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Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

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Home Made Laundry Detergent & More

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Post  Furbalsmom 3/3/2012, 12:50 pm

Nice to hear from you again farmer Valerie. Take care of yourself and post when you can.

My daughter also raises goats and they seem to find the smallest weaknesses in the fence to escape. Right now she is bottle feeding a baby born on 2/29 named Sadie in honor of Sadie Hawkins Day 2/29. Sadie's Nanny and two siblings did not survive the birth. Sad All the other goats are enjoying the warm weather they are having in GA and survived a night of multiple tornado warnings, but fortunately, none touched down closer than 3 miles from their home.
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Post  walshevak 3/3/2012, 1:09 pm

Farmer Valeria, I've missed your humor. Kick back and have a glass of the house wine of the south for me. flower

Kay

For all you newbies, that's sweet iced tea.

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Post  camprn 3/3/2012, 2:41 pm

FV, I was thinking of you last week when I made a batch of this laundry soap! So glad to see you up and taking nourishment Wink. And posting!!

For everyone else who thinks this is a time consuming project... not so, it took maybe 15 minutes to grate the soap bar and another 10 minutes to heat the solution. Then not too long to bottle it all up. My 10 gallon batch also lasted us about 6 months and cost... about$4.00.

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Post  FarmerValerie 3/3/2012, 3:27 pm

I recently acquired a second food processor so grating mine takes only seconds. I think someone figured out how many cups were in a box of Borax and washing soda, then divided the amount in the box by the price and figured that even thought the initial cost was $4-$5 the cost for each 10 gallons of detergent was under $2, the soap costs 97 cents here, so I'm thinking that even $2 would be high since buying every thing we need here is $6, and you only use about 1 cup Washing soda and 1 cup Borax, but at this time I am adding about $5 for the cheap detergent (so it "smells" good) so mine costs a bit more. However, for an hour investment, and cents per load, it's worth the time. I recently acquired some free buckets and am thinking of making a second batch soon, since I now have a place to keep it, without using the gallon jugs. It only takes me a minute longer in my processor to grate the second bar, and then I'm good for a year, as I have yet to use any of the batch I just made, I'm just now finishing up my last batch. I'm gonna try to skip the cheaper detergent and add my oils this time, maybe even mix half and half to fool everyone... Just thinking about it.

I ran across a recipe for home made body scrubs, and have been making all kinds of smell goods, but now that I have my Lemon, Lime, and Orange oils (I'm going back for grapefruit soon) I want to make this scrub to keep by the sink for gardening season. I'm going to use a mixture of my essential oils, and maybe some zest, but having the sugar and salt to scrub with, not to mention the oil to nourish my skin, would be so wonderful after coming back inside. I usually use a mixture of Sunflower, Olive, and Castor Oils (all found at grocery store) with a bit of Almond Oil. Castor Oil is a cleansing oil. I'll use say 1 cup Sunflower, 1/2 cup Olive, 1/4 cup Castor and Almond, for the body scrub and this makes 2 pints, with sugar and salt of course. If anyone is interested I'll share that recipe, my legs never looked so good in the winter.
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Post  Luci Dawson 3/3/2012, 4:04 pm

Ooooohhhhhh....I'd LOVE your scrub recipes when you have a chance. It sounds like tey will help me conquer the winter legs I get (and arms and hands!!!) because it's so blasted dry here.
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Post  FarmerValerie 3/4/2012, 8:11 am

FarmerValerie
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Post  Ha-v-v 3/4/2012, 9:04 am

FarmerValerie wrote:I did, it's here.
https://squarefoot.forumotion.com/t10622-hand-body-sugar-scrubs#102981
You are welcome.

Awesome!! I was hoping you would share your stuff about scrubs!! I am still in this 30ft trailer and it is so hard to do things to store. But!! hopefully this summer I will have the chance to do more.
I buy my olive oil liquid soap in bulk, will be buying five gallons this time. I need the Castile soaps gentleness for all the people in my house and their sensitive needs, plus it lasts forever when made into a foaming soap. I just buy the essential oils to scent them up and the boys will use peppermint Smile They will use lavender and citrus scents, but prefer peppermint Smile I use peppermint in the garden too as a soapy spray to kill those nasty little black aphids that attacked my lettuce Smile

I am so glad you are here Smile
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Post  RoOsTeR 3/8/2012, 7:43 am

I gave my wife the list for the ingredients and will be mixing up a batch this weekend Very Happy I'll be interested to put this stuff to the test!

