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Old 12-27-2007, 02:43 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by ChemEng View Post
I mentioned in another thread that one of the areas Im cheap in is laundry detergent. I make my own. Its amazing how much junk is in a box of detergent that does nothing for cleaning at all. After asking around, I found this recipe:

1/2 Cup Washing Soda (NOT baking soda.)
1/2 Cup Borax
1 Cup Fels Naptha Soap

Grind it down using a cheese shredder and mix. Simple as that.

Use 1 tablespoon for light loads. 2 tablespoons for heavier loads. (Tablespoon is the right size, its more potent and doesnt need cups of it to work.)

The washing soda can be gotten at Kroger fairly cheaply. The Borax is common in just about any grocery store. I got the Fels Naptha Soap on Amazon. There was a bundle deal for 8 or 10 bars for <$10 including shipping.

Anyone else got some cheap recipes that they want to share?
Hey ChemEng, thanks for the recipe.

We're having trouble finding Washing Soda. What's the reason for not using Baking Soda?
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Old 12-27-2007, 05:55 PM   #42
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Washing soda was in the recipe I was given, so that is why we used it. Im not sure of the differences between washing soda and baking soda. Chemically, washing soda is Sodium carbonate and baking soda is Sodium bicarbonate so there IS a difference. But on the wiki for Baking soda, it does mention that it is used as fabric softener in laundry. If you choose to try it, post back here to let us know how it goes.

We have been able to get Washing Soda at a local Kroger so you may want to try there. There are some places that you can buy it online as well, but its a more expensive (especially when you consider shipping.) You may also want to try some of the smaller grocery stores, they tend to carry some of the older laundry products.

Its worth looking into finding it if you can. The above recipe has saved >$100 this year and there is still a full 5 gallon bucket of it left to use.
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Old 12-27-2007, 08:14 PM   #43
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Its worth looking into finding it if you can. The above recipe has saved >$100 this year and there is still a full 5 gallon bucket of it left to use.
Holy cow, that's a lotta dirty laundry.

We've been using about two tablespoons in our front loader and that still might be too much. Takes a long time to get through a store-bought box of detergent, even considering our teenager's wardrobe.
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Old 12-27-2007, 08:18 PM   #44
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Yep, about one tablespoon goes into ours. Maybe two if its a big load of really dirty laundry.
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Old 12-28-2007, 01:05 AM   #45
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Holy cow, that's a lotta dirty laundry.

We've been using about two tablespoons in our front loader and that still might be too much. Takes a long time to get through a store-bought box of detergent, even considering our teenager's wardrobe.
I guess-timated the $100 savings on the basis that it cost ~$20 to buy the recipe ingredients and havent had to buy store brands for the remainder of the year. Normally we would go through a box of detergent every other month.

Either way, it feels good going in the face of what is needed to buy in the store and make your own. Its also an interesting talk piece when we get visitors to the house and they notice. Mostly people who think making detergent is beneath them, but occasionally some with interest.
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Old 12-28-2007, 12:28 PM   #46
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Some of you guys are going to have the homeland security people knocking on your doors.
cfb, I was thinking exactly the same thing...and then you come up with instructions on how to make naplam!

In re fire ants, I have read that citrus oil (and hopefully citrus oil-based cleaners) kills them. Low environmental impact...and it smells a lot nicer, too!

We lived in central Florida when the gummint made Amdro [? the only really effective stuff for fire ants] illegal. It occurred to me that someone ought to bring a few colonies up to the DC suburbs in retaliation.
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Old 01-02-2008, 12:09 PM   #47
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Washing soda was in the recipe I was given, so that is why we used it. Im not sure of the differences between washing soda and baking soda...If you choose to try it, post back here to let us know how it goes...

We have been able to get Washing Soda at a local Kroger so you may want to try there...
No Krogers around here to my knowledge, unfortunately. We'll have to keep looking.

The DW used baking soda instead of washing soda. I'll have to report back if the clothes come out with holes in them or something.

Thanks for the reply.
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Old 01-02-2008, 12:47 PM   #48
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For those of you "in the know" - is this a good deal? Not having luck where I typically shop, and am too lazy to drive all over the place looking. Also, is this ideal for those with sensitive skin?

Soaps Gone Buy - Where Soaps of yesterday are found Today!

The following items are included with this kit:

1 of Arm and Hammer Washing Soda ($5.75 value!)
7 of Fels Naptha Heavy Duty Laundry Soap - Single Bar ($1.89 value!)
1 of 20 Mule Team Borax ($6.95 value!)


