Is homemade laundry soap really a good idea?

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cmzaha

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I switched back to detergents after making my own laundry soap. I just don't like my clothing looking extra dingy. Even when I had the enzymes, the oxiclean, the washing soda and borax.
I am with you on this. I also found it to not be cost effective.
 

msunnerstood

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I make my own and havent used commercial in a year and a half. Per ounce mine works out to 7 Cents and is far more concentrated than the commercial. I reuse the Gain bottles from before and I only have to use 1/4 cap of mine. I dont find my clothes dingy, even the white ones and I have well water here. I use 75% coconut and 25% Lard. I dont think im doing anything special except after i over dilute, I cook off the excess.
 

Dahila

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@Dahila , does the enzyme have or leave a particular smell?
no , it gets the stink from clothes and also I use it in every cleaning solution I make, No commercial cleaner compares .
Carolyn, it is not cost effective but with my allergies, I am scared to use commercial detergents, especially after last series of prednisone and my Blood glucose, over the roof.
I am using only Eco from Costco for my extra good clothes,
 

Nikolye

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I've read and researched this lots over the years. I think build up is def an issue, but you have to just decide what is more important to you and I"ve been to stubborn to give it up. It saves us money, i know whats in it, i make the soap for it and my family can't stand the detergent smells anymore. I have all the ingredients always in the house for other things.... so seems silly to go back now. I've used DIY for 6 years and the only issue that has come up has been whites not so white. But we're a messy family that can't really wear white anyway. I do add Sodium percarbonate to mine, which is i guess what everyone is calling oxyclean? I get it direct from a chemical supplier where i get my borax and washing soda. I use it in place of some of the washing soda. Also i find don't skimp on the soap in the recipe, that is what cleans... and food for thought, if making a liquid laundry soap, do a bit of research on using washing soda as i have read it loses potency once coming into contact with water over time. I make a dry mix. I have switched to detergents a few times to see if i noticed any difference and haven't. I also use 9% vinegar in the rinse cycle as well as do a vinegar cleaning cycle in my washer occasionally to not only help keep any potential build up from occurring on clothes but also in the washing machine. If you buy eco detergent normally which is costly, surely buying bulk ingredients and making your own laundry soap to grate is waaaaay cheaper.
 

Zany_in_CO

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I just don't like my clothing looking extra dingy.
Over the years of making my own laundry soap I learned that "Dingy" happens when you use more soap than is necessary to get the clothes clean and don't get all the soap scum out. As DeeAnna mentioned, "The fabric will look yellow and feel stiff and harsh."

No one has yet mentioned the importance of adding white vinegar to the rinse cycle. (This is also a great practice to extend the life of your machine. ;)) I sometimes run more than one rinse cycle to be sure there's no soap left in the clothes. I can tell by touch whether the clothes are ready to go in the dryer. And, I just love folding clothes out of the dryer... so soft, and smell so clean... I really do! :D

My laundry soap of choice is 100% coconut oil LS, 2:1 water to lye ratio; 0% SF; 40%:60% soap to water for dilution.

I use OxyClean and sometimes 20 Mule Team Borax or Liquid Calgon (both water softeners) for an extra boost.
 

Arimara

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Over the years of making my own laundry soap I learned that "Dingy" happens when you use more soap than is necessary to get the clothes clean and don't get all the soap scum out. As DeeAnna mentioned, "The fabric will look yellow and feel stiff and harsh."

No one has yet mentioned the importance of adding white vinegar to the rinse cycle. (This is also a great practice to extend the life of your machine. ;)) I sometimes run more than one rinse cycle to be sure there's no soap left in the clothes. I can tell by touch whether the clothes are ready to go in the dryer. And, I just love folding clothes out of the dryer... so soft, and smell so clean... I really do! :D

My laundry soap of choice is 100% coconut oil LS, 2:1 water to lye ratio; 0% SF; 40%:60% soap to water for dilution.

I use OxyClean and sometimes 20 Mule Team Borax or Liquid Calgon (both water softeners) for an extra boost.
I've played around with soap amounts and found a sweet spot and I always use vinegar in the rinse. It helps with my detergent too. My skin feels the difference and I get way less irritation (which comes about when I have to air dry). As I said, I've what I can and doing that in NYC makes it more trouble than it's worth (literally, it got expensive), especially when you go to a laundromat to wash.
 

Lin19687

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I have a front loader and tried this several times, even the Soap Nuts.
It does not clean as well. If you have really dirty clothes it just is not worth it to have to check everything.

I don't use a lot of detergent in general and my clothes were not Dingy with commercial but was with Homemade.
Also here the drier balls didn't work well and make static horrible in the Fall-early Spring
 

Dahila

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I have a front loader and tried this several times, even the Soap Nuts.
It does not clean as well. If you have really dirty clothes it just is not worth it to have to check everything.

I don't use a lot of detergent in general and my clothes were not Dingy with commercial but was with Homemade.
Also here the drier balls didn't work well and make static horrible in the Fall-early Spring
so do I , I had spend a really high amount of money to have front loader that I love. My clothes is clean and smells nice like cleanness, it took me almost a year to get the commercial stink out of towels and sheets.
as I said before mine is soap, borax, washing soda oxy clean and Enzyme, the last one will power your detergent, Maybe it even comes more expensive than commercial but I have no reaction to my detergent while having a lot of problems to use commercial one, They all stink
BTW we checked it for residue, there is none
 

Lin19687

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Mine was the same except the Enzyme. It just was not worth it in the end to have the one white shirt I have be dingy and my Undies not clean :oops:
I use unscented and/or Free type detergent and usually 1/2 of what they say and my stuff is clean.
For ease, I do detergent, it really cleans when I have Garden/barn dirty clothes.
 

