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Topic: Homemade Laundry Soap!  (Read 41196 times)
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patty_o_furniture
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« on: October 02, 2008 10:18:44 AM »



When I first heard about this challenge I thought it was going to be so hard!  But, by the end of the week I had quite a few ideas.  I went to the store with an idea in mind, but when I found Fels-Naptha soap I decided to try my hand at crafting my own homemade laundry detergent!  I had wanted to do it for a while and thought that this would be a great time to try!  So here it is!



HOMEMADE LAUNDRY DETERGENT

In order to stick with the "edible part" I headed over to the fruit department and grabbed a grapefruit.
I peeled it and dehydrated the bits.

Before

After


I then cut up my Fels-Naptha Soap bar.  --This is a laundry soap bar, you could also use any gentle soap (Ivory/Castile/....) 
[if you do this cut it up smaller than I did]


The soap bits then got blended in my food processor with the dried grapefruit.



Then measure out 1/2 cup of Washing Soda (not baking soda) and 1/2 cup of Borax and dump in with the soap.  Blend it up good!



TADA!  Your own Hand-Crafted Landry Detergent!  To use it use one Tablespoon per load.



Here is the $$ breakdown:

3.99 Borax
2.99 Washing Soda
1.19 Fels-Naptha Soap
 .69 Grapefruit

with tax:  9.21

after all the math, it comes out to .06 a load. 
If you bought the ingredients on sale and/or used a cheaper bar of soap the price would be much lower.


Then to make sure it works, I smeared ketchup, mustard, chocolate,.... on a cloth then seperated it and washed half with homemade and half with storebought soap.


Looks pretty similar to me!



And there you have it,  Homemade Laundry Detergent!
Thanks for looking!  Smiley


ETA:  Answers....
I am using a toploader machine.
This is a NON-Sudsing detergent.  What cleans is the soap, not the bubbles.
You can't smell the grapefruit.  The fels-naptha bar has a very strong scent.  The mix itself I really don't like the smell of, but coming out of the wash, I love it.  Has a citrus-y smell itself.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2008 07:48:34 PM by patty_o_furniture » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2008 10:23:33 AM »

ok..first off great idea and thanks for sharing..next,WOW!! you took great photos and the comparison is great..

thanks for the idea..it looks so easy..and again great photos...
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« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2008 11:52:58 AM »

I'm so intrigued!  Are you using it in a top load or front load washer?  Does it suds a lot?
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« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2008 11:55:50 AM »

AWESOME...I've been investigating making my own laundry soap I just haven't done it yet.  It's so much better for my kids and the environment.  Also, when you use baking soda in the washer you don't have to use a dryer sheet because the soda acts like a fabric softener and static guard.  I've been putting it in my wash with laundry soap for a while because I hate the waxy build up on my lint trap (it's also a fire hazard).  THANKS FOR THE TUTE!
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« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2008 12:44:44 PM »

the addition of the citrus = great idea.
i think that this might work in my front loader if i threw the powder in directly with the clothes.  first i gotta get through the laundry soap that i have, which takes a while with a front loader  Wink

way to add the experiment!  i love me some science, especially with results both provable and good for the environment and bank account.
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« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2008 01:06:52 PM »

I use this exact same home-made laundry detergent and I have a front loader and I love it!  works great....very low to no suds....I also put vinegar in my rinse container...makes everything softer and you don't really need to use a softener.  good stuff!  I also use homemade cleaners that work really well...you should give those a try too! great tute!! nice to see the comparisons
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« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2008 02:47:05 PM »


ETA:  Answers....
I am using a toploader machine.
This is a NON-Sudsing detergent.  What cleans is the soap, not the bubbles.

Thanks!  I have a front loader which takes less soap (because it used less water), but it also necessitates low-sudsing and so this NON-sudsing options is looking even more appealing now!  PS I love the Fels-Naptha for pre-wash stain removal, too.

