detergent!

  1. KK

    My elderly mother lives with me and it’s hard for her to lift a gallon jug. When I made this for the first time, we just left it concentrated and use 1/4th as much. Also, if you put the hot water in first it’s easier to swirl the water around to dissolve the dry ingredients. We love using this and will never go back!

    Reply
      1. piper

        No, I think she meant that she makes the recipe as outline by Jillee with the original measurements, but then she stops after adding 4 cups of hot water. So instead of filling the gallon jug up the rest of the way with water, she just uses 1/4 cup of the ‘concentrated’ mixture instead of 1 cup of the version with extra water.

        Reply
    1. Kathy

      OK, just read some comments regarding making a more concentrated recipe, so to use 1/4 cup of detergent, make 1 gallon of concentrate:

      Pour hot water into a gallon container, less 2 cups or so (leaving room for ingredients)

      3/4 Cup Borax
      3/4 Cup Washing Soda
      1/2 Cup dishwashing soap ( liquid)

      Mix til all is dissolved. Can add hot water to fill to top if wished.

      Reply
    2. Megan

      i was thinking about making this since i have all the stuff. My thought though, is that instead of using 3, 3, and 2 tbsp i’d make use 3/4c (12 tbsp), 3/4 cup, and 1/2 cup (8 tbsp) and then just add all hot water. Making it a full gallon of concentrated. and just use a quarter cup. :)

      Reply
  2. Helen Forbes

    I think I will use my old laundry detergent bottles. They are smaller and easier to handle. I love the homemade fabric softner. I make my own dryer sheets with it and can’t wait to try this laundry detergent. Love the blog. Your ideas have really been fun to try. HElen

    Reply
  3. Sandy

    LOVE all your homemade ideas!!! I’m waiting for a homemade alternative to Endust. This is my favorite blog and I can’t wait each day to see what the ONE GOOD THING will be. Keep it up!

    Reply
    1. Amanda

      Brooke- I bought a huge bottle of lavender scented dish soap from dollar tree a few months ago because I loved the smell. Tried it on my dishes and couldn’t get it to completely rinse off so it stayed under my cabinet for two months. Last month I needed more laundry soap so I pulled it out to try it and it worked!

      Granted, it didn’t work as well so I’m using a bit more of it but my clothes are really soft without using fabric softener and they smell great. So yes, you can use other scents. Even other brands! (But nothing seems to work as well as original blue dawn.)

      Reply
  4. Audra

    Every time I see an awesome pin on Pinterest it seems to be yours! I get to your site and say, “I should’ve known it was Jillee!” Thank you for sharing all your wonderful ideas. I’ll have to try this recipe. I use a powder one right now, but I’m thinking about switching. It works great, but I’ve heard that powders are bad for the machine. (My recipe – 2 c washing soda, 2 cups borax, 2 cups oxyclean, 2 cups Clorox2 and 2 bars Fels Naptha grated. I have a large capacity washer, so I use 3 TBSP’s per load)

    Reply
    1. crazywoman

      Audra, the powder you are using shouldn’t be harmful to your washer. It is the commercial versions which have so much fillers in them that are harmful. Yours sounds perfectly fine as far as not harming your washer goes.

      Reply
  5. Amanda Collins

    Did you ever come up with a bleach alternative that would be safe with ammonia? I wash a lot of whites for work, which requires the use of bleach for an antibacterial. And antimicrobial.

    Reply
      1. IMO

        I have been using vinegar in my rinse water for 36 years! To think of the money I’ve saved by not buying fabric softener puts a huge smile on my wallet!
        Here is my thinking on this. My baby used cotton diapers. Cotton is very soft. So why would it be stiff when it’s washed? Answer: Soap residue. So I could either rinse the diapers twice or put vinegar in the rinse water to cut the soap. I chose the vinegar. I just pour it in the fabric dispenser cup in my washer. It worked perfectly. No vinegar smell. Clothes soft and fresh smelling. Freshness remained (sometimes for months!). Worked the same whether I dried clothes in the dryer or on line outside. My dryer doesn’t have the gunky coating from the fabric softener. It also keeps my dark clothes dark and strangely eliminates the ‘lint’ problem. Vinegar is an amazing product!

