Coming Clean ..... - Penny Lane Blog at - 249169

Penny Lane

Coming Clean ..... 
Sep. 5, 2011 2:00 pm 
Updated: Nov. 24, 2011 10:32 am
I have been feeling kind of guilty. 
I ran out of my laundry soap a few months ago and have been buying regular laundry detergent.  Shhh - don't tell anyone.
I purchased all the ingredients to make my detergent a while ago - and there they sat.  It isn't hard to make your own detergent but you really need to do this outside. 
You do not want the dust all over your kitchen. 
Believe me! 
It has been hot and I have been lazy.
Today, I got off my duff and set to making myself a years worth of laundry detergent.
 I thought I would share this with my AR friends.

You can use any of these bar soaps.
Then you need Washing Soda and Borax.

You are also going to need Oxy-Clean - I buy generic.
The ingredients cost me about $15.00

Cut the soap in half.  Yes, I use my chef's knife.
It has to fit in the feeder tube of the food processor.
I use the food processor grater attachment.


Load the bar soap and grate.
This is the pink Zote soap - which is very soft. 
I use it for delicates.
Dump the grated soap into a bowl and insert the steel blade.
Depending on the size of your bowl you may have to work in small batches. 

Add the Oxy-Clean and pulse -
add the other dry ingredients - pulse.

There you go - Laundry Detergent.

See that little scoop? 
You use 1/2 of a scoop for regular loads.
A full scoop for heavily soiled clothes.
Use white vinegar in the fabric softener dispenser. 
I promise your clothes will not smell like vinegar.
click on the blue link for the 'recipe'
I should add a couple of comments.
1)  I have an HE top load machine and this soap works great because it does not suds up. 
2)  I know I have found all the ingredients at Winco.  I have been told they are all at WalMart. 
3)  Kirk's Castile and Zote are my favorite for everyday use.  Fels-Naptha is great for really dirty laundry. 
4)  It took me longer to write this blog than it did to make my laundry detergent - what the heck was I waiting for?

There have been many people asking where to buy the bar soaps.  At your market look both on the laundry aisle and with the regular bar soaps.   It will be on the very top or bottom shelf.
Here is a link to locations that sell the Kirk's Castile Soap.
Sep. 5, 2011 2:17 pm
Wow, that's great. Just a few days ago I was reading an article online on how to make your own laundry soap but it involved dissolving it all in big 5 gallon buckets. It looked like a big slimy mess! But your way is definately something I would actually do. And I second the vinegar in the wash. It leaves them smelling fresh and clean. It's a great odor when you leave the laundry sitting in the washing machine too long and it smells mildewy. Just run it through again with soap and vinegar. Not that I've ever done that!
Sep. 5, 2011 2:27 pm
Michelle - Not that I have EVER done that but I have HEARD that using this soap and the white vinegar - even if you do leave the clothes in the washer too long - there is no mildewy smell. ;) The other great thing about this is that there is no soap build up left in the washer or soap dispenser. :)
Sep. 5, 2011 2:31 pm
I want to try this so badly, but there is no Fels Naptha or Zote here. I am hunting. Thanks for the recipe though. As soon as I find the soap I am making this.
Sep. 5, 2011 2:32 pm
how much vinegar do you use? This is something I want to try.
Sep. 5, 2011 2:32 pm
I have an old fashioned top loading Kenmore washer. Would I just use the whole scoop every time? It's not HE so just wondering. Also, I can't find the Fels Naptha anywhere, any help?? BTW, love all your recipes too!!
Sep. 5, 2011 2:34 pm
Rosebud - if you can find the Kirk's Castile is is great. I found 3 bars for just over $1.00. Zote is often in the Mexican markets. Fels is sometimes in with the regular bar soaps. WalMart is said to have all the ingredients. My Winco had everything too. Hope you find it....if not let me know and I will mail you some.
Sep. 5, 2011 2:37 pm
Cindy - I have an HE washer so the detergent goes into the dispenser but my daughter doesn't - she starts the water on hot - adds the soap (same smount) and then immediately switches the water to what ever temp she is using - adds clothes and washes away. Out of all the soaps - Fels Naptha is my least favorite except for really dirty stuff. The Kirk's Castile and the white Zote are my favorites. I made all of them today.
Sep. 5, 2011 2:37 pm
Oh - sorry Cindy. Thanks for the compliment. :)
Sep. 5, 2011 2:39 pm
BN, just this week our Rural King (a farm supply store) ran an ad in the paper with Fels, washing soda and borax on sale, with a comment to ask in store for recipe to make your own laundry soap!! :) So, if any of you can't find these ingredients, check a farm supply store in your area.
Sep. 5, 2011 2:41 pm
Good find LS! I know that many Ace Harware stores carry the ingredients too. :)
Sep. 5, 2011 2:43 pm
I use the liquid version of the laundry detergent! I LOVE it! I also make it for a no kill shelter here because they do so many loads of towels and blankets. It is sooooooooooooo cheap!
