Monday, May 14, 2012

HE-Safe Homemade Liquid No-Grate Laundry Soap

At $20 for a little over 1 gallon, I'd been wanting to try out some less expensive options than the Original Tide I've always used for our laundry.  When I began researching and experimenting, I found it difficult to find something that worked for my sensitive-skinned family.  All of the bar soaps that recipes call for are too harsh for us to use.  Plus the work of grating does not at all appeal to me.

I stumbled across this recipe for liquid soap, and I couldn't wait to test it out.  I bought all of the ingredients and did the math.  For the amount equal to the $20 Tide, this soap costs $0.36.  That's not a typo!  Tide is approximately 56 times more expensive than this recipe!  I was also a little concerned because, while the recipe says it is safe for HE washers, I couldn't find a single review of someone who had actually used it in one.  I'm happy to report that there is no more sudsing with this recipe than with my old standby Tide.  It is just fine.

I've been using this soap for several weeks now, and I've changed it up a bit to better suit us.  Here is my updated recipe:

Liquid Laundry Detergent
4 cups boiling water
4 tablespoons borax
4 tablespoons washing soda
3 tablespoons Dawn dish soap
1 gallon cold water

Fill a gallon jug with cold water.  Then, measure 4 cups of that water to boil (so you'll end up with 1 gallon minus 4 cups of cold water in the jug).  When the water is boiling, take it off the heat, and add the borax, washing soda, and dish soap, and stir until everything's dissolved.  Let cool, then pour into the gallon jug shaking lightly to combine.  Use 1/2 cup per load.



Some Notes:  This soap is not nearly as heavily-scented as Tide.  If you're looking for something that will make your laundry smell fresh, here are a few ideas.  You can use dryer sheets (something I always do anyway).  I also have used a tablespoon or so of Tide along with my 1/2 cup of homemade detergent, and it is almost exactly the same scent as Tide alone.  Or you can add scent beads to the laundry.  My favorite are these.

I'd love to hear from you if you have tried this soap.  Do you love it as-is?  Have you made any personal changes that make you like it better?  Or did it just not work for you nearly as well as a store-bought detergent?

18 comments:

Charla (SHar-la) said...

I'm SO glad you posted your updated recipe! I was just thinking about this TODAY, and wondered if I would make another batch because my first is getting low. I do the same thing you do...add a little bit of Gain to my 1/2 cup of homemade detergent just to add smell. I don't always, but every once in a while. I also use the Bounce dryer bar, so everything smells great...those things are amazing! I can't wait to try the revamped recipe!!! Thanks, again!

Charla (SHar-la) said...

Oh! I also added a little bit of liquid OxyClean to my jug, just to see what it would do. I think it helps, but I won't add it again unless I feel the need to. Sometimes I add a scoop of OxyClean powder, mainly to loads with lots of stains or Richard's jeans that need some extra oomph in the cleaning department!

Anonymous said...

Gain came out with dish detergent this year, smells great! I think I'll try it when I try this recipe. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I use the gain dish soap in my recipe. It smells great. But on the bottle it says do not combine with bleach so for my white loads I use vinegar and it works great.

Anonymous said...

I tried this and it came out like water? is this right or should it be thicker?

Alicia said...

Yes, it is the consistency of water. It made me realize how much I've been paying for mainly water in detergent all these years!

Rori Rosenthal said...

I just made this with the Gain Dish Detergent, it smells just like Gain. Thank you so much for sharing this. It has help my family cut some costs. I didn't mind scraping up what I needed for the ingredients as they will last me a while. Being an extremely low income family, there aren't many places that will help you with laundry, cleaning or personal hygiene supplies. God Bless You!

Anonymous said...

I've made this several times and love it, its so much easier than all that grating and a lot easier to mix up quick if the husband uses too much per load,thanks for posting :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the recipe. Why is it necessary to boil the water though? I can understand boiling it when you make laundry soap with shredded bar soap since it needs to melt and thicken. Isn't it fine to use hot tap water? Any advice or recommendations would be appreciated.

Alicia said...

You could absolutely try just hot tap water. The water only needs to completely dissolve the ingredients. So if you're able to do that with tap water, I can't see how that would be a problem. I hope this works well for you!

Anonymous said...

Thank you. :) It is so exciting to find these alternatives that save us money. I'm whipping up a batch for a friend and my mom-in-law right now, along with homemade softener and crystals.

Anonymous said...

I made mine with Gain dish soap too--smells very nice. I just used hot tap water too, and it works fine.

Anonymous said...

What exactly is washing soap?

Anonymous said...

How about what is washing soda? Not soap.

Peggy Bayless said...

Super Washing Soda by Arm & Harmer ^

Peggy Bayless said...

I'm wondering what is the purpose of adding all that extra water, and then having to use so much per load. Why not keep it concentrated (not add the rest of the gallon of water) and add like 1 tablespoon, for example? Would that work?

Anonymous said...

Really good question that didn't get answered��

Anonymous said...

I would like to know also...