Now I just have to rustle up a food processor that the owner won't mind me making soap in.   Wink
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« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2008 02:50:15 PM »

Amazing!  This is not what I expected to see at all, I'm pleasantly suprised.  Grin
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« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2008 03:40:35 PM »

I love the fact that you went ahead and did the comparison sheet. I also love that you included a recipe. THANK YOU and GREAT JOB!
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« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2008 03:50:30 PM »

My mom uses this very same soap.  She found a kit with all the things in it somewhere online.  Its so cool to not have to depend on the pre-made soaps you get in the store. Hers doesn't have the grapefruit tho, which might be a nice thing to add. Great idea.
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« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2008 04:14:52 PM »

That's totally cool. I bet the grapefruit smells yummy!
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« Reply #11 on: October 02, 2008 04:47:55 PM »

I love that you added the grapefruit peels! I make a similar laundry soap, but I boil it with water to make a thick gel, my washer doesn't work as well with powder it seems!
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« Reply #12 on: October 02, 2008 05:15:12 PM »

This is awesome, I use the exact same recipe to make my laundry soap and I have been for almost a year now. It works wonderfully!
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« Reply #13 on: October 02, 2008 06:55:26 PM »

Can you really smell the grapefruit peels? What about after it's washed? I'm thinking of trying a few test batches with lemon, orange, and grapefruit.
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« Reply #14 on: October 02, 2008 07:46:39 PM »

Can you really smell the grapefruit peels? What about after it's washed? I'm thinking of trying a few test batches with lemon, orange, and grapefruit.

You definitely Can NOT smell it, LOL.  The Fels-Naptha is VERY Strong!  The mix itself I think smells terrible, but....coming out of the wash I love it.  Has that fresh, clean smell. 
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« Reply #15 on: October 02, 2008 08:57:34 PM »

Love the comparison! I use basically the same homemade soap as well, but I boil mine into a gel too, and do the vinegar in the rinse thing. It works great! And it is SO SO much cheaper than commercial detergent (not to mention better for everyone and everything!). And you're right, it smells really good when the load comes out of the wash!
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« Reply #16 on: October 03, 2008 12:23:19 AM »

I'm soooo going to do this! Your comparison at the end is awesome too...I'm sold!

 Grin
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« Reply #17 on: October 03, 2008 07:11:57 AM »

I have used this recipe for two years now and we love it.  I use the gel version though (boiling the soap with water, adding the washing soda and borax, then the rest of the water).  You can use different kinds of soap too.  I usually use Kirk's Castile soap.  I've never tried the grapefruit, but I put grapefruit seed extract in mine as a disinfectant and antibacterial.  Someone mentioned vinegar for the rinse, we do that too.  It's fun making home-made soaps!  I make dishwasher soap too!

 
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« Reply #18 on: October 03, 2008 07:56:07 AM »

W :)W

Holy hanna this is awesome, thank you so much for sharing

Now one quick question - would I be able to substitute Dr. Bronner's soap for the Fels-Naptha?  I just bought a 32 oz-er on sale last night and I would love to be able to use it for laundry detergent!
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« Reply #19 on: October 03, 2008 08:11:51 AM »

W :)W

Holy hanna this is awesome, thank you so much for sharing

Now one quick question - would I be able to substitute Dr. Bronner's soap for the Fels-Naptha?  I just bought a 32 oz-er on sale last night and I would love to be able to use it for laundry detergent!

I was wondering the same thing about Dr. Bronner's!  Someone else mentioned they used a different brand of castille soap, so it seems like it would probably work. 

I'm so excited to try this!
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« Reply #20 on: October 03, 2008 08:21:46 AM »

We use a very similar receipe for our laundry soap. We use the liquid version because that's easier for me to mix up. My husband has severe exzema and we have to be very careful about what we use. I have tried many different soaps and I usually use the same soap he washes with, Dove Sensitive Skin. This works well for us, and we have 5 munchkins to test it with.  Wink
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« Reply #21 on: October 03, 2008 08:37:56 AM »

This looks great.  Thanks for the recipe and instructions. 

A few questions though:

1. Is it safe to make this in appliances/dishes that will be used with food once washed?

2.  Could Sunlight cake soap be used as the soap?


Thanks so much, I love the idea of making your own laundry detergent. 
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« Reply #22 on: October 03, 2008 08:51:42 AM »

Thanks for sharing this! I've seen this idea/similar recipe elsewhere and was wondering when it'd be on craftster.

