Saturday, June 25, 2011

Homemade Laundry Detergent....Does it work? - Guest Post

I've read a few posts about homemade laundry detergent and I've always wondered how well it works.  If you've wondered the same thing, check out this awesome science fair project that my friend Natalie Wood sent me:

I have been using the laundry soap for over a year. I have found that it cleans just as well. After using it for 6 months my daughter and I decided to find out if it really does work. So we used it as her 5th grade science fair project.

We added stains to 3 different shirts. The stains are:
  • grass
  • mud
  • catsup
  • mustard
  • chocolate
We let the stains sit for 6 they would be really set in.
#1 Tide with bleach                                  #2 Western Family (generic brand)

 #3 Homemade Laundry Detergent

The results were it cleaned almost as good as the most expensive Tide with bleach and far better than any generic brand.
#1 Tide with Bleach                                    #2 Generic Brand

 #3 Homemade Laundry Detergent

So I have been using 1/2 a scoop of the store brands with 1/2 cup of homemade.  I feel like my laundry is as clean as it is when I use Tide alone.  I get double the life out of my store brand when using them both together.  While doing the science fair project we figured out it costs less then 1 cent per load of laundry.  That is a HUGE savings! Here is the recipe, enjoy!

In a sauce pan combine the following 4 ingredients:
*1/2 cup Borax
*1/2 cup Arm & Hammer WASHING soda, NOT Baking soda!!- Yellow box near the Borax at the store.
*Grate 1/3 of a bar of Fels Nafta soap (score it in 3rds before grating) (found near laundry detergent)
*6 cups water

Heat and stir until dissolved. Do not allow to boil over, be patient-this takes about 1/2 hour.

Into a large bucket pour the heated solution PLUS 1 gallon AND 10 cups of water. This will equal 2 gallons total. 16 cups equals 1 gallon.

Take a funnel and pour it into 2 old milk jugs so it is easier to use at the washing machine. It will turn into a gel solution so you will need to shake it every time you use it. Use 1/2 cup with regular to large loads of laundry or more depending on how soiled the clothes are.

There are no suds with this formula so it can be used with the new front loading machines. There are absolutely no abrasives so clothes don't wear out as fast. The solution is so "slimy" that it causes the dirt in the clothes to release easier.

All it takes is a little bit of your time to grate the soap, heat and pour into jugs. I have 3 gallons for this, when I am down to my last gallon I make this up and fill the other two. That way I will always have some on hand.

I hope you can find this as cost effective and cleaning effective as I have. It's nice to be some way.

Thanks for sharing Nataile!  
If you have a money saving idea you would like featured email me at
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