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18 July 2011

Have you tried homemade laundry liquid?

It was raining and cold here on the weekend, I had a few things to catch up on, and one of them was a batch of laundry liquid. I know many of you already use this but there are many who haven't made the leap yet, so I'm hoping that another post about how easy it is to make and how much it will save you, will be the push you need towards making a batch yourself.

All you need is water, soap, borax and washing soda, all the products are usually available at the supermarket.  The soap can be either soap flakes or soap that you've grated yourself and it can be any kind of soap - laundry soap, homemade soap or Sard soap, if you want an extra cleaning boost in your washing machine. Sard soap contains an oxy-bleach and would be excellent if you're washing a lot of white clothes or you have children or a tradesman in the family.

In addition to your ingredients, you'll need a medium sized saucepan, a slotted spoon to stir with, 10 litre bucket,  funnel, jug and containers to hold 10 litres of laundry liquid.


Above you can see the process. The ingredients are measured into a saucepan containing one litre/quart of water. Add one cup of soap flakes, half a cup of borax and half a cup of washing soda. Turn on the heat and stir. Bring the mix to the boil, stirring as it heats, and by the time the mixture is boiling, ALL the ingredients should be dissolved.

So, you've nearly finished and it's only taken less than ten minutes so far. When you're sure it's completely dissolved, pour the mixture into your 10 litre bucket and fill the bucket to the top with water from the tap.  You've made laundry liquid!  And it's cost you about $2 Australian. If you bought the equivalent about of laundry liquid here it would cost you between $80 and $90 (see below for cost comparisons in USA and UK). So when you take into account the making, pouring and storing, it's taken you about 30 minutes. I make this about once every four months. If you have a large family, you might make it every two months. And it will save you about $80 every time you make it. How long would you have to work to make $80? Saving it is much easier.

Once you have the laundry liquid in your bucket, stir it around again, then start filling your containers. It's important to leave enough room in your containers to shake the liquid before you use it because it will separate. See below for more information about this. As you can see, I store my laundry liquid in a five litre blue container, a three litre glass jar, a one litre glass jar and a 750 ml bottle. I use the bottled laundry liquid for cleaning. It's great for cleaning up spills, for cleaning around light switches, door handles, walls and floors. I use that little blue scoop to put the liquid into my front loader washing machine and I always use the one litre jar as my working jar. When it's empty, I refill it from the larger containers.


Above is the laundry liquid after it's been sitting for 24 hours. It's clearly separated into to layers - the top layer is gel-like, the bottom layer is watery. You need that space in your container to shake and mix before you use it.


And here is my cleaning liquid that I shook just to show you what it looks like. So don't think you've done anything wrong if your mixture separates, it's fine, it just needs a good shake. And to answer Shelly's question yesterday, this is safe in septic tanks but not for grey water. The borax in the mix builds up as boron in the garden and that is harmful to plants. If you want to use your grey water, leave out the borax.

ADDED LATER: This is also an excellent stain remover. I rub it thoroughly onto a stain with my fingers, let it sit for an hour, then put it in with the normal wash. It works.
Don't expect homemade laundry liquid, or the powder, to make suds. Clean washing doesn't need suds to make it clean. The froth and bubbles you get with commercial cleaners is made with chemicals not needed for cleaning but are included because they think we want bubbles.

I've written before about the small steps we all take. This is one of them. This small step doesn't cost a lot, it is easy to make and it lasts a long time. But if you do it, it will save your hard earned money, it will mean you'll have fewer chemicals in your home, you'll buy less packaging and the water you eventually send into the system will not be laden with salt, phosphorus and fillers. Maybe this small step is not so small after all.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION 

91 comments:

  1. I have! It was easy to make and I filled 5 two litre milk bottles that I dug out of our recycle bin. I've passed some on to family and we're all converts!

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  2. I have ahd the ingredients to make this for about a year now and just haven't taken the time to do it yet. I am going to now! You make it sound so simple and easy!

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  3. I make laundry powder instead, just grated laundry soap and washing soda.