I hope this is allowed, if not mods, please delete or edit. But for those who don't have access to a food processor to grind the ingredients, there is also a liquid recipe. I haven't made it yet, but plan to this weekend. I've heard good things about it from others who have used it. The ingredients are cheap and you can get a huge bucket at Walmart (only store we have) in the paint section for under $4.

http://christianhomekeeper.blogspot.com/2007/02/homemade-laundry-detergent.html
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« Reply #23 on: October 03, 2008 09:20:56 AM »

If you are doing the gel version you don't need to worry about the food processer, you can chop or shred the soap up since it is going to be melted down anyways. You can use pretty much any real soap, it is better if it is unscented, and if it cp/hp soap that you make it is good to be unscented, uncolored, and 0% superfatted, you don't want extra oils floating around in your laundry!
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« Reply #24 on: October 03, 2008 09:42:23 AM »

W :)W

Holy hanna this is awesome, thank you so much for sharing

Now one quick question - would I be able to substitute Dr. Bronner's soap for the Fels-Naptha?  I just bought a 32 oz-er on sale last night and I would love to be able to use it for laundry detergent!

I was wondering the same thing about Dr. Bronner's!  Someone else mentioned they used a different brand of castille soap, so it seems like it would probably work. 

No you can't. Fels-Naptha isn't a soap - it's a detergent, which is different.
(http://www.algebralab.org/passage/passage.aspx?file=Chemistry_Soaps.xml for a science lesson Cheesy)

On the other hand, I do seriously recommend a book called Clean House, Clean Planet by Karen Logan, which has a bunch of cleaners that do use Dr. Bronners. I use her Alice's Wonder Spray for everything. It smells lovely (which is to say it smells like whatever you scent it with), cleans wonderfully, and is really cheap to make.

BTW - I've been using this detergent for a while and have never heard of adding grapefruit. What's it supposed to do?
« Last Edit: October 03, 2008 09:45:45 AM by MirthFairy - Reason: edited to add question » THIS ROCKS   Logged
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« Reply #25 on: October 03, 2008 10:04:07 AM »

I only added the grapefruit because you have to have some edible part to the challenge.  It doesn't add anything.  You can't even smell it over the fels-naptha.
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« Reply #26 on: October 03, 2008 10:15:23 AM »

I used this recipe for about a year (in a front loading washer) and realized one major problem...

I started to notice that my clothes were losing their shape and becoming *literally* threadbare. My lint trap (after every load) could have been spun into a small blanket.
after a ton of research I discovered that these ingredients need HOT water in order to dissolve properly and not beat up your clothes like sand would.
Then I started making it into a gel formula. This is slightly more time consuming, but the result is much better. (for me, anyway)
You can find that recipe at
http://www.thefamilyhomestead.com/laundrysoap.htm

Keep in mind, you have to stir the gel before every use or it settles.

Hope this was useful!

Oh, and about trying other soaps, anything glycerin based didn't work for me, but I was grating the soap by hand <3
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« Reply #27 on: October 03, 2008 10:50:53 AM »

Snips and Snails- thanks so much for that tip!!!  I have a kit to make laundry soap at home, and I always wash in cold water!  I haven't made the soap yet, and I'm glad I read your comment before using it.  Off to check out your gel recipe...  Seriously, I owe you one  Grin
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« Reply #28 on: October 03, 2008 10:53:27 AM »

thanks for the recipe.  once i kill off the last of the liquid detergent i bought in may (it was buy one get two free.  i still have two bottles and only two people in my house....it could be awhile), i WILL make my own detergent.  I really like the addition of the grapefruit peel. 

i agree.  i don't see too much difference in the two washloads.  whose TV ad was it that did that?  tide?  (did i just date myself?)

then again...my niece likes liquid detergent and she is poorer than i am so maybe i can offload what i have on her and make everybody happy.  great, now i have to make another decision.  i'd better go have a piece of cake first.

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« Reply #29 on: October 03, 2008 10:56:22 AM »

I used this recipe for about a year (in a front loading washer) and realized one major problem...

I started to notice that my clothes were losing their shape and becoming *literally* threadbare. My lint trap (after every load) could have been spun into a small blanket.
after a ton of research I discovered that these ingredients need HOT water in order to dissolve properly and not beat up your clothes like sand would.
Then I started making it into a gel formula. This is slightly more time consuming, but the result is much better. (for me, anyway)
You can find that recipe at
http://www.thefamilyhomestead.com/laundrysoap.htm

Keep in mind, you have to stir the gel before every use or it settles.

Hope this was useful!