Sep. 5, 2011 2:44 pm
Shannon - I can't believe how expensive commercial laundry soap is - the make a killing on this stuff. How do you store your liquid soap?
Sep. 5, 2011 2:44 pm
I get the Fels Naptha at Publix for .99.
Sep. 5, 2011 2:51 pm
I use and old deterfent bottle for mine and I put the one I take to the shelter in a 20 lb. cat litter container. There is still some in a 5 gallon bucket... that is what I mix it up in!
Sep. 5, 2011 2:55 pm
It makes an amazing amount of soap! I have always done the powdered version because I like to make a ton and store it. It doesn't go bad and I can just keep a plastic bag and a scoop in the house - the rest is stored in the garage until I need it.
Sep. 5, 2011 3:00 pm
I'm wondering what this will do to a septic tank? I know that using pure soap (like Ivory) will end up in clumps and eventually if you are unlucky do a real clogging number. (not pretty!) I know that liquid biodegradable detergent is the only thing that I have heard that is recommended for septic. Our cottage tanks have been on borrowed time since for decades now so I would like definately like to try this but need to know what it will do to a septic tank - how it dissolves etc. Thanks!
Sep. 5, 2011 3:04 pm
I am new at this, but I think I missed something, would like to try the liquid version of the laundry soap, have HE washer.
Sep. 5, 2011 3:10 pm
freezermama - I will ask my son in law - he pumps septic and installs systems. I know that my daughter uses it and they are on septic. I will get back to you.
Sep. 5, 2011 3:12 pm
binstitchin - I have an HE washer and use the powdered version - maybe someone can post a link to the liquid version. I have never made or used that so, I personally can't point you in the right direction.
Sep. 5, 2011 4:36 pm
freezermama - OK - talked to my SIL and I also did a fair amount of online research....Ivory soap is pure soap and will cause back ups where as detergents do not. Google the difference between pure soap and detergent. Also - I checked the ingredents on the packaging and they all say septic safe.
Sep. 5, 2011 4:53 pm
Here's the link to the liquid version. I was going to make this until I saw the dry recipe. I prefer not having to mix and store the liquid - which also says it may gel up, so shake before use . . . I am happy with the powder version. I just add the soap, start the water, let it run for a minute to disolve the soap and add my laundry. . . ***
Sep. 5, 2011 4:54 pm
Testing, testing.
Sep. 5, 2011 4:54 pm
Hmmmm - I like the asterisks to separate out the links - but apparently it causes all the extra characters to pop up before the link . . . guess I won't do that anymore (=
Sep. 5, 2011 4:58 pm
Someone above asked about vinegar and I didn't see an answer [there could be one, I just didn't see it (=]. I've read to use 3/4 c in the rinse cycle. I just add it to my softener dispenser - to the fill line, then I top off with water (just because). Someone - maybe wyattdogster - tried it in her Downey ball the other day and said it worked fine. I am awful about catching the rinse cycle to add fabric softener, so I would use my Downey ball if I didn't have my dispenser . . .
Sep. 5, 2011 4:59 pm
I use my blade for the whole thing - I very, very rarely use my grater for anything. AND, I highly recommend covering your food processor with a towel when doing this, and letting the powder settle in the processor before removing the towel and lid.
Sep. 5, 2011 5:00 pm
If you cannot find "washing soda," I found it at WalMart in the pool supplies as "Ph Plus."
Sep. 5, 2011 5:03 pm
Oh! And one more thing: Not too long ago, I was tearing my kitchen apart, frustrated as all heck because I could not find my food processor. And things do disappear in my house. (I think my last mixer broke and was tossed, because someone didn't want to get in trouble, and no on would admit to it . . . ) ANYway, a couple days later I found my food processor on the work bench in my garage where I left it after making laundry soap and having to run to work after (= Ooops!
Sep. 5, 2011 5:07 pm
Cindy, I have a regular, old fashioned top load, not HE machine, and I use a half scoop to a whole scoop just like Ba'Nana says to. And I use pretty much the same process she says her daughter does, normally starting with hot (but not always), then switching to cold, and giving it a minute to dissolve before adding my clothes. I have not ever had a problem with powder residue from this laundry soap.
Sep. 5, 2011 5:09 pm
I use Downey balls and fill to the line with vinegar. They work perfectly, no static cling, no odors, clothes come out nice and fresh.
Sep. 5, 2011 6:00 pm
Thanks for the input Barb - I always grate - well, I do now that I found the attachment - but it is good to know you don't have to.
Sep. 5, 2011 6:01 pm
BSM - I am such a HUGE fan of white vinegar! Glad to know it works in the Downey Balls!
Sep. 5, 2011 6:30 pm
My problem with the white vinegar is that I go through it so darn fast because one (or two) of my danged cats keeps piddling where she (he?) shouldn't! I soak the cat pee things in the machine in a LOT of white vinegar before washing like normal. I thought we had worked out whatever the problem is, but no . . . .