    Maybe we have soft water? but I found we didn't need the borax at all, so that makes it a little cheaper and a little easier to make; I just mix 1 part washing soda to 2 parts grated soap. If I'm organised, I will grate a whole heap of soap at once (during a telly show is good) otherwise I just grate a cup at a time at wash time and mix in the soda.

    My mother sent up clothes for our son (which she prewashed for us) and he got a terrible rash from the commerical washing powder. I've been making my own for years. It would seem that not only is better on the hip pocket and on the environment, it's gentler on the skin too.

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  4. Is there a grey water safe version? We have just set up our laundry to put the water on the garden.

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  5. I've been making my own laundry soap for going on two years and can't understand why anyone would not make their own. Its so easy and inexpensive, not to mention it works as well as the store brands. My cost vs savings is about the same as yours Rhonda..it's a pretty good return on a small amount of work. And I so do not miss hauling home the heavy bottles of liquid store brand, and then having to get rid of the empty bottles.

    Now if I could just find a homemade dishwasher soap recipe that works for us.. Nothing I've tried works with our hard water.

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    1. Guess what the laundry liquid is perfect for dishwashers! I've made two large batches up, last one 30 litres! My friend suggested trying it in my dishwasher coz the store bought tablets left soap grains in my cups. Lo and behold such clean dishes! Skinier and cleaner and cheap. 1 to 2 teaspoons is plenty.

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  6. I make your laundry powder and looking at this, the liquid is much cheaper. As a school teacher I usually make enough powder to last a school term. To do this I use a box of lux flakes, more than a container of borax and a bag of washing soda. I'll have to try the liquid next school holidays!
    Kristy

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  7. I smiled when I saw this Rhonda. I made my first batch on the weekend. As you say, it is so easy to make. I hope more people will give it a go now. I also did some washing with it on the weekend and was impressed with the results. xxoo

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  8. No I haven't tried it yet. It looks very easy to do, so it's about time I have a go. :-) Thanks for the info.

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  9. Deanne, just leave out the borax.

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  10. I'm up for havinng a go too, I keep thinking about it, but like you said Rhonda, it's good to have our memories and intentions jogged from time to time :)Nanette

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  11. I used to make my own but was unsure as I just bought a front loading washing machine and didn't know if it was okay to use in it. I have all the ingredients in my cupboard so will get to and make a batch today. Thanks Rhonda

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  12. I've got about 15 litres of your lovely laundry liquid sitting out in my laundry at the moment. A friend and I have 'Rhonda days' where we whip up soap and laundry liquid and take it in turns to mind the kids.

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  13. I will definately be doing this in the near future!

    Thanks for the brilliant instructions.

    Sandie xx

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  14. Hi Rhonda,
    I also have been converted,I made my laudry liquid out of 4 bars of finely grated pure soap added 2 cups of washing soda, 2 teaspoons of eucalyptus oil.Added 6 tablespoons of the powder to a 3litre milk container and just added the water much better much cheaper and smells good too! so much better than what they sell in the supermakets :-)
    By the way thankyou for sharing your wonderful ideas,hope you have a lovely day.
    Gabriella

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  15. I'll be giving this a go for sure. Just one question though - how much liquid do you put in your front loader washing machine?

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  16. I have heard that homemade laundry soap is not the best for some cloth diapers, particularly the ones with synthetic fabrics (fleece & microfibre) as the oils can cause wicking. Do you know of any homemade solution? The alternatives are expensive, not good for cleaning the diapers or not gentle on the environment.

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  17. Question - just wondering what the blue cup measurement is. I have a toploader and would like to know do I put half a cup or a whole cup in my machine.

    I too have been wanting to convert but never have....would love to give this a try. Kathy Brisbane

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  18. Ahh, I thought I'd done something wrong when mine separated. Good idea putting it in something you can shake up, I'd put mine in a big bucket. I use the powdered version but I might make some of this for cleaning things other than laundry like you suggested.