Oh, and about trying other soaps, anything glycerin based didn't work for me, but I was grating the soap by hand <3

Thanks for this information!  If I washed in hot or warm, I'd never have pants long enough!   Tongue
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« Reply #30 on: October 03, 2008 01:08:38 PM »

I discovered that these ingredients need HOT water in order to dissolve properly and not beat up your clothes like sand would.
 <3

Good to know!  Maybe I'll try Goop Soap next time, lol.
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« Reply #31 on: October 03, 2008 02:44:58 PM »

No you can't. Fels-Naptha isn't a soap - it's a detergent, which is different.
(http://www.algebralab.org/passage/passage.aspx?file=Chemistry_Soaps.xml for a science lesson Cheesy)

On the other hand, I do seriously recommend a book called Clean House, Clean Planet by Karen Logan, which has a bunch of cleaners that do use Dr. Bronners. I use her Alice's Wonder Spray for everything. It smells lovely (which is to say it smells like whatever you scent it with), cleans wonderfully, and is really cheap to make.

BTW - I've been using this detergent for a while and have never heard of adding grapefruit. What's it supposed to do?

Excellent to know and thanks for the book recommendation, I will definitely be checking it out
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« Reply #32 on: October 03, 2008 09:42:40 PM »

A tip for those who are using up their old detergents, keep your containers. I kept mine and my Mom's resulting in about 8 liquid containers and I make 1 huge 5 gallon bucket mondo batch of my "LUV SUDS" as my Gramma calls it, then pour into the old containers. Very easy especially when using liquid, just shake and pour.
I have also made a double batch before, if I knew it'd be a while before I could do more, and it worked out great, (new baby in the house = much less time) Gramma loves it when I do this as she gets some too.
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« Reply #33 on: October 04, 2008 07:03:03 AM »

I've been making homemade laundry soap (same recipe) for years, never thought of adding some citrus...what great idea.

Believe me, making homemade laundry soap and other cleaning products is worth the effort, the homemade products work just as well as the store brands, economical and some are environmentally friendly.


Edit: I was going to recommend -Clean House, Clean Planet by Karen Logan but I see some already has...I second the recommendation.

Great job!!!  Wink

« Last Edit: October 05, 2008 02:33:48 PM by sgr8hse » THIS ROCKS   Logged
Melazdee
« Reply #34 on: October 04, 2008 09:09:14 AM »

WOW ! I love that so many people make their own laundry detergent too. Usually when people find out they give me a weird look and my family makes fun of us for it... sad but true Sad
Anyways as someone earlier said, SAVE your old liquid detergent bottles to pour the detergent into (if you make the liquid one which I highly recommend) Its so convenient because you can just shake and pour. Also if you used to use dry soap or just don't have any liquid bottles, use freecycle to get some. I did and the response was overwhelming! Oh and mine are 1.5 gallon bottles..make yours smaller than that or you're gonna have a hard time shaking them. to pour the soap into the bottles, I get my canning funnel (just a wide mouth funnel) and yank out the spout on top of the bottle, stick the funnel on top and then ladle the detergent into the funnel.

Also, the original poster said how much hers cost per ounce which was $.06 but I don't think anyone converted it to a price per load. When I make my soap, I calculated it once, it cost $.73 to make one batch (using the recipe mentioned earlier at http://www.thefamilyhomestead.com/laundrysoap.htm and then I kept track of how many loads I got out of the one batch. I got like 50 or 60! which means the price per load was only like $.01 or $.02 per load! its a huge money saver, and it works great.

If anyone is interested in making other homemade cleaning supplies, I primarily use my "natural 409" which is a mixture of (not 100% on proportions but I think this is right) 1c. lemon juice,  2 c. water, 1c. vinegar and 1/4 c. liquid dishsoap (works SO well because the acids cut through the hard stuck on stuff and the dishsoap cuts the dirt/grime)  and for the dishwasher I use 1 tbs borax, 1 tbs baking soda and a vinegar rinse (I use a timer for 30 min which is when my washer goes on the rinse cycle and then I pour in about a 1/4 c of vinegar or less.)
oh and for any kitchen counter stains or cleaning the bathtub, I use vinegar and baking soda. Spray with diluted vinegar, then sprinkle on baking soda, respray vinegar and scrub after it bubbles.

The laundry soap is how I got started though, it truly is great!
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« Reply #35 on: October 08, 2008 02:53:23 AM »

this is really great! thank you for sharing Smiley
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« Reply #36 on: October 24, 2008 03:35:17 PM »

I came back to read now that there is more posts b/c I wanted to see if anyone used with skin problems. My kids mainly DD has bad eczema and I have to buy her Tide Free only which is pretty expensive b/c there is 5 of us. So I think I am going to give the liquid a try.
I saw the Duggar family from TLC making the liquid one too earlier this week, ironic.

