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Homemade Laundry Detergent - Pass or Fail?


Lately, I've been online a lot less and doing a lot more! (I sound like a Home Depot commercial). I haven't even been able to keep up with reading any of the blogs that I love, which is a bummer. There are so many projects in the works that are almost done and I just can't wait to show you! Including the first installment of the girls' bedroom progress. Yay! :)

One of the things I tried this past week was homemade laundry detergent. A friend of mine told me about this recipe a few months back. I started running low on the Gain that I had been using, so I decided that there is no time like the present to give it a try.

Source: via Lisa on Pinterest

The recipe I started with was from the Duggar Family found here. (I love them!)
Ingredient List:
4  Cups - hot tap water
1  Fels-Naptha soap bar
1 Cup - Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
½ Cup Borax

I had trouble locating the Super Washing Soda locally and I'm too impatient to order online and wait. So I searched and googled for alternatives and found that baking soda is in the same family as washing soda, only with a lower PH. I read in several places that you can change the PH of baking soda and essentially turn it into washing soda by heating it above the boiling point. I also read that OxiClean has both Borax and washing soda in it. So here's what I did to alter the recipe and make it work for what I had on hand:

I boiled a saucepan of water and added 1 cup of baking soda. Warning: use a large pot with a lot of extra room when boiling the water. When you add the baking soda it will foam up before settling and if you don't allow room, this could happen! :/
On the plus side, after scrubbing off the baking soda and soap from my stove-top, it's never looked cleaner! :)

I then added this mixture to the large gallon mixture which contained all the other ingredients. I also added 1 cup of OxiClean to the overall large mixture. 
I followed the rest of the recipe instructions exactly as listed. It required me to let it sit overnight (a test for my impatience), so I gave it a try the next day.

Verdict: FAIL for my recipe alteration, and undetermined on the real recipe. 

Lesson learned: sometimes it's not worth it to try and find a shortcut. It didn't gel like it was supposed to, and when I washed the puppy's bed, it didn't come out smelling fresh enough for my standards. I haven't given up, however! I'll be trying out the true unaltered recipe using the super washing soda and will let you know of my results. (Crossing my fingers.)

Lots of love,


  1. Anonymous
  2. Anonymous

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