This topic got bumped up (presumably because of spam) and I noticed, that nobody metioned horse chestnut. We have plenty of trees in the neighbourhood and I have used it often, especially with delicate fabrics. Here is a good howto with pictures.
you can try sop berries too just crush them up in water. they are okay when i use them on my skin. (Symphoricarpos albus) they have white berries over winter and grow on roadsides and are sometimes used for hedges. i don´t know how much to use for laundry.
I would recommend using the white vinegar sparingly. Maybe 1/4 cup? 🤔 I used to use about a half cup with my wash, and it It rusted out my washing machine drum. 😬😳
I also found that when I switched to an organic detergent, like the one you can make yourself (great recipe!), a fabric softener was not needed. My opinion is its the harsh chemicals in the soaps and fabric softeners that cause the hardness. Also, they are very unhealthy. Not only when the clothing is on your skin, and your constantly bresthing them in, the toxins go into your bloodstream when you sweat, and when the dryer heats up it spreads all the chemicals airborne into the environment.
Thanks again for the great article!
Life, Love, and Peace, Michelle 🌻
I would be interested in the "borax is unhealthy to plants" info.
But barring that, I have a very simple recipe that my wife and I have used for coming up on 10 years.
The current iteration does use a microwave, so I plan on experimenting with other means to get similar results, but I don't think it's possible otherwise:
It is made with a ratio of:
1 bar flaked Ivory Soap: 1 cup borax: 1 cup washing soda
The Ivory soap is flaked in a novel way. You put the soap on a microwave-safe plate and set it to 1 min or so. It's a sight to behold. The soap turns into a massive cloud as the vapor in the soap expands blowing up the pockets. Remove the dish from the microwave - be careful- it will be VERY hot. Pull the fluffy cloud away and take that part and pulverize it in a food processor. There will be a small lump of hot soap left behind and pop that back in the microwave and repeat until the whole thing has been pulverized in this way. Dump the flakes in a canister with the correct ratio of other materials and shake it up.
We usually do 3 bars worth at a time and get enough soap to last about 4 months. I've never done the calculations, but we buy the ingredients in bulk about once a year and it's very reasonable.
I used a Fels Naptha/ Borax/ washing soda recipe for over a year before reading EWG's evaluation of Fels Naptha. It didn't get a very good grade, unfortunately. I'm starting on a homestead on an island where the water table is too high for septic tanks, so all washing will be used for grey water.
I have used soap nuts, and I thought they did a good job. Would love to try horse chestnuts and grow my own soap!
wesleyds Smith wrote:I don't know if this is where it belongs but I came across this tip and have been using it for over a year.
grate one bar of fels naptha soap and dissolve it in 4 cups of water on the stovetop. DON'T LET IT BOIL OVER!
in a 5 gallon bucket add one cup of WASHING soda and 1/2 cup of borax with enough warm water to dissolve it.
once everything is dissolved add it together and add cold water to fill the 5 gal bucket.
This will need to be blended (I used an electric drill with a paint stirrer) the next day. This stuff is a concentrate and should be mixed in a recycled laundry soap bottle 50/50 with water.
Use it just like any other laundry liquid. We use it in our front loader machine and it works wonderfully. The bar of soap could also be Kirks Castille. I think you could even use homemade lye soap. There are a couple of options for fabric softener too.
1. White vinegar. Use like any other fabric softener liquid. This is what we use and it works very well.
2. put one bottle of liquid fabric softener into a 5 gal. bucket and top it off with water. mix it up and throw in a couple of sponges. Squeeze out a sponge and throw it in like a dryer sheet.
Both of these are great money saving ideas and I hope in this economy it helps just a little.
This is a very good, simple, and effective recipe. Also, very cheap compared to store bought. I use the vinegar as a fabric softener as well. I rub the concentrate into stains before washing with excellent results.
Fels Naptha has been difficult to get at a price that makes sense. The Amazon prices are ridiculous. If you like the Fels Naptha soap, do a little digging online til you find a price that seems logical. I am in central PA and found it at a store called Rural King which I did not know existed before my search for reasonably priced laundry soap.
It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere - Voltaire. tiny ad: