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Sunday, January 22, 2012

Renewing Clothes Washing Supplies

All this, plus Clorox

For obvious reasons, I had massive amounts of laundry this last weeks. I was out of Arm and Hammer Baking Soda, except for enough to bake a bit. Arm & Hammer Washing Soda has never been on a shelf in this town that I have found.  About twice a year I buy Fels-Naptha soap but have never made the recipe for homemade laundry soap. Of course, the 20 Mule Team Borax had just all been used. AND, I had not had Clorox in about two months.

That meant I had a bit of money and a huge need. Luckily, I remembered the store credit on a Walmart card. It saved my life this week.

Rarely do I use Clorox. My illness meant I thought some things needed Clorox. This will not go in the laundry. One bottle will last me all year or maybe three!

There is enough ALL liquid detergent for maybe another dozen loads of laundry since I use about a teaspoon at a time. I could not afford to buy more ALL, but will have enough. Maybe I will finally make my own detergent since I obviously have all the ingredients.

Part of the Baking Soda is in the kitchen for cooking. The rest resides in the bathroom for cleaning and in the kitchen for cleaning, and in the shelf in the laundry room.  

Your turn
Do you use any of these products? If not, why? Is the Washing Soda harsh on elastic? What is your favorite recipe for dry detergent? I just don't want 5 gallons of cooked, liquid detergent! Does rubbing Fels-Naptha bar on fabric remove more stains than a regular bar of soap?


  1. I'm still using my 50 bottles of Purex that I got last year from Rite Aid on a killer coupon deal. I *think* I paid about $1 a bottle. I do extra large loads every time and use a full capful. I do about 22 loads a month on an normal summer month (clothes are smaller due to no long sleeves...I have never counted a months worth of laundry in the winter)

    I made the homemade liquid soap using the ingredients you have in the picture and I hated it. It was summer time and the soap did nothing for my stinky pits. I could still smell the sweat in my clothes. It was gross. I ended up going back to regular store bought powdered soap and used the homemade stuff as a boost just to get rid of it.

    When the purex runs out I'm going to try making the powdered soap. I think I'll use double what most recipes call for because I do extra large loads and the kids clothes are very dirty.

    For pre treating laundry, I use my bar of soap from the shower and it works great. It's whatever brand I happen to have and they all work great. I just wet the clothing item in the bathroom sink and scrub the stain out with the bar of soap. I wring it out and toss it in the laundry. It's usually just blood that I do this with (tmi...sorry) and it gets the stain right out.

  2. I use the Borax for everything and the washing soda too. If out of washing soda I use baking powder. I make cleaning supplies or boost tbe laundry with them. I haven't made detergent in awhile but found good recipes over at tipnut. When you make it I'll tell you how to turn it from gel to liquid. They all seem to gel like jello but I've got a secret;)
    I use Zote for laundry soap but theres no differance in cleaning power. Zote is a bigger bar so more economical in my area. Grandma just used any soap and her stains came out easily every time.

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  4. Free and LindaM,
    Probably the secret to the bar of soap is that grandma was willing to use a little elbow grease instead of tossing it in a machine to swish in water with a dab of detergent. So, any bar+elbow grease=works well.

  5. Free!,
    Thanks for the heads up on that detergent. With kids or a guy who gets dirty, and teens, I am sure that the difference is that I rarely get anything dirty. Have you tried vinegar in the wash? I have a pair of stained, poopy panties that have been washed and need something more. They are not dried in the dryer. I will try the bar of soap on those. Yes...tmi here!

    That gel sort of grosses me out. I need a I have saved detergent bottles just for this occasion.

  6. I use a laundry gloop/gel made out of Simple soap (UK brand with no colour or perfume, but any would do), washing soda (UK soda crystals0 and essential oil (lavender and tea tree or whatever). It works as well as commercial stuff i.e. it doesn't get every stain out without pre-treatment. I find a pre-wash (5 mins before) spray of white vinegar works on greasy shirt collars and the same vinegar (1 hour before washing) helps get out underarm white stains and smell. I also use white vinegar as a fabric conditioner and my washing smells fresh, clean and like a summer's day, even more so if air dried outside. I use baking soda (UK bicarb/bicarbonate of soda) for cleaning along with vinegar. A small spray bottle of water with 10 or so drops of essential oil makes a good air freshener.

  7. Attila,
    In the US some people use the same "recipe" for laundry soap. I haven't tried any yet. Yes, vinegar gets out smell in clothing. It certainly works on white deodorant stains, for me, at least. Some people are afraid to use vinegar because they don't to smell like vinegar. It's hard to convince people that vinegar's odor dissipates very quickly, leaving a fresh smell. Thanks for dropping by from the Come again, soon.

  8. I have some borax, which I occasionally remember to put in with a load of whites, which I occasionally remember to separate. I use the cheapest store brand powder detergents I can buy, and much less than the recommended amount. A $7 box lasts a couple of months. I haven't tried making laundry detergent because I can't see it being any cheaper. We keep separate clothes for town and farm, which helps immensely. The cows don't care if we have stains on our farm clothes. I have recently been experimenting with making lye for laundry, but not really impressed so far. A bit of peroxide is good for removing blood stains.

  9. Wendy,
    I can imagine with four boys you have lots of farm clothes. I think a $3.50 bottle of detergent lasted me about 3+ months, maybe 6. You are right about the cost, I believe. Ooooh, making lye? Sounds interesting. Hope that is a post someday.

  10. Last evening our local news reported that TIDE detergent is being traded on the black market!

  11. Janet,
    I read that! Amazing!


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