        Reply
        1. Melissa J

          I have tried Vinegar, but it seems to never cut down on lint and it also seems like my clothes are still static-y when they come out of the dryer. I have tried Vinegar with the Downy ball, and have also tried it inside my fabric softener dispenser in my machine. What’s going wrong here?

          Reply
  6. Gennyfer o

    Would this work in an HE machine? I make my own powdered because it is easier for my visually impaired spouse to measure with the tablespoon, but, the ease of making this and the lower cost is tempting. If I can find a simple way for him to measure it I may switch.

    Reply
    1. Charlene

      If you have a pool supply store nearby, they probably have a 3 oz scoop for sale. I would imagine if a top loader takes about a cup, I’d start with 3 oz or less of soap, and see how clean your clothes get. Or just use your 1/4 cup or 1/3 cup measuring cups, or even those small scoops from hot chocolate mixes. I’m sure there’s lots of small containers you could find that would work!

      Reply
      1. Nechelle

        Me also! I use a red, plastic, Folgers coffee container (several for the powered version) and a scoop from Muscle Milk Protein powder, which is very slightly less than 1/3 cup (for the powdered version I use half a scoop for lg load and approx. a quarter of the scoop for smaller loads), that I leave in the Coffee container. I can also use a black sharpie to label it.

        Reply
  7. Amanda

    I’m going to give this one a try after my last batch is done. I got my recipe from another blog and it’s been working well, but lately it seems like just isn’t removing stains as well.

    Reply
    1. Jillee Post author

      I think any liquid dish soap would work. I’m just partial to Blue Dawn. But I know there are many who don’t like to use it and use an alternative. See Mama T’s post below. She used Gain. :-)

      Reply
  8. Lisa

    Jillee, I love your blog with such useful tips, I figured all the good tips you give me, I’d do the math I’m no mathematic genius but here it goes .. I paid 3.83 for borax at Walmart , 1.99 for washing soda, and $ 2.00 for dawn. Ok I rounded up to nearest whole dollar so 1 box of borax is 76 ounces so it makes 50 gallons of detergent equaling =0.08 per gallon. One box washing soda is 55 ounces which will make 48 gallons of detergent=0.05/load. The dawn was 48 ounces so it will make 36 gallons of detergent =0.04 per gallon. So my educated guess is each gallon cost is $0.17 !! Now that’s one good thing!!!! P. S. I love your cafe rio sweet pork recipe!!!!

    Reply
    1. Jillee Post author

      Lisa!!! I love you! lol! Thank you…..I am adding this to the post right now!
      That was most impressive! :-) I honestly don’t think I could have done that even if my brain weren’t tired at the time!
      xo

      Reply
      1. Shereen

        I got the Hypoallergenic Dawn because everyone in the family has to have sent free and dye free everything due to sensitive skin, so it cost a little more bringing the Cost per gallon to $0.25 per gallon but I am still saving about $100 per month!

        Reply
        1. Terri

          holy smokes! dawn finally came out again with a ‘free’ version? yay!! they had one years ago, which was widely used for cleaning birds/animals covered in oil from an oil disaster–but they discontinued it after a few years.

          Reply
    2. Amie

      Using Lisa’s pricing. I figured 16 cups to a gallon, so it would come to a penny $0.01 a load!

      Around here the Borax is about $3, the dawn is closer to $4, and the washing soda is about the same at $2 give or take, rounding to the nearest dollar on all of them.

      I am looking for a good quality soap that is good for sensitive skin, as we’re allergic to everything but Free and Clear All. $0.13 cents a load

      Reply
  9. Mama T

    Jillee,
    I tried this recipe the day you posted it. Like you, I have been making my own detergent for quite a while now(going on 2.5 years!) I was sick of grating, and thought this would be worth the test run. I love it! Instead of Dawn though, I bought a bottle of Gain dishwashing liquid, and use that. It smells wonderful, works just as well as the grated version, and the Gain was cheaper than Dawn.

    Reply
    1. ChristyK

      I also used Gain (bc I had a ton I had gotten free with coupons – lol). I did add 2 Tbsp of OxyClean to the mixture though bc I have dogs, kids, a garden and a messy husband……
      It lost its color (my daughter was disappointed bc it was pink when we first made it), but it worked great. My dogs had both had injuries and so we had blood on dog beds. This got the blood out with no pre-treating.
      It also smells great – I love to open my linen closet now :)

      Reply
    2. Amy

      I have been using the Borax, washing soda and Dawn for a while now. Our clothes get clean. And they are brighter, it is awesome. However, lately I have decided I want a cleaner smelling scent. And that gain dishwashing liquid may just be what I need. Thanks!