Sep. 5, 2011 6:49 pm
Barb - Sam's and Costco has white vinegar CHEAP CHEAP - Stock up my friend.
Sara G 
Sep. 5, 2011 7:49 pm
I started out with the liquid detergent, but I didn't like having to shake and lift the heavy jugs. I've been using the dry detergent for a year or so in my HE washer, along with white vinegar "rinse" and don't plan to change back to commercial products. The ingredients can be found on line if you can't locate them in any of the stores near you. The detergent is cheap, safe, and does a great job!
Sep. 5, 2011 8:21 pm
Sara G. I really like the fact that I can make this once or twice a year - in bulk and store it. Best of all my washer does not collect any of the "gunk" that comes with commercial products. Thanks for chiming in!
Sep. 5, 2011 8:32 pm
I don't get to Costco often enough (or maybe that's actually a good thing!) - but I will put it on my list for next time!
Sep. 5, 2011 8:55 pm
Just want to add for all of the skeptics out there (like I was) - please just try this! It works great and I got all of the ingredients from WM, too. I also found that I like how it works better than how the name brand ones work - clothes come out great, dish towels that I was going to throw away have new life, and its uber-cheap! I figured out that its costing me about 5-6 cents per load. When you have six people in your house, that counts up quick! Thanks again Baking Nana - I'm so glad I jumped the fence and gave it a whirl. :)
Sep. 5, 2011 10:49 pm
Thank you for posting Caroline. I too was a skeptic, like you It is a small investment to discover a whole new world of clean, fresh laundry. I just finished de- gunking ( for lack of a better term) my washer - after only a couple of months of using commercial soap - it was really bad. The best side effect of this is whiter than white finger nails.
Sep. 6, 2011 4:59 am
I used to make my own laundry detergent, just like Baking Nana's! ...until I found "Charlie's Soap". I needed something without scent for my husbands hunting clothes and "Charlie's Soap" is perfect, so I stopped making my own because I was happy with the results. Did you know that the deer can see the chemical brighteners found in regular laundry detergent?
Sep. 6, 2011 5:57 am
Excellent post, B'Nana! We are about to extinguish our current supply of commecial soap so it will be easy for us to try this. In our advancing age, both of us have become more sensitive to perfumes and scents so, hopefully, you have spared us some anguish. It certainly will be worth the effort. There is a large supply store an hour away that caters tonthe lifestyle of the Amish and they will have all of this. We have a WalMart, also, but I would rather travel the distance.
Sep. 6, 2011 6:03 am
BN - at least you found a good use for commercial laundry soap, lol! :D
Sep. 6, 2011 6:17 am
Baking Nana, at least you spent your holiday weekend constructively! I took the kid, the dog, some beers and went fishing. We are finally having lovely weather and I couldn't resist. So I've been buying All free & clear for the sensitive skinned here. Do you think it would be worth my effort to switch to homemade then?
Sep. 6, 2011 7:01 am
Cat - Sounds to me like you spent your long weekend doing what you were supposed to be doing, relaxing. Two of my grandkids have very sensitive skin. The pediatrician suggested the white vinegar rinse. Even the All Free and Clear leaves a build up in my washer - this detergent doesn't. If you switch I would recommend using the Kirk's Castile bar soap - it is very mild.
Sep. 6, 2011 7:07 am
Good morning Mike. I hope you like this detergent as much as I do. It amazes me how little you need to use to get really clean clothes. At the store you are going to you will find the type of bar soap you need. The Fels-Naptha is the strongest smelling. The Kirk's Castile uses coconut oil and has a very mild scent - the clothes however have no scent at all after being washed and dried. Thanks for stopping in.
Sep. 6, 2011 7:09 am
Denise - is Charlie's Soap concentrated like this soap? I didn't know that about the chemical brightners - but then again, we are not hunters. Do you use vinegar in the rinse?
Sep. 6, 2011 7:29 am
Thanks, BN, I can't wait to try this! Commercial laundry detergent is so expensive, and the softener gunks up the dispenser, too. I'll be switching to this and vinegar as soon as I can go get the ingredients!
Sep. 6, 2011 8:01 am
wisweetp - Thanks for stopping in. I know when I first started making this I had to go to three stores to find everything I needed. Now I keep my eyes open and pick up extra bars of the Kirk's Castile when I see them. BTW - if you are making mulitple batches, which I do, you will run out of Washing Soda before the Borax or Oxy-clean. The box of Washing Soda is two.
Sep. 6, 2011 8:54 am
I have been wanting to try this since everyone first started talking about it. The thing I am not sure about is the food processor - do you all use your kitchen one, or do you have a separate one for the soap? I was worried about the residue being hard to clean off.
Sep. 6, 2011 9:11 am
ok, BN, very much a rookie here so I may be missing something very obvious here so I apologize in advance. Is there a certain amount of each product that you use or do you use all or are there instructions on the boxes of these products? Sorry again, very much new at this.