Thanks for the Book advice, and Melazdee for her homemade cleaning formula.

And for my little input, I use vinegar in the dishwasher instead of rinse agent stuff, but I only use like every 3 loads or so...
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kleinsch
« Reply #37 on: October 27, 2008 01:47:46 PM »

I was inspired by all the enthusiasm about homemade laundry soap, so I had to make some!  I finally got all the ingredients (took three stores to find the washing soda), but the actual process was simple and yielded an enormous batch.  I've just done two loads in my front loader, and so far, it's all good!  Everything smells clean, and looks clean. Seems like a winner! 

I agree with previous posters that the Fels-Naptha has a strong odor, although the clean, dry clothes themselves do not bear the scent.  However, the tub containing the laundry soap smells so strongly that it kind of makes me sick when I go near it.  I have a sensitivity to chemical smells; they often give me headaches and make me nauseous.  If anyone else has these tendencies, I would recommend using another brand of soap.  That's just my two cents! 

I don't have sensitive skin, so I can't speak to that issue.  Anyone else have experience with this stuff and sensitive skin?
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« Reply #38 on: October 27, 2008 02:14:12 PM »

I couldn't find the Fels-Naptha or the washing soda.  I did find another recipe for a liquid laundry soap and I can use my homemade soap for that.  I still need the washing soda though.
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kleinsch
« Reply #39 on: October 28, 2008 07:53:42 AM »

The Arm & Hammer washing soda is hard to find.  Another site suggests purchasing it through Amazon.com, if you can't find it in your stores.  I found it at a chain supermarket called Market Basket on the East Coast, but only at one particular store--not all their stores carry it. Just another indication it is an odd-ball type product, unlike the standard detergent brands you can find anywhere. 
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pmtvoice
« Reply #40 on: October 31, 2008 05:52:21 AM »

Wow, such a great idea and a wonderful tutorial. I'm definitely going to try this one out, as I totally appreciate being able to not pay crazy amounts for laundry detergent...
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« Reply #41 on: November 27, 2008 05:51:08 PM »

I love this I made it and It works really well But I added tea tree oil instead of orange. Thanx
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« Reply #42 on: November 28, 2008 11:49:13 AM »

I'm really surprised at how difficult of a time people are having finding Fels-Naptha and washing soda I've seen one or both of them in just about every supermarket (and not just the natural-food ones) around.  I haven't hit the fancier ones, but the cheap and the mid-range have these things.  Maybe it's because I live in the Pacific Northwest where a lot of people are "greenies"?
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« Reply #43 on: December 01, 2008 12:11:11 PM »

TheMistressT, I often forget we live in a sort of green-living paradise.  (I live in Portland). 

I love the idea of tea tree oil - nice and clean!  I'm going to make some this afternoon.
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« Reply #44 on: December 01, 2008 02:19:14 PM »

TheMistressT, I often forget we live in a sort of green-living paradise.  (I live in Portland). 

I love the idea of tea tree oil - nice and clean!  I'm going to make some this afternoon.

I'm in Portland, too!  And I think I tend to assume things based on how it is here.  I made some yesterday, scented with sweet orange essential oil (just over /5 oz) and am washing my first load now!  I have a front loader and used the amount that I use of my store bought stuff, so we'll see how it goes.  The recipe I used suggested 1 oz of oil, but in the interest of keeping costs down I used half and it smells plenty strong.  But then I noticed how strongly store-bought smells compared to how much it makes the laundry smell and I'm wondering about the result.
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« Reply #45 on: December 03, 2008 10:41:06 PM »

I live in IL and I found them in both "bean town" Decatur and hip Edwardsvill. They were in the Landry aisle. The borax and Arm & hammer were at the end of the stuff the soap bar was with the spot and pretreaters. But I cant find a list of ingredients on the Bar.
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HeidiMagidi
« Reply #46 on: May 08, 2010 07:52:21 PM »

I make laundry soap, but liquid. I thought about adding some sort of scent, but wasn't sure what I wanted to use. I know some people use essential oils.
Pretty fun making laundry soap, isn't it??!

Oh and BTW, I found Arm & Hammer washing soda at King Soopers. I hope everyone tries making laundry soap it really does save tons of money!
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