Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I made laundry detergent!

and it wrks just like my regular

1/2 cup borax
1/4 cup washing soda
1/4 cup baking soda
1/2 bar ivory (grated)
about 1 1/2 gallons water

boil half the water
add the grated ivory, borax, washing soda and baking soda and turn heat to low and stir until all dissolved.
removed from heat and allow to cool in pot, stirring occasionally (will gel)
add remaining water and stir until well blended
add to empty container
use 1 cup per large load (adjust for smaller or extra large or extra dirty loads (just like you would regular detergent.

You may add an essential oil for fragrance if you like, I just tend to like the plain clean sent of ivory.

**********Addendum added 1/29/09**********
Here's an answer about the popular question "What is washing soda?"

Washing soda is a highly alkaline chemical compound which can be used to remove stubborn stains from laundry. It also has numerous uses around the house, and it is used in a range of industrial applications as well. Washing soda should not be confused with washing powder, which is a powdered soap used as a detergent; it is also not the same thing as baking soda, although the two compounds are closely related.
The chemical formula for washing soda is Na2CO3, and it is also known as
sodium carbonate. It is a salt of carbonic acid, a chemical which produces a wide range of salts collectively known as carbonates. One common source of washing soda is the ashes of plants; for this reason, it is sometimes called soda ash. Sodium carbonate can also be extracted from sodium chloride, also known as table salt.
In laundry, washing soda accomplishes several things. The high alkalinity of washing soda helps it act as a solvent to remove a range of stains, and unlike bleach, washing soda does not usually stain. It is also used in detergent mixtures to treat
hard water; the washing soda binds to the minerals which make water hard, allowing detergent to foam properly so that clothing will come out clean, without any residue. Sodium carbonate is also used by some textile artists, since it helps dyes adhere to fabric, resulting in deeper penetration and a longer lasting color.
Around the house, washing soda can be used to descale things like
coffee machines and bathroom tiles which may accumulate mineral deposits as a result of exposure to hard water. It can also be used to strip floors of wax so that they can be refinished, and for other touch cleaning jobs like scrubbing the stove. However, you should wear gloves when cleaning with washing soda, because it is very caustic and it can cause severe skin damage. Incidentally, the best way to treat a chemical burn is with baking soda, also called sodium bicarbonate, as it is a buffer and it will neutralize both acids and alkalis. Apply baking soda to the site of the burn for several minutes, flush the wound with water, and seek medical attention.
Many markets carry washing soda, typically with other laundry products. Some companies make mixed detergents with washing soda which are specifically formulated for hard water, and you can also find washing soda on your own. Since sodium carbonate can be dangerous, make sure to keep washing soda out of the reach of children and pets, and clearly label the container to indicate that it is caustic.


  1. I've been making my own laundry detergent for a while now and absolutely love it! I do add a cup or two of vinegar to the detergent while it's cooling. This helps it stay a liquid and not a gel (just my personal preference).

    I get a kick out of seeing all the coupons and the flyers advertising lower prices for Tide! I love knowing I spend pennies to do my laundry!

  2. I've asked this before on someone else's site, but never got an answer...that I know of.

    What is washing soda? I've got the borax, I've got everything else, but I have no idea what washing soda is!

  3. Yes, I also want to know what washing soda is. I found baking soda, but can't find the washing soda.
    There's no place on this blog to contact the author, but if you have the settings to automatically email you with comments, could you please answer this question?
    Thank you!