Sep. 6, 2011 9:25 am
Looks like a great idea to make your own detergent. I am wondering if there is a no scent version that I can make. I'm allergic to most scents, but I would love to try this.
Sep. 6, 2011 9:32 am
Maghann - I use my Cuisnart from my kitchen. The soap washes right off in hot water - no problem at all. My hubby questioned that too - "Don't you use that for food too?" But if you think about it, what do we wash our dishes with? Soap.
Sep. 6, 2011 9:32 am
Thanks for posting this - finally going to try it! @keene52700 - click on the title 'Home made Laundry Soap' in blue just ^^ up there at the end of the blog and it takes you to the 'recipe'.
Sep. 6, 2011 9:33 am
Keene - If you click on the blue hyperlink that says Homemade Laundry Soap it will take you to the "recipe". Thanks for stopping in - I hope you give it a try.
Sep. 6, 2011 9:39 am
kelli -
Sep. 6, 2011 9:41 am
Kelli - Kirk's Castile makes a fragrance free soap. There is the link to their products. Mike Harvey this would work for you too.
Sep. 6, 2011 9:42 am
CC - thanks for stopping in. I really hope you like this. It is amazing to me how little you have to use. :)
Sep. 6, 2011 9:47 am
kelli - here is another link for the fragrance free soap.
Sep. 6, 2011 9:48 am
Seems it is sold in health food stores.
Sep. 6, 2011 10:26 am
Baking Nana, you just became my newest bestest friend! I love you to death for mentioning that you use it in your HE machine's dispenser. I was all set to click to the next blog post when I saw that. I've got a front-loader so must use dispenser. Thank you from the bottom of my wallet!
Sep. 6, 2011 10:27 am
Oh, yeah! How much does the scoop hold? I don't have any, but DO have an old tablespoon measure that I've been dying to re-purpose. Would that work?
Sep. 6, 2011 10:29 am
Oop. Never mind, B'Nana! I just followed your link and see my tablespoon will work perfectly. Thanks for posting this as a recipe. Genius!
Sep. 6, 2011 10:34 am
I use my homemade soap. Any batches that turn out weird looking or ugly. :) And I buy the washing soda and borax online by the case
Sep. 6, 2011 10:48 am
Lucy! You are so welcome. Commercial detergent is soooo expensive compared to this - they are making a killing on fillers. I am so glad that I took the time to make more yesterday. :) Hope you enjoy.
Sep. 6, 2011 10:50 am
Petey - What a perfect way to re-purpose your soap rejects. :) Thanks for stopping in - you are always an inspiration.
Sep. 6, 2011 11:40 am
There's been so much buzz around the home-made laundry detergent that I'm glad you took the time to write this blog. I'm a very visual person. Now, my only question...Was it difficult to clean the food processor after all that? I have a new one and can't bring myself to grating soap and having a film on it. Am I wrong?
Sep. 6, 2011 11:42 am
lovecakes the soap just washes right off in hot water. No problem at all. When I am done - I put the bowls etc in a sink of hot water - let soak - it washes right off.
Sep. 6, 2011 11:44 am
Luv2cook - email is on the way!
Sep. 6, 2011 12:08 pm
luv2cook, you are in good hands!! Thanks BN, the weekend was lovely and I actually got to see my DH today for 5 minutes. His route took him up I35 so I went to see him at the truckstop to deliver pulled pork sandwiches and a jacket. I'm not in the mood to make soap right now so I will keep all this wonderful info and maybe someday.. :)
Sep. 6, 2011 1:29 pm
Hi Cat - I am glad you got to see her hubby - if even for a few minutes. If the urge to make your own detergent ever strikes - you will be well armed! :)
Sep. 6, 2011 1:30 pm
luv2cook - I deleted your comment to protect your email address. I don't want to get spammed to death!
Sep. 6, 2011 2:22 pm
Baking Nana, to answer your question. Charlie's Soap is highly concentrated. Only 1 TBSP per load. It was the brighteners and artificial scents of fabric softeners that I wanted to get away from. I no longer use fabric softeners or dryer sheets and my jeans and towels are not stiff from the gunk from those products.
Sep. 6, 2011 2:28 pm
Baking Nana - I managed to find everything for this today, except for any of those four soaps. Looked everywhere I could think of. But, I'm guessing ANY natural castile soap would work, correct? I'm sure I'll find some at my natural foods store.
Sep. 6, 2011 3:04 pm
CC - That will be perfect! The will undoubtedly have the Kirk's Castile - probably unscented too. :)
Sep. 6, 2011 3:42 pm
Good Lord, I thought this a fabulous idea until I went out and bought everything except the ^&(^^(^ soap. All I could find was hemp Castile soap for $6.00 per bar. I got everything else for about $30 including a box of soap flakes so I'm gonna be able to make some but where the heck? I found Zote for $5 over at Amazon. Where do you find your stuff Baking Nana?