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  19. I use about ¼ cup of liquid, that scoop holds about ½ cup.

    Is there anyone here who is using the laundry liquid on cloth nappies/diapers?

    Craftevangelist, if you make it up using soap flakes, or grated laundry soap, as they're not make with oils, IF there is a problem with wicking, that should fix it.

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  20. I've been using a powder made of equal parts washing soda, grated soap and carb soda, it works well but I think I'll make a batch of the liquid for generla cleaning and to have some to give to my money saving daughter, http://32dollarsaday.blogspot.com/
    and while i like the smell of fresh laundry a few drops of eucalyptus oil would be nice as well.

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  21. hi rhonda,

    i made my own a couple of years back, and while initially being rather excited about it all, it didn't take long to become disappointed. all our whites ended up grey and our colours drab and dreary. thought i'd give it another shot a little while ago and ended up with grey clothes again. such a shame because i really like the idea of producing my own laundry liquid.
    enjoy your day.
    julie :)

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  22. I would really like to give this a go as well as soap making....although the caustic soda scares me. Do I need to have pots and utensils etc that I souly use for soap and detergent making? Do you use lux flakes to make yours or grate up soap? My nan use to grate up sunlight soap? Chrissy

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  23. Thanks for your post Rhonda, I had read on several recipes that the homemade liquid wasn't any good for front loaders, happy to take your recommendation! Will make up a batch after our honeymoon, every dollar saved counts!! :) Thanks, Mel.

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  24. Chrissy, a thorough wash in the sink with soap and water is all you need to bring your pots and utensils back to food quality. I use Lux Flakes but it's easily made with laundry soap too. Either will do.

    Julie, have you tried using sard soap, or adding a ½ cup of oxy-bleach to your mix. I think that would help with the whiteness issue.

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  25. I have made liquid laundry detergent quite a few times and I like it. I like to soak my whites/dirtiest clothes because I found the homemade did a better job when soaking first. I use 1/2 cup vinegar in the rinse, I believe it helps get any last trace of soap out and helps keep clothes from getting that gray tone some complain about. I do use Fels Naptha soap as I have yet to make my own soap.

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  26. This is a fantastic product Rhonda- I have been making the liquid for about 8 months now, and also have a powder mix(with Sard soap in it) that I use on hubby's clothes, as he is a mechanic. I am thankful to you for answering my question too-we will no longer be on sewerage, and I didn't want to have to give up using homemade-it's just fantastic!!! Let's hope more people are converts:)
    Shelly

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  27. Once you make your own, you won't want to be without it..I'm saving plenty doing it...used my last batch this morning...tomorrow...another batch and it lasts a long time.

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  28. Thank you again for this great recipe Rhonda. I was pleased to get to the part were you use it in your front loader washer. I have always been wary of using homemade detergent in my front loader but now I'm going to give give your recipe a go. Shop bought laundry detergent is a really big expense so I'm grateful for you sharing this.
    Thank you also to Melissa from your comments column for sharing her laundry powder recipe.

    Blessings Gail

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  29. It really is super easy to make! Unfortunatly, I'm unable to use it. I've tried so many different variations, Ivory soap, Fels Naptha, with OxyClean, baking soda, washing soda, Borax, vinegar in the rinse cycle...my whites always get so dingy and my darks fade horribly. I blame my dingy whites on the irony water up here in Northern Minnesota.
    BUT I've read/heard that so many people have such great luck with it and it works well. I do make a smaller batch of the liquid stuff for stain remover...it works WONDERS!!!

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  30. I have not made homemade liquid, but used to make the homemade powdered version. I stopped because it did not work well with out poor quality well water. I may yet try the liquid version when I run out of my current stockpile of a great brand-name eco-friendly liquid that I got for a steal.

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  31. Does anybody know if it's safe to use this in a HE machine? About a year ago my 1968 Kenmore finally died. For a while I was washing everything by hand using a laundry plunger. It worked great, but it was a lot of work. Small stuff wasn't too bad, but big stuff was a real pain.

