Wednesday, February 17, 2010

my dirty laundry...again

You're probably tired of hearing about my adventures in laundry detergent making, but I've just got one more little thing to add. And then I'll shut up about it. Promise.

If you can get your hands on Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda and some Fels-Naptha, it is completely worth it. Before I was using Oxi-Clean and Ivory and it seemed to get our clothes clean, but over time I realized that it wasn't working as well as the store bought stuff. So my husband found Washing Soda at Ace Hardware (right on the shelf, not even special order) and my sister found some Fels Naptha at the CVS drugstore by her house - random. (Apparently, it takes a whole team of people to make my various projects happen...) This mix is worlds better than what I was using before.

To recap, here is the recipe I found on both TipNut and Instructables:

2 cups of grated Fels-Naptha
1 cup of Borax
1 cup of Washing Soda

 (I like blending them all together in the food processor to help it dissolve easily)

As if you don't have enough reasons to try your own detergent (huge cost-savings being the number one reason for me), now I've tested the Washing Soda/Fels Naptha and you can trust it. Happy Laundry Day!

ps: if you've never tried plain white vinegar instead of fabric softener, you should try that too! I promise it leaves no vinegar smell on your clothes and it doesn't leave a residue like softener. It won't help static but if that bugs you just throw in a dryer sheet. Read the comments below before you try vinegar! Thanks, Mel!
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  1. I can vouch for how nice it smells, even though we haven't tried the detergent mix itself. The bars of soap for your next batch have been in the back of my car for a couple of days and my car's never smelled better :)

  2. Vinegar is good but over time it can corrode the rubber seals on front loading washing machines and also dishwashers.(used instead of rise aid)
    I am not saying not to use it, just that it should be taken into consideration.
    Thanks for the recipe for the washing powder though, I'll have to try it.

  3. We still haven't run out of the store bought stuff, but I'm chomping at the bit to try this! Please keep telling us about your dirty laundry, Kari...I'm living vicariously through you!

  4. Oh, good to know about the vinegar...I'd hate to save money on softener only to buy a new washer! Thanks for the tip, Mel.

  5. shoot! didn't know about the vinegar and i have been using it since andrew was born. will try something else now! can't wait to try the soap recipes. love fels naptha for stain remover. my grandma sends me bars all the time. will have to try it for soap. thanks, kari!!

  6. I only found this out because my friend had this happen to her, the big rubber seal on her front loading washing mashine started dissintergrating and that's what the repair man said made it happen. He said it is quite common ( i used vinegar before this too)
    Am back using normal fabric softener but haven't been too happy with it. Will have to do some more web surfing to find another greener solution.
    Is Fels-Naptha a kind of soap that you have made into a powder. We don't have it here in Australia will have to see what i can use as a substitute. :)

  7. I am pretty sure I bought the super washing soda at our local Fry's (Kroger) grocery store. I have bought the fels naptha at Safeway. I have all these to mix it up into a powder - off to it!

  8. I'm excited to try this out and I've found all the ingredients locally! Woo hoo! Just a couple questions though--1) how many bars of Fels Naptha will make 2 cups when grated? and 2) how much of the homemade detergent do you use per load? Can't wait to try this!!


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