#1

Merchant
Thousand Oaks, CA
I've made several batches of bath soap for personal use, to some degree of mild success. I find it fun, and I was curious to see if anyone has used (or made) hand-made laundry soap and what their experience was? It doesn't seem to be all that difficult to make.
If you've used flake or hand-made laundry detergent, does it work well in HE (high efficiency) machines?
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#2

Member
Los Angeles
I think DapperDragon experimented with it, can't find the thread now...
#3

Member
Detroit
We don't make ours from scratch per se, but we do make our own out of grated up fels-naptha soap, borax, washing soda and Oxy-Clean. Toss it all in the food processor and give it a whirl. Its really easy and way cheaper than regular detergent. I use 1-2 tbsp. per load and it works really well. Ours is an HE machine too.
- Jeff
#4

Merchant
Thousand Oaks, CA
(09-29-2015, 04:00 AM)wyze0ne Wrote: We don't make ours from scratch per se, but we do make our own out of grated up fels-naptha soap, borax, washing soda and Oxy-Clean. Toss it all in the food processor and give it a whirl. Its really easy and way cheaper than regular detergent. I use 1-2 tbsp. per load and it works really well. Ours is an HE machine too.

Do you add any fragrance? Maybe I'm weird, but I actually like my clothes to smell like fresh laundry (something they rarely do, we use arm and hammer which hardly has any fragrance)
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#5

Member
Detroit
No, we haven't tried that, but the fels-naptha and Oxy-Clean have their own scents to them. Kind of like a fresh laundry soap type smell. We do use some kind of lavender scented dryer sheets (I forget what brand) so the clothes come out smelling nice.
- Jeff
#6
I do not know about high efficiency machines because we have only owned the old standards. We have made our own detergent for years. Borax, Fels Naptha soap and sometimes a little oxy clean for good measure. Costs about 5-8 cents a load and works like a champ. Wife makes about 3 gallons at a time.

wyze0ne likes this post
#7
I have made my own liquid soap with the above recipe. Each time I have problems with it not being lumpy.

Any hints ideas or updated recipes would be appreciated I really like the idea of my own soap

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#8

Merchant
Arkansas
(09-28-2015, 11:01 PM)TheHandleBar Wrote: I've made several batches of bath soap for personal use, to some degree of mild success. I find it fun, and I was curious to see if anyone has used (or made) hand-made laundry soap and what their experience was? It doesn't seem to be all that difficult to make.
If you've used flake or hand-made laundry detergent, does it work well in HE (high efficiency) machines?

Gareth,

We used to make and sell it on Stirling's website. We used our own handmade soap for it. We used a Vegan Soap formula with a 0% lye discount so there wouldn't be any leftover unsaponified oils in the mix. That's the biggest mistake most people make that try to make it from scratch. If you use a base soap that has unsaponified oils, they will leech into your clothes over time and make them water resistant and they will start to smell bad. We had tried the fels naptha method before (and it works fine), but we found that using an actual real soap in the mix with the borax and sodium carbonate rather than a bar that still contains a bunch of fillers work much better.

We still make our own for personal use, and for my sisters as normal laundry detergent irritates both their kids' skin. We use fragrance samplers typically, so I can have laundry powder that smells like a Creed cologne, or English Lavender, or really anything that suits my mood. The only reason we stopped selling it was just lack of space, and the high costs of shipping it.

Rod

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#9

Member
Central Maine
I make our laundry soap also, same basic formula as has been mentioned, but I've made it 3 different ways. One way produces a gel like substance, another produces something that looks like a whipped lemon yogurt, and the final is the powdered version. By far the powdered version is the easiest and quickest to make. Of the 3 options the first and last dissolved easiest in the wash. The first required, by far, the most energy input to make it. They all clean just dandy.

We have a top loader, other machines might work differently with the above products.

TT1, when I make it I shred the soap into the finest shreds my food processor will make. Then I mix the powders and the shreds, then put approx' 2 cups at a time into the Vita-Mix for a few seconds of blending. The result is a fine powder with no lumps. This last time I made 10 batches which will last us a very long time. I put it in a food grade icing bucket from the supermarkets baking section.

[Image: laundry%20soap_zpsqf6kqdlx.jpg]

You might see lumps in it but touch one of those lumps and it instantly turns to dust.

Just yesterday I figured out what it takes to make 10 batches; two boxes of washing soda, one box of borax, and 10 bars of Fels-Naptha is the basic ratio. It's not precisely the formula from the 'net, but the small difference is meaningless.

To add scent is super easy, just add some commercial laundry detergent to the load. But for fresh washed scent just hang it outside to dry. Hopefully not in air pollution, I have no idea what that result would smell like.

If anyone wants the 3 different formulas just PM me.
#10

Merchant
Thousand Oaks, CA
Thanks for the replies folks.
A couple of you said that you use soap in the mixture. What do you mean? Store bought soap bars like ivory/irish spring? I'm interested in making some and I keep reading about Borax and washing soda, but nowhere do I read about adding soap. What does adding soap do, that the borax and washing soda doesn't? I'm not familiar with the chemistry involved, and I'm not sure what ingredient does what.
How about oldschool laundy soap flakes? Does anyone know if that was literally just grated soap used in the laundry?
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