    So I finally bit the bullet and bought a fancy schmancy HE washer. I love the new washer, but it came with all sorts of dire warnings that you could ruin it if you used anything but HE detergent. Since it cost a small fortune I didn't want to take that chance. Does anybody have any suggestions or experience in this area?

    Also, when I was doing everything by hand I generally just dissolved a tablespoon or so of either borax or washing soda in the water and then rubbed soap directly onto the clothes. I had the dingy whites problem at first, but I determined that the problem was our really hard water. I solved it by adding vinegar to the rinse water. I had to do an extra rinse to get the vinegar smell out, but it wasn't too bad. Anyhow, those of you with the dingy problem might try adding some vinegar (or you could also use citric acid) to the rinse cycle and see if it helps.

    I really hope I can find a way to use home made liquid in my new machine because once I figured out the vinegar thing, soap & borax/washing soda got things MUCH cleaner than detergent ever did.

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  32. Rhonda re the nappies q:

    I used to use Lux flakes on our nappies (when we used terry squares for the first two babies) but the general consensus in the cloth world seems to be that it's not the best for reusable nappies, and I have also been advised that over time the Lux flakes do clog the machine.

    I haven't used Lux flakes since but know of others who have used them on MCN (modern cloth - Bumgenius etc) and don't recommended it.

    Otherwise I would be interested :)

    We've also had troubles with some of the 'eco' powders not cleaning so well, which is disappointing. We'll keep trying!

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  33. If I left out the borax as suggested because we also use our wash water for gray water use, could I add the 1/2 cup oxy-bleach instead? Would the oxy-bleach be ok for gray water usage? Could it be used on fruit trees or just lawn? Thank you Rhonda. Sarah

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  34. ecocatlady, I don't know anything about HE machines, sorry. I hope you find a solution.

    Kristy, I've used Lux Flakes for washing for years and have never had a blocked machine. It might be that I use a vinegar rinse. I used to wash our cloth nappies in Lux Flakes 30 years ago and didn't have a problem with it but I think a lot of it has to do with the water in each area.

    Sarah, oxy-bleach should work instead of borax and it's okay in the grey water. However, you shouldn't use grey water on any food gardens or fruit trees.

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  35. I've used homemade laundry powder and liquid in the HE washers that are in the apt. complex I live in with no issues.

    The reason there is special soap for HE washers is the low water volume. Liquids that make a lot of suds don't do well in that environment. With homemade you won't have suds much at all so it's perfectly okay for HE washers.

    Here's a mini experiment you can do if you want to test your laundry soap for HE washers: http://offbeathome.com/2011/07/he-washers-diy-detergent

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  36. Thanks Luna, that information is much appreciated.

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  37. I love it and tell everyone about it!!

    Just put the last load of washing on before heading outside. Couple of inches left in the bottle so thats my first job for tomorrow!

    Have a nice day all :)

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  38. We have been using homemade for sometime now. Our recipe made 10 gallons, we are a family of 3 and we haven't even made a dent in it! We also share with our renters, 2 adults. It is lasting a very long time.

    We use ours in a HE washer. We have had no issues with it at all. It's not "sudsy" so it's not going to harm anything.

    There is something satisfying about making your own laundry soap and then hanging your clothes out on the line! :)

    As a bleach alternative we use Mrs. Stewart's Liquid Bluing.

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  39. Luna - Thank you SOOOO much! I guess I'll give it a try and see how it goes!

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  40. I make this in powder form! We have been doing it for several years now and it's great! I may try making the liquid and seeing which lasts longer!

    Deanna

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  41. I've been making this detergent for approximately 4 years and saved a ton of money. I'm not sure what happened by last year I started getting a rash when I sweat. I went back to a hypoallergenic soap and the rash is now gone. I still use the soap for items other than my personal items.