      Reply
      1. Nancy Wenz

        Purex Crystals are not bleach, they are a clean smelling product to add to your soap mix. You will find it in the laundry area of your store. I add one half cup to a 2 gallon batch. It makes your laundry smell wonderful, and also your house when making it. I also use the crystals ( dissolved in hot water) to make room deodorizer . Hope this is a helpful hint.

        Reply
  10. Christi

    Do you think I could use castile soadp instead of the Dawn? I am trying to go chemical free around the house but I still want it to work. Any ideas???

    Reply
    1. Mama Pickles

      When my current batch made with Dawn runs out, I planned on using liquid castle soap. When I made powder laundry detergent I grated a castille bar so I see no reason why liquid castle wouldn’t work here.

      Reply
  11. ThriftyNut

    Just curious… Did you put 1 Tbs in each of the 3 bottles, or 3 Tbs in ea? I am pretty happy with my laundry soap version but I notice weird greasy spots on shirts once and a while. I am thinking the Dawn would definitely stop that issue. Can’t wait to try it!

    Reply
    1. Laurie

      Using the laundry detergent I too have noticed weird greasy spots on some of my loads of whites…I am really bummed because otherwise I have been very happy.. any ideas

      Reply
      1. Sarah

        Are you adding the laundry detergent in before you add your clothes, or pouring it on top? If you’re pouring it on top try starting your washing machine, adding the detergent, and then adding the clothes. I used to have this same problem when I would pour the soap on top of our clothes.

        Reply
        1. Laurie

          Actually my daughter has a top loader and we add the detergent first and I have an HE and add the detergent to the dispenser. We both have the same problem. We are now going to try the Liquid with the Dawn and hope that take care of the problem.

          Reply
          1. Kindall

            I had the same problem. I started adding the water and the detergent together and manually turning the middle a few times to mix it. I haven’t had a problem since. I then rewashed to spotty clothes in just water a few times and they came out. Its because when you add the liquids on top on the clothes they soak into that spot directly and it doesn’t even out, its too concentrated on that one area to wash out.

            Reply
      1. Leslie

        Regarding the greasy spots showing up… Are you using a fabric softener, also? I have an HE and I’ve noticed the occasional greasy spot. It’s my fabric softener. Since my machine doesn’t fill up with water, it just ‘pours’ into the drum. If the fabric softener lands on the clothes and then doesn’t immediately get hit with water also, it leaves a grease spot. Since the rinse cycle is the last one, there is no soap to wash the grease spot away. I have started diluting my softener a little bit when I pour it in the dispenser at the beginning of the load. I especially make a point of this when I’m washing a dark load, as the spots seem to be more pronounced on them.

        Just a thought!

        Reply
          1. Jess

            Add some vinegar to your fabric softener section or to your rinse cycle – this eliminates any residue, brightens the colours, softens the fabric and boosts the cleaning ability. If you don’t like the smell of vinegar, try adding a few drops of lemon juice. If washing colours, only use a little lemon (or some essential oils) but if washing whites, add maybe a whole lemons worth – this lightens your whites brilliantly, especially if you hang them in the sun to dry!

            Reply
            1. Alisha

              I’m not sure about preventing those greasy spots but baking soda will take them out. Just pour a lot of it on the spot and let it sit for a while and let it absorb the grease. And then wash as normal. I have done this with cooking stains so I’m sure it would work the same. It even works if you have washed and dried the clothes already.

              Reply
  12. Georgann G

    Love this stuff! My family makes fun of me, but I feel good about using it every time. I’m calling my local animal shelter to see if they would be interested in using this. I know they accept/use detergent as a wish lit item. I hope they see the benefit of this too. Keep the good things coming!

    Reply
  13. Sue

    If you left it at the first 4 cups of water, leaving it concentrated, I wonder how much you would use per large load? Anyone have an idea?

    Absolutely love your ideas. What a help you are to us homemakers.

    Reply
    1. kim

      well, since there are 16 cups in a gallon, if you left it at just the 4 cups you’d need to use 1/4 cup. I imagine though that this isn’t an exact science and you need to tweak it for the size of loads you do.