Thanks!
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Old 01-02-2008, 02:14 PM   #49
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I mentioned in another thread that one of the areas Im cheap in is laundry detergent. I make my own.
We are a huge fan of washing with cold water and we use detergents that are specifically made for cold water. This saves us quite a bit as we are not using any hot water to do the laundry and still getting the clothes clean. Does your formula work just as well in hot and cold water?
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Old 01-02-2008, 02:14 PM   #50
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For those of you "in the know" - is this a good deal? Not having luck where I typically shop, and am too lazy to drive all over the place looking. Also, is this ideal for those with sensitive skin?

Soaps Gone Buy - Where Soaps of yesterday are found Today!

The following items are included with this kit:

1 of Arm and Hammer Washing Soda ($5.75 value!)
7 of Fels Naptha Heavy Duty Laundry Soap - Single Bar ($1.89 value!)
1 of 20 Mule Team Borax ($6.95 value!)


Thanks!
Those numbers look pretty close to what I paid (albeit slightly higher). With that amount of supplies, youll get at least as much detergent as you would if you purchased a premixed box.

**Its also pretty cool that they list the same dry detergent recipe that I use!
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Old 01-02-2008, 02:50 PM   #51
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We are a huge fan of washing with cold water and we use detergents that are specifically made for cold water. This saves us quite a bit as we are not using any hot water to do the laundry and still getting the clothes clean. Does your formula work just as well in hot and cold water?
We only wash with cold water so I can recommend it will work well for that.
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Old 01-02-2008, 03:01 PM   #52
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It might depend on how cold your water is. Florida cold water is like our warm water. Our cold water is painfully cold and never worked well for washing clothes. Our front loader machine has a cold water wash option that will bring the temperature up to a more reasonable temperature.
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Old 01-02-2008, 05:35 PM   #53
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Washing soda is a much stronger acid offsetter (base) than baking soda. About 2:1. So made with baking soda, homemade detergent would have less cleaning ability, but might be satisfactory if you dont have really dirty clothes. The baking soda would also have less corrosive impact on your clothing, especially delicates.
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Old 01-03-2008, 12:15 AM   #54
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Welcome to Grandma's Lye Soap

"little herman and his brother vermin - had an aversion - to washing their ears - grandma scrubbed them - with her lye soap - and they haven't heard - a word in years!"
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Old 06-20-2009, 02:53 PM   #55
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So, I finally used up the last of my super on sale bargain finding laundry detergent stash (which took me a couple years to get through - but it was a deal!) and when I went to the store to get some new, it looks like all the brands and formulas have changed. My super deal was liquid and I've grown very attached to the ease of use of pouring in the right amount for big or little loads. There are many more liquid kinds to choose from, but the most common stuff seemed to be concentrated liquid laundry detergent. It claims to be 2x concentrated and use barely an ounce for a load of wash.

Maybe I too caviler about laundry, but I don't want to have to make a precise measurement of detergent for every load. At this concentration any sloppy overage or underage is going to make a big difference in getting too little detergent (dirty clothes) or too much (wasteful) pretty much all the time. Does anyone using this stuff have this problem?

I'm thinking maybe I'll just buy a jug of this stuff, decant it into two of my old empty detergent bottles, dilute to the old strength I'm used to, and ignore the whole problem until the next time I run out. Maybe they will sell 4x concentrated by then with a little eyedropper for measuring it. Anybody tried "unconcentrating" this stuff back to normal and see if it still works to clean clothes?
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Old 06-20-2009, 05:46 PM   #56
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Dailly Shower Glass Cleaner 1/2 water and 1/2 Rubbing Alcohol. Spritz on at end of shower and use a squeege or just walk away.
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Old 06-20-2009, 07:54 PM   #57
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I enjoyed reading through this thread. Lots of good ideas as I prefer to use less toxic cleaners. Will definitely employ the window washing formula and also the drain cleaner(baking soda and hot vinegar). I think I will use the latter tomorrow as a matter of fact.
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Old 07-18-2009, 05:25 PM   #58
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I just finished making up a batch of liquid laundry detergent following a recipe using the same ingredients as the OP. I only spent $8 for the ingredients & will be able to make many more batches with the washing soda & borax, only having to buy more bars of Fels Naptha soap which was $1.19. I plan to give several jugs away.
Here's the recipe I used:

HOMEMADE LIQUID LAUNDRY DETERGENT

4 cups hot water 

1 FelsNaptha, Ivory or Sunlight (Canada?) bar soap 

1 cup washing soda 

cup Borax

Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan of hot water. Stir constantly over medium-low heat until soap is all melted.

Fill a large kitty litter bucket or 5-gallon pail full of hot water. Add melted soap, washing soda and borax. Stir well until the powder is dissolved. Fill bucket with more hot water. 
Stir, cover and let sit overnight.

The next morning the pail will be all gelled and very thick. Stir with a stick to break it up. Fill a laundry jug half-full of the detergent, and top with more water. 
Shake before each use.
Use cup for top-load machines, and for front-load.

Use the thickened, undiluted soap as a pre-treater.
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