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  42. Hi Rhonda I have been making this liquid for two years or so and can vouch for everything you have written. It takes me about 30 minutes all up every 3 months or so to make laundry liquid for my family of 4.
    One problem on the horizon - I am finding it difficult to source washing soda. In my regional town, the supermarkets and hardware stores don't stock it, so it seems my next purchase will have to be from the local chemical supply in a 20kg bag! Enough to last a lifetime - clearly not ideal...

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  43. Dear Rhonda,
    I have been meaning to make a batch of yur lovely soap some day. But this week I will SOMEHOW make this laundry liquid. Just a few questions. I read in this website:

    http://www.ehow.com/about_5419217_borax-vs-boric-acid.html

    that chronic skin absorption of borax/ boric acid can have some health problems.

    What does adding borax do to the liquid and if you leave it out how does that affect the liquid?

    And also can I use boric acid instead of borax because boric acid is freely availabl in my area?

    Thank you so much for inspiring so many people with simple living ideas. I really value your avice.
    Dhilma

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  44. This looks wonderful, I just don't know where I can get washing soda from here in South Africa. I have looked and can't find it anywhere. It isn't like bicarb is it?
    Warmly
    Linda

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  45. Dhilma, when I was younger, borax was commonly used as an eye wash. Read about it here: http://chemistry.about.com/od/howthingsworkfaqs/a/howboraxworks.htm

    I have never used boric acid so I can't advise you, sorry.

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  46. They're two different things, Linda. Washing soda is sodium carbonate, baking soda is sodium bicarbonate. Can you buy it online?

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  47. Oooh I'm so pleased you wrote this! I made my first batch of home made laundry liquid about 6 weeks ago (using your recipe!) and have always wondered what I did wrong that it doesn't make suds! I'd even added a very small scoop of bought laudry powder to the washing to make it seem soapy, but I will stop that now! Thank you so much for such a wonderful, helpful site :)

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  48. Hi, I have been doing a research on the internet. You can actually make your own baking soda by baking it in the oven, it then converts to washing soda. I still have at least a couple of months worth of laundry liquid left; but I am going to try this recipe next time I make another batch.

    http://www.pennilessparenting.com/2011/01/homemade-washing-soda.html

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  49. Yes I have and I love it. Mine did not jell like I thought it should of but it works great. Have given several bottles away.
    I use a little oxyclean on my whites and have not had any graying issues. I also line dry, the sun is wonderful on whites

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  50. I REALLY wanted to love my homemade laundry detergent but it just didn't work for us. We are farmers, my husband is also a mechanic, and my kids get D-I-R-T-T-Y! The detergent would not get our dirtiest clothes clean although it was fine for not so dirty clothes. I tried adding more borax to the heavily soiled clothes, but the colors began to show noticeable fading very quickly and my white clothes started getting gray after the first wash. I tried soaking them for 30 minutes with no further success. WORST of all, the soap left a residue in our drain pipes that my husband had to dig out with the "snake". I was putting a healthy dose of vinegar in each load as recommended but it still built up. I should also mention that we do have a water softener, so hard water wasn't the culprit. Like I said I REALLY wanted to love it =(

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  51. Hi Rhonda. I've been using your recipe for over a year now, sans Borax. My husband says that his clothes do not look/feel/smell as clean as those of commercial brands.
    Perhaps I am doing something wrong? The borax was included until the last two batches. Any suggestions to make this appear more 'commercially'?

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  52. Linda, I'm from South Africa and found washing soda at the local Spar in our small town. It comes in a plastic packet like dishwasher salt. You could also try a hardware store.

    Rhonda, I was thrilled to try your laundry liquid recipe a couple of months back, but all my whites turned a horrible shade of grey, so now I'm back to expensive shop bought detergent, sad to say.

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  53. From the website of the borax brand I use:

    Is 20 Mule Team® Borax Laundry Booster the same as boric acid?

    No, Boric Acid is an acid formed from the reaction of borax with sulfuric acid or another mineral.

    According to the same site, the Borax you use for laundry is actually called:
    Sodium Tetraborate

    I've been making this for a couple of years now with a bit different of a recipe, but same basic ingredients. I love it and can't understand why everyone doesn't use it. It's so cheap and nice to know you're not rubbing hundreds of chemicals & dyes on your body all day every day! :) I always use grated soap (Fels Naptha usually).