      Reply
      1. Sue

        Thanks Kim! That’s what I was thinking, but wasn’t sure if the gallon bottle was filled to the top or just to the point of the bubbles coming out of the top.

        Reply
  14. Laura :)

    Wow, talk about timing!!!! My very first batch of homemade detergent (grated) is about to be gone and I need to mix up more _today_!!! Imagine my delight to visit today and see this recipe!!! And, I don’t need to grate soap…and it can be done right away!! This truly is one of my very favorite-est blogs!!!! Thank you, Jillee!!!! :D

    Reply
    1. crazywoman

      You should be able to use any GOOD dish detergent. Why don’t you just try one jug (or cut the recipe in half or even 1/4 of it, and give it a try before making a full recipe. But, I’m sure if you are happy with Seventh Generation dish soap, it would work just fine.

      Reply
  15. Nicole

    If I made this detergent concentrated, using just the 4 cups of hot water, 3 tbsp borax and washing soda and 2 tbsp of dawn – is the mixture thick like store bought detergent?

    Reply
  16. Theresa Stouder

    I saw your post on pintrest and decided to try the laundry soap over this past weekend. Let me tell you we go to Sams twice a month and buy Tide (I am allergic to most detergants so Tide always worked best for me) each time. Its about $20 a container. So $40 a month. I will NEVER buy it again! I love the homemade detergant! We calculated it and we are saving over $400 a YEAR! What a difference. It has also inspired me to see what else I can make at home. I am now doing the no “poo” shampoo and I make my face wash. I am also doing my own house cleaners. I love this. Thank you so much!

    Reply
    1. Laura B

      I’m allergic to most detergents except Tide as well so I’m glad to see this post! I’m presuming you aren’t allergic to this, huh? :-)

      Reply
      1. Judy

        I too am allergic to most detergents and have used Tide for over 25 years and tried your soap and have had no problems at all. My daughter is super super allergic to everything so she was my biggest concern and we have had absoluately no problems at all with her skin. I was a little nerves to start with so I only made one gallon and it works great and neither one of us has had a break out! Thanks so much Jillee for the great blog. Can’t wait for the Downey fabric softener to be gone so I can try another one of your recipes.

        Reply
  17. Deyon

    Hi Jillee, I LOVE your site – thanks for all your tips, they really are the best! I have yet to try any of the recipes for homemade laundry soap, but this one sounds great. I was wondering if you have any trouble with fading. I have to do a lot of gentle and was wondering if this would be okay to use. Thanks

    Reply
  18. Darlene in North GA

    If you’re using city water with chlorine in it, that is doing a lot of your fading. I would imagine that this would work with the gentle cycle and delicate clothing. I can’t see why it wouldn’t as it works for any washable fabric.

    Reply
  19. Stace

    Hey Jillee, love your blog. Not to long ago when I came across your homemade laundry arsenal I was intrigued. My first mission was your laundry soap. My mother goes through laundry detergent like my daughter goes through diapers…. When I told my mother about doing this she thought I had lost my mind but I figured this was be an amazing money saver, and it is! I do concentrate it a little more as I have 2 little ones under 5 but it works great. My mother is impressed and hasnt even touched her half filled jug of commercial stuff. Thanks so much!

    Reply
    1. Cindy

      I was just wondering what concentration you have come up with? I too have two little ones under the age of four. They wreak havok on all things cloth. Thanks!

      Reply
  20. Christine Mann

    SO excited to try this! I have another recipe for homemade laundry detergent that I used for a while and gave up, and it’s just sitting there beside my store bought stuff that I use now instead! haha! it just wasnt cutting all the grease stains from my messy cooking! lol ;D This looks GREAT!! :)

    Reply
  21. Sharon Murphy

    I live in the UK and love your blog, I look forward to the posts each day. I have been building a collection of things to start making some of them and researching what the Uk equivalents are. I am now about to make my firtst batch of Laundry detergent and am sure I will love it. I am going to use Fairy Liquid dish soap with Aloe Vera and hope that will be OK. I will also keep it more concentrated and use less as I am limited on storage space. Will let you know how I get on. Thanks x

    Reply
    1. Kris

      Hi Sharon
      I am from the UK too and am really interested in this recipe but I cant find this ‘BORAX’ anywhere – what did you use instead or did you manage to find it? Thanks x

      Reply
  22. Nancy

    Jillee, LOVE your blog! I started making my own laundry soap years ago since I seem to be allergic to everything. I tried this version, but the Dawn makes me itchy :( so I will have to stay with my grated ivory soap! Everything I have tried on your blog works – just cleaned my shower of soapscum yesterday, it was a miracle! Can’t wait to make my own cooking spray!