Seawolfe

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I actually went back to home-made laundry soap (too many stains were remaining), but I do add citric acid when I make the soap, and borax and washing soda when I grind and mix it up. Oh and vinegar in the rinse water. But it gets out stains nicely, and we do also use Ariel sometimes in addition as well - I like the smell.
 

Dahila

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Lin did you use the chelator? I use EDTA and vinegar to rince. Seriously I am very happy with what I use.
Enzyme can be a key Lin cause it cleans blood, chocolate, greasy stains, tavot, wine , you name it, For you guys to get is even in Canada is really cheap
 

lenarenee

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I also returned to commercial detergent, which is a shame because I love making my own. Not only do big companies like Tide have different formulas for different areas of the country, but they have optic brighteners which fool the eye into thinking things are cleaner.
 

Arimara

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Lin did you use the chelator? I use EDTA and vinegar to rince. Seriously I am very happy with what I use.
Enzyme can be a key Lin cause it cleans blood, chocolate, greasy stains, tavot, wine , you name it, For you guys to get is even in Canada is really cheap
Lin did you use the chelator? I use EDTA and vinegar to rince. Seriously I am very happy with what I use.
Enzyme can be a key Lin cause it cleans blood, chocolate, greasy stains, tavot, wine , you name it, For you guys to get is even in Canada is really cheap
I do admit- enzymes helped my clothes a great deal but I still had the dinge. Maybe in the event I can finally move away and live someplace where I can maybe have a washing machine at the least, I'd try homemade again. But when water costs like $1000 a month, we have no time for games.
 

KristaY

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I do admit- enzymes helped my clothes a great deal but I still had the dinge. Maybe in the event I can finally move away and live someplace where I can maybe have a washing machine at the least, I'd try homemade again. But when water costs like $1000 a month, we have no time for games.
HOLY SMOKES ARIMARA! Really? $1000 per month for water? I can certainly understand your hesitation with water bills like that. My water costs approximately $40 per month, I'm on city water, use my own laundry soap, and have no problems with smell, residual soap or dingy clothing. Granted, we wear no white but certainly have light colored clothing. Our water is not overly hard so I'm sure that's part of the equation but I also use vinegar in the rinse. My newest grand baby who's 5 weeks old has multiple spit-up on and pooped on clothes. All come out fine after pre-treating with my stain stick (100% CO, -2% SF) then washed with my liquid laundry soap.
 

Arimara

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HOLY SMOKES ARIMARA! Really? $1000 per month for water? I can certainly understand your hesitation with water bills like that. My water costs approximately $40 per month, I'm on city water, use my own laundry soap, and have no problems with smell, residual soap or dingy clothing. Granted, we wear no white but certainly have light colored clothing. Our water is not overly hard so I'm sure that's part of the equation but I also use vinegar in the rinse. My newest grand baby who's 5 weeks old has multiple spit-up on and pooped on clothes. All come out fine after pre-treating with my stain stick (100% CO, -2% SF) then washed with my liquid laundry soap.
To be fair, that is for the building and that's how much the landlord shells out, give or take. Water is one of the most expensive utilities to pay for in NYC, among other things. When I hear of people paying way less, all I can say (to myself) is "stop complaining, please". Going back to the homemade laundry soap, trial and error can be down but only when clothes had to be done and definitely a tester batch of mostly socks. :)
 

KristaY

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Now that makes complete sense! In an area like NYC most things are more precious and costly. If you have to make a trek to the laundry mat you're certainly better off using what you know will work. I don't fancy using test soap in the kitchen sink to see if the whites are dingy and I'm sure you're the same!
 

SoapySuds

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I’ve made my own laundry detergent for the past 5, 6 years. Much cheaper, especially when I started making my own bars. I use baking soda, washing soda, homemade soap grated, borax, and sodium percarbonate. 1 tablespoon per load, two for large loads.

I was sold when it removed cat pee from some towels.

It smells clean and unscented. If I put too much soap in, I get residue on my clothes. It works best in warm water. Oh, and we have hard water.

I was buying fels naphtha bars, and then when the store stopped carrying them, I was like, how hard is it to make them, and then I was like, why have I NOT been making my own fels naphtha?!?!?!? It started me on a journey of replacing everything, not just bar soap. I now make shampoo, body wash, dish soap, dog soap, hand soap, bars, laundry soap, etc. the only thing I have not replaced is dishwasher detergent. If push comes to shove, I can hand wash with my liquid soap.
 

Shaylyn Valdez

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I have very sensitive skin and am allergic to almost every laundry detergent I used which is why I wanted to check into making my own, but I live in an apartment and it’s quite expensive to wash clothes here and I don’t want to waste money if homemade soap is such a hassle. :(

Not sure what to use anymore because even the “gentle” and “unscented” laundry detergents break me out in a rash and make me itch and sneeze like crazy! Any suggestions?
 

Rembetissa

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I have very sensitive skin and am allergic to almost every laundry detergent I used which is why I wanted to check into making my own, but I live in an apartment and it’s quite expensive to wash clothes here and I don’t want to waste money if homemade soap is such a hassle. :(

Not sure what to use anymore because even the “gentle” and “unscented” laundry detergents break me out in a rash and make me itch and sneeze like crazy! Any suggestions?
You poor dear! I'm the same. Even detergents "free of perfumes and dyes" break me out in hives.

We are lucky enough to have soft water, so I don't have to worry too much about soap scum in the clothes. Maybe check out your municipal water department website and see if your water is hard or soft? I still throw in some borax or washing soda and vinegar when I have it.

Our whites are not shiny white, but the trade off is worth it for me. The clothes are definitely clean. I still pre-treat stuff like blood.

ETA: Forgot to mention that my laundry soap is just some coconut oil soap with no superfat.
 
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