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  54. We've done this for a few years now. Unfortunately, as some have mentioned, our whites got dingy looking despite the use of Oxygen bleach. Also, with several small children, we have lots of daily stains and their clothes were becoming dingy as well. So as a compromise, we've gone to using this on towels, linens and darks and use storebought ecofriendly detergent for the rest.

    And, no, we don't use the homemade on our cloth diapers, natural or microfiber.

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  55. I did it! It was very easy and made 4 containers worth of the kind I used to buy. I've been reading slowly over your blog for the last six months or so, and wanted to say thank you! I used to think heating up a frozen pizza instead of ordering one counted as "cooking". Now I bake my own bread items, make most things from scratch and have started my first tomato plants. So thank you for all your information and encouragement!

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  56. Seeing this so well demonstrated here has inspired me to give it a go now.

    Have seen recipes before but not felt motivated until now.

    Tracy Boulter

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  57. Hi Rhonda,

    Just wanted to answer re the nappies: We use our homemade washing powder (with grated laundry soap) on our cloth nappies. We just use the terry flats (we actually found these easy to clean and use and get dry than the modern ones). We do soak them in the homebrand nappy soaker first then wash them with a little washing powder and a drop or two of eucalyptus oil. We've been doing it for a year and a half and I haven't had any problems, they're still absorbant.

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  58. It's good to see so many of you taking this step. I hope you use the liquid for many years to come.

    Thanks Melissa.

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  59. Yes, have been using homemade laundry liquid for 6 months, nearing the end of my second batch. Same ingredients as yours but slightly different quantities. Mum had said that when she tried it years ago, she had fading of her darks but as yet I haven't noticed this. And whites are as white as before. I was rather proud when my liquid successfully removed lots of mud from my girls nice white and pastel floral clothes after a day at the park. I do use it on my MCN but we are down to only one night nappy a day. So it just gets tossed into a regular load.
    And Melissa, I used terry sqaures on all 4 of my babies(changed to MCN when the last was 6months) You don't need to use a detergent with nappy soaker, I worked out with my 4th that you don't even really need nappy soaker, as long as they go out in the sun. But if using a soaker, just drain off and rinse. Or put through a full cycle with just water. But I used to just put on for the rinse cycle, spray then deep. I think Mum must have told me that way back 19 years ago when I had my first.

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  60. I've had the ingredients to do this forever. I don't know why I haven't mixed it up yet, I really don't. Since you have done such a bang-up job of making it sound so easy and rewarding, maybe I will finally get around to it! I'll do like you and wait for a rainy day, though. Ha ha! Thanks Rhonda Jean!

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  61. You can add one more to your tally of newbie laundry liquid makers... although it took me a little longer... when I tipped it all into the bucket to add the water I discovered the ingredients hadn't dissolved as well as I thought they had so I had to tip the lot back into stock pots to heat up and dissolve again... so glad my hubby isn't home right now - he can never resist taste testing what's bubbling in the saucepans on the stove - ew!

    Cheers,

    LeaBea

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  62. Decided to give this a try, will run out of my laundry detergent in several weeks so will be making this instead....I already have a problem with my white's going dingy here (we have very hard water, high in chlorine, lots of iron and calcium content) might try soaking the white's before they're washed, will definately add the vinegar to the rinse water. I wonder if a lot of people who say it doesn't clean correctly it's because we don't get a soapy look happening and there isn't a "smell" to the washing, I like to add eucalyptus oil to the rinse already so might continue to do that. Can't wait to "cook it" up

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  63. Lesli in AlabamaJuly 20, 2011 12:59 am

    So I tried your recipe last night. You rock, Rhonda! It was so easy. Thanks so much for all your inspiring words every day.

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  64. Rhonda, I'm keen to give this a go. I'm off to the shops today to buy ingredients.