    Reply
    1. Jules

      Just a thought, don’t know if it would work. Jillee has the recipe for homemade body wash, just bar soap and water. Use that , but use a little more water to make thinner. I do the ivory soap bars. Just love it! Also try the microwave instead of grating. 90 seconds in microwave, it puffs up like a huge marshmallow and melts faster in that hot water than grating it, would never go back! Prob. less additives than the liquid Ivory dish soap!

      Reply
    2. mdoe37

      I use bar ivory in my powdered homemade detergent. But for some cleaning tasks I keep a bottle of Ivory dish soap. Maybe you could try a batch of the liquid detergent with that. I did just make up a batch with the Dawn that is actually in the washer right now. My test will be the smell and if the Dawn is too strong, I’ll try the Ivory.

      As an aside, since I don’t care for fragranced laundry, I use straight white vinegar in the dispenser. Clothes are very fresh and, no, don’t smell like a pickle. I’ve heard, though, that you could add fragrance too the vinegar.

      Reply
  23. Lynn M

    Thank you!! Thank you!! Thank you!! I must say you have impeccable timing!!! I’ve been doing the homemade laundry soap for several months now and love it, but I’m sick as a dog today and need to replenish my soap supply for the mountain of laundry I have. I was not looking forward to dragging out the food processor/etc. to make my usual large batch, so this recipe is perfect and quick. It will hold me over till I can make the other….. or who knows, this may become my new fav!!

    Reply
  24. Stephanie

    I was just thinking that I need to make another batch of laundry detergent. I will try this recipe but just make 1 gallon to see how I like it. I love the results of fels-naptha and I grate mine with the food processor so the grating isn’t a big deal, but it is time consuming to cook and wait for it to cool. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  25. Angel

    So for my bottle of 32 loads you have spent (according to Lisa) $5.44 which is about the same that you spend in the store. I’m confused as to where the major savings is?

    Reply
    1. Kate

      The total price of all the ingredients is $5.44, however with those ingredients you can get almost 40 gallons of detergent (with each gallon giving you around 20 or so loads). So the savings are really very huge. Lisa calculated that each gallon container comes out to about $0.17, as opposed to store-bought containers that are around $6 or more dollars each.

      Reply
  26. Adena

    I can’t wait to try this. I’ve been making the grated homemade kind for years but it’s nice to be able to only make a gallon at a time; takes up less storage space and easier way to transport to laundry mat if you need to go there.

    Reply
    1. crazywoman

      I make the grated soap kind, and I only make about 1 gallon (maybe a little more,,, I use an old detergent bottle which is just over a gallon). I cut the ingredient by 1/3 using 1/3 bar of soap at a time. I’ve actually only made it once, but will be making my next batch soon. I will not dilute it nearly as much next time I make it as I did the first time!! I prefer it thicker.
      I may decide to try this recipe someday, but not until I’ve used up my Fels Naptha that I have bought I don’t think. (I’ve already bought another bar, and my daughter-in-law has offered me a bar she bought & didn’t like the scent of.)
      Not trying to get you to not try this one, just saying the other recipe doesn’t have to be made 3-5 gallons at a time.

      Reply
      1. Carmell

        I just want to mention I use Fels Naptha Bar right on stains. My son has played baseball since 4yrs old and this gets the grass and red dirt stains right out! Just wet your stain, wet your bar and give it a good rubbing….wash as usual. Just a tip.

        Reply
  27. Charlene

    I’m excited to do this in small batches, because it’s a pain in the nose to have a five gallon bucket sitting on my dryer filled with liquid soap that still needs to be thinned down before using. :)

    Reply
  28. Misti

    Dawn sure has alot of uses! I am almost out of my store bought laundry soap and was going to try your other recipe when it ran out, but this one sounds super easy!

