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"Where better to care for the soul than in the details of our daily lives?....The soul has an absolute, unforgiving need for regular excursions into enchantment. It requires them like the body needs food and the mind needs thought... An enchanted world is one that speaks to the soul, to the mysterious depths of the heart and imagination where we find value, love and union with the world around us. As mystics of many religions have taught, that sense of rapturous union can give a sense of fulfillment that makes life purposeful and vibrant." ~ Thomas Moore.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Homemade Laundry Detergent

Hello All,

I'm very into natural products, the complete elimination of chemicals from my life entirely and in this quest I make my own body products, except shampoo, but now using the baking soda method ....but this is about laundry detergent. I don't remember what made me look it up last week, but in the midst of one project I got on line for something about ''laundry'' and found a post to homemade laundry detergent and could not resist. LOL :D .....A couple hours later, I have my own made and ready to go.
Again, one of the things I guide my self by is that I must have the products on hand already, or that they are easily and extremely cheaply accessed. In this case I had all 3 on hand and I'm sure most women do.
I googled homemade detergent in ''images'' and found so many that were connected to blogspots and I went through alot of them reading the women's stories of how they make it, their proportions and their results. Most if not all of these women have husbands and kids too so their tests are rigorous. But the common ingredients are Fels Naptha lanudry bar soap, super washing soda, and borax . All available at grocers or Wal-mart. Below are my pictures but there are better ones on google images.
I was elated and began right away. At least THIS project would be finished in half an hour and I could take a break from the one I was working on. I was planning on adding essential oils to the mixture, but I found it didn't need it at all because the Fels Naptha smells wonderful on its own. Indeed, I so enjoyed grating it and the smell in my room, I wanted to keep it there. The clothes do retain a bit of this ''clean'' smell, there is no other word to describe it. Many recipes gave a cooked version of this on the stove with water etc. But when I found this simply powdered one, and how many also use it with great success, I decided it was the way to go for me.
I got very excited hearing about these women's results with the homemade version and that so many were doing this, getting away from chemicals, dies, perfumes, etc found in unnecessarily very expensive detergents also using heavy plastics that get thrown away. I'm very fussy about the amount of garbage I produce and try to minimize it in any way I can. I do not buy anything in heavy plastics, period. But these women made me happy, to see so many using these natural ingredients and having great results for so little money, I hope it continues and grows and spreads across the country.  I chose one of the most popular combination proportions which is one bar of Fels Naptha, 1 cup of super washing soda, and 1 cup of borax...easy.
In this picture below I had already grated the bar of Fels Naptha and it did turn out to be powdery so it was a fine grate. It only took about 5 minutes to grate the bar. I also sifted the borax and washing soda to get all the clumps out and have a final powdery blend.

This is one whole bar of Fels Naptha. This stuff smells wonderful!.....and needed no essential oils which I use in almost everything.

After I mixed the grated bar of Fels Naptha with one sifted cup of super washing soda and one sifted cup of borax, I put it into a mason jar and added a small scoop.  See how fine and powdery it is?

I wanted an old fashioned label so I got online to see if I could find and print one and I did.

Another label I found that the creator invited to use freely. :D

I couldn't wait the next day to try it and see how it worked. I've NEVER been ''excited'' to do laundry before! LOL

Some women had said it doesn't suds up, but I found that it did. Seeeeeeee?? I used two scoops, approx. 2 tablespoons.

And now for the real test to see if it worked as a powerful cleaner as they say. I have these pants I use to garden and they are long and drag when I walk so they are always on the soil. The edges I've never been able to get clean for the past year. I used this challenge as my test. It is difficult to see, but I'm posting the picture anyway.

This is after they were washed and dried. THEY WERE CLEANER THAN BEFORE ! Eureka !

So there is my very happy experience with homemade laundry detergent and I will never go back. My roommate also will not have to buy any because I told him this one works better and is much cheaper. I'm happy to make it. I hope you try it too and spread the good cheer!

I am sharing this post with Chic on a Shoestring


The Charm of Home; Home Sweet Home


  1. OK, this looks totally do-able. I've known about the home-made for quite some time, but I've only been familiar with the recipe that involves heating, which I just don't want to mess with. Your recipe looks totally easy -- too easy not to try it. I've got everything except fels naphtha. Of course your charming jars and labels really sell the project :-)

  2. Hi Lady of the Woods, I was blog hopping when I stumble your beautiful blog. I am excited now to find a recipe for homemade detergent, I would love to try this one right away. And like you I try to shun all the "stuff" that has 110% chemicals on it. I hope I can find Fels Naptha here at the closest store where I live. Walmart is a bit far from me. Anyway, I will add this blog to my wifey blog so from time to time I could peak in here. ^_^ I am excited to do it ^_^
    Kim, USA

  3. And here it is 2016 and for me it is getting harder to find the Super Washing Soda, as I think they are beginning to put more chemicals into it. What is your experience with that possibility?
    Thank you, always!
    Miss Teresa

    1. we find it easy here, its in all the stores, wal-mart, publix, etc.....but I don't know about them changing the formula it is very likely too as good things don't stay good if those bastards can make more money with cheaper chemicals.
      That is why I am very much into my soap nuts and working with the strength of using them. They DO work even on garden dirty clothes, just not on stains which I can use some spot treatment for. But when I get the formula and strength right with the soap nuts I will make that post which is coming soon. I just bought a kilo of soap nuts and made a strong tea with it and used it to wash my dirty tablecloth from under the gazebo which stays out there all year, and it cleaned it beautifully! I will only use soapnuts on my clothes and bed linens especially too. The smell of detergent irks me. So I say, as they move more and more into making more chemicals we get more and more into nature. :-)

      Blessings, Serena


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