    Is it a good detergent to use on knits and wool? I knit quite a lot and would like to use it if possible on them also.

    Thank you :)

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  65. Carly, I use it both for washing knitted garments in the washing machine and for hand-washing more delicate woollens.

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  66. Hello Rhonda,
    I made your laundry detergent last night with my mother and it came out like you said. I used it on my bed sheets today and I was more than satisfied with the results!!! I felt so happy! I left out the borax (by the way, I found you can use boric acid instead of borax, but in a different concentration. Borax enhances the cleaning ability of a detergent)I left half the bucket for my mother to use. Thank you so much for the great recipe Rhonda. I am now seriously thinking of making homemade soap. We have a lot of coconut oil in our country and finding olive oil is also no problem.Only prblem is rice bran oil which I have never heard of. Would I be able to subtitute something like sunflower oil for rice bran oil? Thank you, and have a lovely day.

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  67. Great work, Dhilma. That's excellent! You don't have to use the rice bran oil, soap can be made with just coconut oil and olive oil. The soap I made today was just that. Run it through a soap calculator to get your amounts right before you start.

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  68. Hi Rhonda! I made your liquid laundry detergent last weekend. I was really surprised at just how quick and easy the whole process was. And cheap! Even the equipment cost next to nothing. I've already done three loads, and am loving it! I'm just sad that it took me this long to do it. :) Thank you for giving such a great tutorial. It really made me confident that I knew what I was doing.

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  69. I have been making my own for years and I LOVE LOVE LOVE to experiment by adding a few aromatic herbs or a tiny drop of essential oils to make the wash smell fresh and lovely.

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  70. Rhonda,
    Thought I would drop back in to update my progress with the liquid laundry soap.
    Firstly, it was so quick and easy to make! My 4yo thought it was the best "cooking" we have done.
    Secondly, after a week of using the liquid with my washing, I am very pleased with the results.
    Thank you for the wonderful resource and inspiration.
    Carly

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  71. Hi Rhonda, I have made up a few batches and have been so happy but last night I thought I would experiment a little. I did one lot with some eucalyptus oil (a water soluble type) and a lavender type. This afternoon I have noticed that ll the bottles with lavender oil in them have gone like a jelly fish.. in fact the liquid has turned to jelly and I cant get it out of the bottles. .YIKES! What have I done wrong.. do you think there may have been a chemical reaction with the added lavender oil?? Jewell :)

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  72. Jewell, I don't know what happened, I never add fragrance to mine. But I doubt it would have ruined it completely. Give it a good shake and see if it comes together. If you can get it out of the container, I'm sure it will be fine to use in the washing machine.

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  73. I've made something like this before; lost the recipe so thanks!
    I used to add several drops of Eucalyptus Essential Oil to the batch, according to aroma preferences.
    Eucalyptus Essential Oil stops cross-contamination from wash to wash (very important if there are unwell folk in the household), fantastic for woollens, imparts a clean fresh fragrance, and removes stubborn petroleum and other stains from clothing. I use Bosisto's Eucalyptus which we can get from the supermarket in Australia, quite economically.
    Makes the laundry smell great! Though only use genuine essential oil, not synthetics, to gain the health benefits.
    Great blog!! I was directed here from Natural Suburbia blog, another great blog.
    Karla (Brisbane Australia)

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  74. Folk used to use those "blue bags" in the final sink rinse for whites, to bring them up to standard. Haven't seen those blue bags for ages though.
    Something along those lines would bring out the whites, or alternatively, use a commercial laundry detergent occasionally just to spark them up, if the family allergy situation isn't an issue.
    However, I'm thinking adding a few more drops of Eucalyptus oil (like half a teaspoon to a wash cycle) might help.
    Karla

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  75. Hi Nadine here.
    Just wanted to let you know if you stir consistantly while in the cooling process you may find that it won't seperate as much as just leaving it constant stirring will coagulate better on a even consistancy without seperation Ihave done this on a regular bases with making my own cosmetics and has worked for me :)

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  76. hi rhonda and fans, i recently made the recipe using all the ingredients including grated sard soap and the lux brand soap flakes and it appears to have solidified. is this common or is it because i didn't boil it for long enough? i had it on the stove for at least 40 minutes, maybe more. any suggestions? it is cold in my laundry. this may have affected the consistency too. thanks, katie.