    Reply
  29. Sharleen

    My daughter and I have been making our own laundry soap with the grated fels naptha bar and I grate it in the food processor. It’s easy and fast! I just put the food processor in the dishwasher when done. I use the same disc blade that I would use to grate cheese. This is a good alternative to hand grating that hard bar of fels naptha!

    Reply
    1. crazywoman

      I use my food processor to grate my Fels Naptha too! But I used it to try to grate some REALLY hard soap, and have messed it up. It now tries to come apart every time I use it. I usually have to hold it together to get it to work! :>( And it is a fairly new processor! So be careful everyone when trying to grate VERY hard soap!
      So far my bars of Fels Naptha have not been nearly as hard as what I was trying to grate that time.
      Some soaps will actually crumble when put in the microwave. I plan on trying this with my Fels Naptha one of these days. Not sure if it will work with it tho. Maybe it is mainly Ivory (which I do NOT like!).

      Reply
      1. Autumn

        Has anyone tried to just stick the whole bar of soap in a pan with water and keep it on a low heat for a while? Would it eventually melt all the way? I would think if you are going to be home cleaning anyway, this might be a more reasonable way to do it……if it works.

        Reply
        1. Patricia

          A really easy way to grate the Fels is to nuke it in the microwave. I do it at 30 second intervals and it will bubble. Let it cool completely and then you can break it apart with your hands, it makes a fine dust. I then put it in the food processor with the borax and w.s. and just pulse it all together. I use it for the dry detergent version.

          Reply
          1. Carolyn

            It’s very easy to make the whole thing in the blender. I put 1/4 bar of roughly chopped Fels Naphtha in the blender with 1/4 cup of washing soda, 1/4 cup of borax, and 1 1/2 cups of HOT water. Blend on low till smooth and add to 1 gallon hot water. Let sit 24 hrs (it will gel up) and add 1 gallon cold water and wisk. I don’t know if it needs the 24 hr rest period. Anybody know why that would be important?

            Reply
        2. Christy

          I always do… Never understood the grating. Also lately the fels naphtha just isn’t cutting it. Wah now what? Clothes do not smell clean at all after 1 year of use. Back to arm and hammer for a while.

          Reply
  30. Ali Michalove

    Just to let everyone know you can make washing soda from baking soda by just baking the baking soda. I have done this and it works quite well. This would give further savings. Just wanted to mention that.

    Reply
    1. Autumn

      I have found washing soda in every grocery store that I have been in that sells laundry detergent. I think people are just unfamiliar with it so not sure where to look. But it’s there.

      Reply
      1. Vizoco

        I found that many of the grocery stores around my way do not carry Washing Soda or Fels Naptha soap. I found this really strange because they all carried Borax but I guess they don’t want people making their own. After visiting 2 grocery stores and another large retail store the only place that carried them both that I found was WalMart.

        Reply
        1. crazywoman

          Vizoco, I don’t think it is a matter of their not wanting people to make their own laundry soap, but rater a case of supply & demand. I doubt they have had many sales in the past. Especially for the Fels Naptha. I don’t think MOST people these days even know what it is!! The stores aren’t even used to people making their own I’m sure.
          I’m just glad I have a WalMart, and that my store carries all the ingredients. I’ve only looked at one other store in my area, and didn’t carry any of them. It was a Family Dollar. Haven’t looked in the grocery stores, as I found it at Walmart.

          Reply
          1. Debbe

            LOL once “they” discover we’re all making our own, the prices for the ingredients will surely skyrocket! LOL

            I had NO clue what Fels-Naptha was, I had to Google it! LOL

            I found them all at Target, but they were significantly less expensive at good old Walmart…and easier to find, all right there next to each other!

            Reply
          2. Mary Rushe

            Hi I live in Ireland and would really like to know what is Fels Naptha. Also I am going to try this recipe but will be using Fairy Original Washing-up liquid as we don’t have Dawn here.

            Reply
  31. Amanda

    Does anyone know if this would be okay to wash cloth diapers? I know the homemade powder/grated version affects absorption because of the baking soda. I wonder if washing soda does too.