Sep. 6, 2011 4:25 pm
Yes, where did you get all your bar soap? I saw this on the internet a while ago, but keep forgetting to shop online. I've always wanted to try it.
Sep. 6, 2011 4:36 pm
Sep. 6, 2011 4:38 pm
That is a link to the retail outlets that carry Kirk's Castile bar soap. 1st Lady - Winco on Rio Rancho Rd in Pomona has all the ingredients. Zote is in most Mexican markets too. Any Natural Foods place will have Castile Soap - it is vegetable based.
Sep. 6, 2011 4:40 pm
Randy - I got 3 bars of Kirk's Castile soap for less than $3.00 - Huge Zote for .99 Always look on the very top shelf of the laundry aisle and also in the bar soap section of any market - there it will probably be on the very bottom shelf.
Sep. 6, 2011 6:35 pm
About 3 minutes actually but he loved the sandwiches. Got any home remedies for flea issues? I will be well armed indeed if I ever feel like making soap. I used to know a lady who made it from scratch using her own goat's milk. I wish she still lived around here. You are too far away to drop in on :)(:
Sep. 6, 2011 6:44 pm
I helped out a neighbor with her laundry. I washed it in my machine with cheap powdered soap. I used the downy ball of vinegar. When it was done, it still smelled like the Gain she uses. That stuff must leave a residue that evn my stuff could not get out.
Sep. 6, 2011 6:56 pm
One Hot Mama - I was reading yesterday about the residue left behind by MANY commercial detergents - it builds up in layers - actually making the cloth non absorbant. Her clothes need a good soaking - and rinse in vinegar - I HATE the smell of Gain. Yuck.
Sep. 6, 2011 7:04 pm
One Hot Mama - thinking about this reminds my of one of my son in laws - works construction - hot - sweaty and dirty work - one day one of his co-workers said, "Man, you stink!" He was mortified - daughter called me in tears. I had her soak all his clothes in the borax and washing soda - rinse - soak in water / vinegar solution then rinse and then wash in the homemade stuff and vinegar rinse. Problem solved.
Sep. 6, 2011 7:13 pm
BTW - I had her use the formula with Fels-Naptha with hot water - it smelled terrible while washing - but all that yuck washed away - it really does work.
Sep. 6, 2011 9:21 pm
Randy - what kind of soap flakes did you get?
Sep. 7, 2011 4:31 am
BTW - I added the link for the locations that Kirk's Castile is sold to the body of the blog. Hope this helps.
Sep. 7, 2011 6:53 am
Hi BN: Everyone else got it, but I am confused. You grate the bar of soap, then empty that into a bowl. Then you add the other dry ingredients to the processor + the grated soap in small batches. Is that supposed to sufficiently "blend" all the ingredients? Maybe I should try a small batch? Thanks a lot!
Sep. 7, 2011 7:24 am
Maureen, I have been making this at home for a couple of years and I never grate the other dry ingredients. Just the Castile soap. Then I put everything in a big bowl and stir it. I love this soap.
Sep. 7, 2011 7:29 am
Maureen - I do grate the soap then insert the steel blade and add the oxyclean - then add all the other stuff and pulse again - it chops is very fine and mixes it all together. I am sure it would be fine just mixing it in a bowl but when I use the grater attachment the soap pieces are too big for my liking.
Sep. 7, 2011 7:30 am
pubgirl has a good point - if you use the steel blade to "grate" the soap - much like parmesan cheese then you wouldn't need to use the processor for the dry ingredients.
Sep. 7, 2011 9:40 am
Nana, the soap flakes I bought were found in a health food place, and subsequently found in several others. It would seem that the desire to make a better cheaper laundry soap is alive and well. I can't tell you what type of soap it is. The box doesn't have anything but a recipe for laundry soap ( which mirrors yours minus the Oxyclean) and a web site addy. The Web site is useless. It differs in that it recommends using 1/2 cup per load. I made it your way and we used a tablespoon. Time will tell.
Sep. 7, 2011 9:40 am
Oh, the brand is called Eco-Pioneer made by Verve Naturals.
Sep. 7, 2011 11:39 am
Does this detergent work well if you wash using only cold water? I normally buy Tide Free for Coldwater HE. Also, I saw it mentioned that it works well in a top-loading HE machine but is it also okay in a front-loading HE machine? I'm not sure if the front-loader is more finicky. Thank you.
Sep. 7, 2011 12:24 pm
Randy - It seems that homemade detergent is making a come back! Good to know. :)
Sep. 7, 2011 1:06 pm
I suspect it's always been around, just new to you and me perhaps lol.
Sep. 7, 2011 1:35 pm
Just FYI...I've been able to buy the bars of Zote at the .99 cent store.
Sep. 7, 2011 1:40 pm
Nemui - Maybe someone with a front loader will chime in. I know it works fine in cold water - as I use cold for a lot of things. I am just not familiar with your machine.
Sep. 7, 2011 1:40 pm
YEAH! Lovecakes! WTG! Score!