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  77. Hi I made a batch of laundry liquid which separated (which is fine apparently) but the washing soda didn't dissolve properly even though I had it on the stove for a while. Would anyone recommend that I pop it on the stove again? Maybe just a small amount? By the way green cleaning is awesome and everybody should do it!

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  78. Thanks Rhonda - I have just made my second batch of this washing liquid and it is so easy and works a treat! Love it and the savings!

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  79. I just made my first batch of laundry liquid and can't wait to try it tonight after work. I have the ingredients to do soap and wanted to first ask a question. I live in Nova Scotia, Canada. We have quite high humidity and have to run a dehumidifier all the time. We do not have extreme weather our summers are around 25 Celsius on average and winters around -5 Celsius. When is best for me to make soap and should it be set/stored in the driest part of our home? Does it matter if it is cool or hot?
    I love your blog so much and that you for sharing your wonderful ideas.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Natalie, humidity and temperature don't make any difference to laundry liquid. It does to bar soap, but not this. You can make it at any time of the day. Good luck.

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    2. Hi Rhonda, It was actually bar soap that I meant sorry. I was not clear. I have the ingredients and equipment but was not sure of the best time and location for it to cure or harden. i figured where the dehumidifier is would be best but it is a bit cooler back there and wasn't sure if that would be ok.

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    3. Sorry love. With bar soap air temperature doesn't make any difference to the end result but if it is too cold when you're making it, the soap might give you a false trace. If you make it in a room where the temperature is 20 - 30C, you'll have no problems. When the soap is made, it needs to dry out properly. If the humidity is high it will take longer to dry out. The drier the soap when you use it, the longer it will last. Also, if it contains too much water, it will go gluggy when you use it in the shower. So let it dry out on something like a cake rack for as long as you can. Turn them over every day for the first week. When you store them, store them in the driest part of the house. It may be a good idea to lay them on a towel or a piece of absorbent paper. Don't make more than one batch at a time unless you're giving some away.

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  80. What size is the little blue container that you use to put in the front loader? Is it 1/4 cup? I have also heard lemon juice is great for making whites whiter has anyone tried this?

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  81. So I'm almost 2 years late to the party, but I'd love to make this. Thank you so much for the recipe.

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  82. Hi Rhonda,

    I've just made my first batch. I used sard soap, which I grated. It was on the stove for a while, and i was convinced everything had dissolved; however when i added the additional water content, I could see the soap hadn't completely dissolved. I decided to bottle it anyway, but when i look at the bottles, they look a little different to yours. They have split, like yours have, however the water content looks a lot more that the soap content. On your photo's the soap content looks around 2/3 to 1/3 of water. Mine look 1/3 soap content to 2/3 water. Have I done something wrong. Also can I add pure Indigo powder into the mixture.

    Thank you

    Karen / Melbourne Australia

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  83. Finally I have made some, after sitting this on my to do list forever. It was fun and easy, I made it with the kids. They thought I looked funny grating soap. I even made the bicarb laundry liquid cleaner which was amazing on our stove top. Thankyou for all the good advice.

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    ReplyDelete
  85. We have discovered this liquid is not only God for washing clothes. . It also cleans floors and showers and baths and benchtops and walls and cars and pretty much anything that's dirty. We add about 3Tbsp of eucalyptus oil to each bottle once we have made it and we also grate about 1/3 of a sard wonder soap in along with a while bar of cussons velvet soap. Loving it!!

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  86. I've just made my first batch, and my liquid has got chunky, solid stringy bits in it already. Will it just redissolve when I put it into smaller containers and shake?

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    Replies
    1. It will separate and form a gel portion and a liquid portion. Just shake the container before you use it. It will be fine.

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