    Reply
    1. crazywoman

      I have read several people who have used it (one very similar using same ingredients), and been very happy with it.
      But looking down, I guess you have answered your own question. :>)

      Reply
  32. Amanda

    Wow. After doing more research on baking and washing soda for cloth diapers, I found that baking soda can be a great additive to help clean them. Washing soda is as well, but since it doesn’t dissolve very easily, it’s abrasiveness can damage fabrics. It seems like this is the perfect solution since the washing soda is dissolved pre wash :)

    Reply
    1. Lindsey

      So, which did you determine was best for cloth diapers? I’m sorry, I’ve read your comment a couple times and get confused on which you’re saying is best. I have TWO in cloth diapers and am always cautious about which detergents I use to wash them. I would LOVE to make my own!

      Reply
      1. Debbe

        I understand Amanda as saying baking soda and washing soda are both about equally good for helping to clean cloth diapers, but since washing soda is more abrasive and harder to dissolve, it would be more likely to damage the fabric than baking soda would be. HOWEVER, since washing soda is dissolved before using on the fabric, it is as safe as the baking soda. They are both equally good.

        I haven’t researched it myself, that’s just my interpretation of what Amanda said.

        Reply
  33. Stephanie

    I am new to this blog…and boy do I LOVE it already! I do have one question about this. You state you use 1 cup…is that in a top loader or HE machine? I just want to be sure I use the right amount when I make it. I have made the grated powder kind and love it but this does seem so much easier! My kids laughed at me and told me I was becoming a hippie! I think that’s a pretty good compliment myself!

    Reply
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  35. Marissa

    We made this tonight and we’re very happy with the way it turned out. The smell is great too! We’ve also made some of your fabric softener and I’m sure the two are going to be a great combo!

    Reply
  36. lyn king

    My figures, if correct:

    Borax $3.38 (76oz) =0.04 cents/oz
    Washing Soda $3.24 (55oz) =0.06c/oz
    Dawn $2.83 (24 oz) =0.12c/oz
    Water free!

    T:oz conversion is 2:1

    Recipe is per gallon:
    Borax 3T=$0.06
    Washing Soda 3T=$0.09
    Dawn 2T=$0.12

    So for ONE gallon = $0.27
    ONE gallon = 16c….1cup per load = $0.016 per load.
    That equals less than $0.02 cents per load.

    I use Dr Bonners liquid soap which adds 30 cents per gallon, but I feel safer.

    THAT’S MY $0.02!! (2 cents)

    Reply
    1. Christine

      You say in your post that you used Dr. Bronner’s liquid soap in your liquid laundry detergent recipe. Just curious how that turned out. I was about to do the same thing, but noticed all the oils in the ingredients and wasn’t sure if that would leave oily deposits on my washing. Thanks for your input!

      Reply
  37. KK

    So, Jillee, is there a reson you dilute yours with the second addition of water? I’ve only made this once so far (very small family) and left it concentrated because it seemed easier and it isn’t thick when concentrated.

    Reply
  38. Vizoco

    I’ve been cooking up my own detergent thanks to your blog for a few months now and planned today to make some more. I usually make 3-6 gallons at a time so I decided to procrastinate a bit and read up on your blog and I’m glad I did.

    It took me just a few minutes to whip up 3 gallons of this new recipe. Thanks!

    Reply
  39. Christina

    I just made a batch for the first time and did it in a 1/2 gallon jug with half the water. So we’ll see how the less diluted recipe works! I will keep you posted.

    Reply
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  41. Rinske

    Hi, I was wondering if any one can help me with the measures. I am from Holland and we work with gramms and kilo’s and not with cups and gallons… Thanks and you have a wonderful blog!!

    Reply
    1. Gloria

      Rinske, these measurements use volume rather than weight. There are 16 American tablespoons in 1 cup and 16 cups in 1 gallon. You could use any spoon/scoop/measure you have for the chemicals. For instance, if you use mililitres (or is it centilitres?), use 3 of borax, 3 of washing soda, and 2 of dish detergent. Doing the math, you would add 64 of that same size measure of very hot water to dissolve everything. You could stop there and use 4 of those measures per load of laundry, or you could dilute it with 184 more parts water for the original formula. If you do that, you would use 16 of that measure per load.

      Reply
      1. Mary

        Hi living here in Ireland I have the same problem with measurements as Rinske, when you add the 1 litre of boiling water would you still top that up with cold as per the original recipe?

        Have just found this blog and love it. My family is allergic to everything and I can’t wait to try this and the other ideas, particularly the fabric softener.

        Reply

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