Sep. 7, 2011 5:34 pm
1Q-Leaves thing clean be it whites or colors? 2Q- would you ever go back to store detergent? 4Q- Do you think your clothes seem grayer??
Sep. 7, 2011 5:35 pm
I recently started making homemade liquid soap (ivory bar soap/water/evoo)I shred 4-6 bars at one time and store in Ziploc bag as well and I use a gallon large mason jar to store it in when done making the mixture..
Sep. 7, 2011 5:56 pm
My clothes are whiter! In fact towels that I thought should head to the rug pile have new life! As for store detergent - only if I run out of this and it is too hot and I am too lazy to make more. :) It does leave all the clothes - whites and colors brighter - I think it is because there is no soap residue left behind.
Sep. 7, 2011 5:59 pm
I haven't tried the Ivory mix you are talking about BUT I did read a lot and this mixture is not easy on septic systems. It also tends to build up unless used with a white vinegar rinse. What you have is pure soap - this is detergent.
Sep. 7, 2011 6:12 pm
Here's my confession: I AM CHEAP! I had this great idea that I was going to make my own soap and save. So I bought everything I would need to make the liquid soap a few months ago, including the 5 gal. bucket, cause I didn't want some scuzzy thing. I don't know if I didn't cook it long enough or what, but there was no gelling to this stuff. To keep my husband from asking, I threw out the whole bucket. I am wondering on my HE machine if I just put the powdered detergent in where I normally put the liquid (the washer was in the house when I moved in, hubby lived there as a bachelor, there are no instruction books to anything). And just 1 tablespoon?
Sep. 7, 2011 6:18 pm
H&P's Mommy - I am so sorry you have to throw out the whole bucket. Yes, just one Tablespoon - 2 if it's a really full load or super dirty. I haven't ever used the liquid soap - it sounds messy to me. I honestly wish I could show you the difference. I just saved a bra the straps were so dingy that I was about to toss it - I washed it in this stuff and it has all knew life.
Sep. 7, 2011 6:20 pm
H&P's Mommy my HE machine has a dispenser for powder and one for liquid. I have heard about the homemade liquid being too thick for the HE dispenser.
Sep. 7, 2011 6:56 pm
All of those ingredients are available at my local Wal-Mart. My MIL has been making this same recipe for over a year. I think it cleans better than the commercial stuff. At my mom's this summer, she did some laundry for me, and for days I couldn't figure out why I was itching then it occured to me that mom uses commercial detergent. I've always been sensative to dyes and perfumes, and the homemade deteregent eliminated the problem. When I wore the commercial wash clothes I couldn't believe the difference! This is a wonderful way to save money and avoid those nasty sensativity issues. Thanks for sharing:)
Sep. 7, 2011 7:55 pm
Mangel - thanks for that testimony - it is really hard to convince people that this isn't just cheaper it is better. The reason I make a bunch at a time is that I hate running out of it. :)
Sep. 8, 2011 6:59 am
Hi BN,I, too have bought all the ingredients to make this soap, but haven't yet. Maybe this W/E, since we aren't hving the AR get-together yet. I would like to go, & was wondering if we could car-pool? I have not been able to find your phone#-my house eats things, & it's appetite seems to be increasing. I think I have your email, but will hae to look for it later, as I'm off to work in just a few minutes. Thanks for keeping the interest in the laundry soap right in front of us. I'm running low & saving $$ is really getting important, not to mention the washer, the clothes, etc.!
Sep. 8, 2011 8:17 am
BN, bear with me...I have a question on down there. I'll try to make the question stand out. Here's the lead in to it, though: I bought my Zote early in the summer, but when DH heard the reason, he nixed the whole project. :( Well, it's almost another season later, and I'm considering doing the dry version (surely his reluctance was in part due to having slime storage issues...surely, surely). So, I'm thinking that I could (maybe) reconstitute one of the soapy powder packs with warm water and refill a detergent bottle, and he would not be "on to me", but merely amazed that the detergent bottle never seems to run out. So, --->....QUESTION...
Sep. 8, 2011 8:18 am
Sep. 8, 2011 8:19 am
How much water to how much powder do you think might be appropriate to make a half gallon of liquid detergent? Anyone who has a theory is welcome to jump in on this. My email address is on my cook's profile, I think. Sorry for choppy post.
Sep. 8, 2011 8:22 am
I scored twenty-five 100 oz. Tide liquid at the closeout shelf at Fresh and Easy for $2.25 a bottle.(75% off) I thought I got a great deal. In a couple years, when I run out, I will def give this a "whirl". This is amazingly easy and cheap.
Sep. 8, 2011 8:23 am
Well, no it isn't. So, here it is:
Sep. 8, 2011 8:25 am
Oh! Mauigirl...I was not responding to your comment. YES it is! (amazingly easy and cheap). My "no it isn't" was about whether I had put my email address on my profile page. Seems I had not, after all. Oops.
Sep. 8, 2011 9:34 am
I would love to try this, but what if I don't have a food processor?
