Saturday, November 24, 2012

How to Make Your Own Powder Laundry Detergent 2

We have been using our own homemade laundry detergent for 6 months, and here is the original post, if you are interested. The results have been very good, with a slight learning curve. Some of the early loads came out a little soapy and had to be re-rinsed.  We started using warm water instead of cold, and putting the detergent into the water after about 2-3 gallons had filled the tub. This solved the problem.

The four cup batch before it got mixed. The paint bucket from Lowe's has been a great place to keep the detergent.

The results have been very good, and the only noticeable difference has been the savings. The last batch ( 11 cups ) was made on May 11th, and cost us $7.99. So a little over a dollar a month for laundry, and we need to do at least one load a day to keep up. I made another 4 cup batch today, the only change has been that the Fels-Naptha has been grated to a fine consistency.

I have also been using a little white vinegar on occasion as a fabric softener, whiten the whites, and remove the sweat stains from my undershirts.

I prefer the scent of the homemade detergent over some of the store bought brands. The scent is best described as a lack of artificial scents.

The last six months has included clothes from yard work,restaurant level dirty, and workouts. I haven't seen any difference between Tide and our homemade detergent. Sweetheart would like a occasional scented version, perhaps a little oil concentrate could be added to the recipe? She does a vast majority of the laundry and has been rather indifferent to the change in detergents.

Our six month experiment has been a success. We will continue using our homemade version, and save some serious money for other preps. I ran the numbers and $32.00 will provide enough laundry detergent to last two years, with a load being done everyday. Not too bad.

In a long term situation, the ingredients do need to be safe guarded against moisture, since I had some minor clumping of the Borax and Super Soda. Clean clothes would be a huge morale booster and a possible way to barter services for goods in an economic collapse. Any thoughts?

Keep Right On Prepping - K


On the first batch, I ran out of Fels-Naptha and used Ivory soap to get the right ratio. Here is a little trick to save some time instead of grating it. The ivory soap scent is rather strong after it is microwaved, just as a warning.

MM - If you could comment on the acceptability of using Ivory soap for allergies, it would be greatly appreciated.


  1. Sigh. The problems of internet on a phone.
    Anyway, not to worry re-the blog. I follow a lot who don't follow me back. And thank you.
    We did have a good Thanksgiving. I hope you and yours did, too!

    Thank you so much for this post as I am in the process of trying to make my own laundry soap right now.

    Have a wonderful Sunday!

    1. I'm glad that I updated the post. Hope it helps.

  2. Many thanks for this re-post.My Q is whether the fels soap scent is reduced significantly in the final product. I'm the opposite of your Dear Wife. I have to keep my fels in a sealed container because the scent gives me an asthma attack (2 strikes in keeping clean and healthy in emergencies).Would probably need to enlist my DH to grate the fels. Are you aware of any other less scented substitutes for the Fels? I looked at Zote (Mexican equivalent) but it is highly scented too. (Can't use regular Tide due to the fragrance issues).

    1. MM, not sure where you live, but a quick look for hypoallergenic bar soap produced Dial Basics, and Johnson's Baby bar soap. I don't know how any of them smell, but maybe k could add one or more of them to his Amazon store for purchase to try.

      I don't get asthma, I don't think, but so many shampoos, soaps and deodorants give me a pounding headache so I feel for you.

      From K's first post, and from others I've read, I think you could try a substitute and see if it works for you. Even try it without the bar soap, perhaps. Good luck!

    2. Ivory soap is an acceptable substitute. As an added bonus, you can microwave a bar of ivory soap instead of grating it, then grind it up. I've updated the post to include the video. I would try a small batch (1 cup of each) to make sure there are no issues. Perhaps, you could also use your current bath soap?

    3. Thanks mucho. Current bath soap is a gallon jug of fragrance-free liquid, so not sure how to proceed there.

      Tho not my favorite for bathing, I can handle the Ivory fragrance. I'll grab a few bars and give it a shot!

      Thanks again -- gonna make Ivory snow!