Sep. 8, 2011 9:57 am
Mi Being Mi - a friend of mine used to make this with out a food processor - finely grating the bar soap etc... It was quite a bit of work getting the bar soap small enough. Let me ask her how she did it... I know she has since bought a food processor.
Sep. 8, 2011 9:58 am
Mauigirl - sounds like you are set for detergent for quite a while. Good find!
Sep. 8, 2011 10:00 am
Hezzy - I will email you but I need to figure out how to make this work for you. Hubby won't go for dry soap? It is so much easier than liquid.
Sep. 8, 2011 10:01 am
goodeats - I will end you an email about the 17th.
Sep. 8, 2011 11:24 am
Baking Nana, Sorry if my post looked like one of those spam things that have been happening here recently :)
Sep. 8, 2011 12:09 pm
Thanks B'Nana....I have a regular old blender, but doubt if that's powerful enough. I just can't afford a food processor right now. We just bought a new HE top loading washer (installed last night) and I would love to start using homemade detergent in it.
Sep. 8, 2011 12:24 pm
Mi - If you grated by hand then you could do small batches of the soap and some dry ingredients together - dump and repeat. I think that would work. I haven't heard back from my friend yet - I will let you know.
Sep. 8, 2011 12:25 pm
mauigirl - That is funny! :)
Sep. 8, 2011 1:58 pm
Here's one more question for you, BN. The materials to make the batch of soap flakes cost about $15. But I didn't read anywhere how much, volumnwise, the recipe makes. How many cups,pounds,?? I am trying to calculate how much or I should say, how many washes I would get from the recipe and initial investment. I am only washing for 2 here, so I know it would last longer for us. But it will have to be economical for us to make the investment. I like the idea of simpler products and getting back to basics. Thanks!
Sep. 8, 2011 2:53 pm
I have never thought about making my own laundry soap but holy cow - how simple and inexpensive!! Thanks for the "recipe" and the idea. I know what I'm going to be doing this weekend! :)
Sep. 8, 2011 3:47 pm
scooter2 - I buy the generic Oxy-clean $6.00 I used 6 bars of soap (Kirk's 3 bars = $3.00 / Fels 1 bar = .99 / small Zote 1 bar = .99 / 1 large bar Zote = 2 batches at 1.99 / Washing Soda 2 boxes @ $3.00 / Borax - 1 large box = $4.00 ) So about $20 + / - and I made all the soap you see in the pictures. You will have extra oxy-clean, too. That will last us almost a year at 1 - 2 Tablespoons at a time. White Vinegar I get at Sam's or Costco = 2 big bottles for less than $4.
Sep. 8, 2011 3:49 pm
susan - it is so easy. Enjoy! Make sure you can do it outside! The powder is hard to remove from everything in the house. Don't ask me how I know this. :)
Sep. 9, 2011 7:57 am
Cat - you asked about flea control.....
Sep. 9, 2011 8:46 am
Sorry for the confusing Baking Nana when I was talking about Ivory soap I was talking about for Washing Hands (Liquid Hand Washing Soap) NOT for this recipe...
Sep. 9, 2011 9:02 am
Now that makes sense Jayashiangel - Thanks for that link.
Sep. 9, 2011 1:56 pm
Hi! Thanks for sharing this, I can't wait to make it. I do not have a processor, any thoughts on how I can shred the bar soap without one? Money is so tight right now I can use all the cost cutting tricks I can get. TY again, MiamiKatt
Sep. 9, 2011 2:36 pm
miamikatt - my friend said she grated her Fels-Naptha with a micro-plane until she met me and saw me use the food processor.
Sep. 9, 2011 2:37 pm
BTW - the other soaps might be too soft for a microplane - ask around a friend might have a Food Processor you can borrow.
Sep. 9, 2011 2:41 pm
Good idea, thanks.
Sep. 9, 2011 4:17 pm
I just had to drop back in to say that I made this detergent today. I found all my ingredients at my local grocery store (I bought the Kirk's Castile soup and generic oxygenated cleaner). Spent about $20 or so, and I bought 2 3-packs of the soap,and I was able to get 4 batches before the soap ran out. I love this stuff! It was so easy to make, and it works great. I also switched to white vinegar for fabric softener. My clothes are super clean and smell great. I (and my wallet!) thank you so much for posting this, BN!! I have told all my family about it!
Sep. 9, 2011 8:53 pm
wisweetp - I am SOOO glad you reported back with your success! Thanks so much for trying it! :)
Sep. 9, 2011 11:59 pm
I'm going to give this a whirl! Wish me luck! I've bought Kirk's coco castile before on sale and if I remember correctly it is hypoallergenic, the scented one. I've seen all the other ingredients at stores nearby, except the zote. Which is ok, because I don't think its hypoallergenic(?). I usually buy any free and clear detergent thats on sale, its just so expensive! Just a quick question, do I have to use oxy-clean? I know they make a dye/scent free version, but it's hard to find and costs more than the regular. I wish I could find a generic free one! I don't have a washer and dryer in my apartment. UGH! I have to use the complex's laundry room, so I think this recipe is great! I can just put some powder in a ziploc baggie with a scoop. I'm sooo looking foward to not lugging around heavy bottles anymore! I've never tried the vinegar before, but I'll try that to in half our clothes since only one of us is allergic to everything! I still love the smell of fabric softener! Thanks for the recipe!!!
Sep. 10, 2011 5:05 am
Yen - I personally have not tried this without the oxy-clean although I have seen many "recipes" for it online that don't call for oxyclean - so I imagine that it works. If you have someone with allergies the vinegar will really help. Good luck!
karols kitchen 
Sep. 11, 2011 7:53 am
Maybe I'm a little slow, but I add a whole box of washing soda, a box of borax and container of oxyclean to the zote? I'm scared I'd mess up without measurements. Thanks!
Sep. 11, 2011 8:47 am
Karol - NO - click on the BLUE hyperlink - it will take you to the recipe. I messed up and really should have put the recipe within the blog itself. Sorry - hope you see this.
karols kitchen 
Sep. 11, 2011 1:07 pm
Thanks, Nana!
Sep. 11, 2011 4:00 pm
Great Blog Baking Nana! (as usual) I really should try to make this. Orange has severe skin allergies. I have tried every laundry soap under the sun. Most of them gauld him. Maybe this one wouldn't. Thanks so much for the recipe. I've copied it to a word file. Oh, and what is HE? In other blogs, I've noticed you mentioning that you have an HE top loading washer. "Heavy enough" to do really dirty laundy? LOL!!!
Sep. 11, 2011 8:54 pm
Candice - HE washers are High Efficiency - not a lot of water and they don't like BIG suds. Front loaders are all HE - newer top loader with no center agitator are usually HE. Try the Kirk's Castille - I bet it works for him.
Sep. 11, 2011 8:55 pm
Whew! Karol - glad you saw my post!
Sep. 12, 2011 8:05 am
Thanks Ba'Nana! I do think I will make some (using the Kirk's Castille) and see how it works.
Sep. 12, 2011 10:31 am
I put this on the Buzz today but also wanted to share on Nana's blog. I found everything needed at Publix. (I'm here in SC) Here is a breakdown of what the cost was: 3 bars of FelsNaptha soap- 0.99 each bar. Kirks Castile- (only sold 3 bar pack) $3.29. Arm and Hammer Washing Soda- $2.50. Borax- $3.99. OxyClean- $7.99. (couldn't find generic of that in this particular store.) I spent a total of $20.74, minus tax. The Kirks Castile was located in the soap aisle, bottom shelf. The rest of the ingredients were all together in the laudnry aisle. Happy Washing everyone!
Sep. 12, 2011 5:37 pm
If you have a Cracker Barrel in your area they sell Kirks Castile soap for $1.50 a bar here in phoenix most regular stores price per bar is $3.99
Sep. 12, 2011 8:46 pm
B.riddle - so glad you found everything! bd.weld - your review made me laugh. Good info Jayashiangel - I can get it around here for about $1. a bar in packs of 3. I bet their bars are bigger.
Sep. 12, 2011 11:04 pm
I need a Heavy Enough machine (=
Sep. 13, 2011 6:56 am
That is funny Barb. :)
Nov. 24, 2011 10:32 am
Does homemade detergent fade clothing at a different rate than regular detergent? I'm anxious to try this recipe, but when I switched to All Hypoallergenic Free & Clear several months ago, I noticed that my clothing was fading much faster than with the usual Cheer. Now that I've switched back, I'm hesitant to try new detergents.
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Baking Nana

Member Since
Aug. 2009

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Baking, Grilling & BBQ, Frying, Stir Frying, Slow Cooking, Asian, Mexican, Italian, Healthy, Quick & Easy

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About Me
Every morning my granddaughter calls and says, "Good morning Nana. Whatcha doing? Are you baking Nana?" Hence my name, Baking Nana. I love to bake bread and never get tired of it. Yeast is additive!
My favorite things to cook
I go through phases, Asian for a while then Italian then on to something else. I love experimenting with new flavors and different spices. Some times my husband will ask if we will ever have "ordinary" food again. Once in a while I have to toss him a burger just to keep quite! Actually, he is a good sport and my favorite taste tester.
My favorite family cooking traditions
In our family if it is your birthday you get to choose the menu. We have had some really interesting meals. In March we have 5 birthdays so we do one big party - what a crazy menu that is! Christmas dinner is very traditional. Sausage rolls, Prime Rib, Yorkshire Pudding, gravy, Green beans with bacon, Mashed Potatoes (the really fattening kind) and trifle for dessert. If I were to dare to omit any of those items I would be lynched.
My cooking triumphs
Mastering really great bread is probably my biggest triumph. I am always so pleased when I create a perfect Asian dish.
My cooking tragedies
There have been a few but none so horrible that I can't laugh about them now.
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