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Post  UnderTheBlackWalnut 3/8/2012, 10:44 am

FV - I was thinking of you all winter long! I'm so glad to see you back and posting. Please take care of yourself and recover, but know we are thinking of and missing you! Smile BIG hug
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Post  RoOsTeR 3/11/2012, 8:32 am

Made up my batch of detergent last night. It was incredibly fast and easy. Start to finish maybe 1/2 an hour. Very Happy
I awoke this morning to give it a stir and split into containers and Holy Mackeral! It was a gelatinous heap Shocked Lol, I had NO idea it would look like that Razz I stuck my arm in there and mixed and squished and boy, now the first 18 inches of my hand and arm smells great and silky smooth! Razz After mixing I Googled and found this is normal Home Made Laundry Detergent & More - Page 3 3170584802
I bought a brand new bucket and lid, and all ingredients for less than $8.

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Post  camprn 3/11/2012, 9:56 am

AH, isn't chemistry interesting? Dont forget, when filling the jugs, don't go to the top, you will want to shake it to remix! Very Happy

____________________________

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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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Post  RoOsTeR 3/11/2012, 10:42 am

camprn wrote:AH, isn't chemistry interesting? Dont forget, when filling the jugs, don't go to the top, you will want to shake it to remix! Very Happy

So camp, when filling your final containers, you only fill then half full of the detergent and the other half with more water? So am I correct in thinking that my 5 gal mix is actually 10 gallons finished product?

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Post  camprn 3/11/2012, 10:59 am

nKedrOoStEr wrote:
camprn wrote:AH, isn't chemistry interesting? Dont forget, when filling the jugs, don't go to the top, you will want to shake it to remix! Very Happy

So camp, when filling your final containers, you only fill then half full of the detergent and the other half with more water? So am I correct in thinking that my 5 gal mix is actually 10 gallons finished product?
Yes, you are correct. I use a quart container, like a yogurt container and using a funnel pour 2 quarts of the gel-ish mix in ten one gallon milk containers. Then I fill to about 1.5 inches from the top with water, cap and store. Wink

____________________________

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https://squarefoot.forumotion.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-weeks-until-frost

There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

https://squarefoot.forumotion.com/t1306-other-gardening-books



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Post  FarmerValerie 3/18/2012, 10:09 am

UnderTheBlackWalnut wrote:FV - I was thinking of you all winter long! I'm so glad to see you back and posting. Please take care of yourself and recover, but know we are thinking of and missing you! Smile BIG hug

Thanks so much, not sure how much I'll be able to get on, time and internet are issues. My internet comes and goes, mostly goes.... Thanks for your comments.
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Post  RoOsTeR 3/18/2012, 10:37 am

We've used the laundry detergent for 1 week now and it's passed the test Home Made Laundry Detergent & More - Page 3 3170584802 At my house the washing machine gets a constant workout! With my job and young kids, the machine is always full of dirty clothes. My wife says for the price, it can't be beat, but she doesn't think the whites get as white (like socks) as she would like. Me, I could care less. Ain't nobody gonna see my socks except me when I slip them on in the morning. I'm pretty much your typical male + dirty plumber to boot. My jeans are my hand towel, and on occasion my sleeve serves as a hanky affraid and my clothes have been just fine. She agrees though that the cost savings and cleaning for the most part are great! I'd say for everyday laundry this stuff can't be beat. Plus, just like anyone else with kids knows, half the time the clothes that are in their hamper just kinda end up there and aren't worn at all... tongue

And it's great to see you when we can FV Home Made Laundry Detergent & More - Page 3 3170584802

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Post  camprn 3/18/2012, 11:50 am

I have the same issue with the whites not getting as white. And I have to wear white. Shocked so, I presoak the things I really want white and then use bleach and the HOT setting.


Last edited by camprn on 3/18/2012, 7:59 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : fix typos per usual)

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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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Post  morganfam7 3/18/2012, 4:12 pm

I haven't tried this yet, but hopefully soon.

Home Made Laundry Detergent & More - Page 3 How-To-Make-Homemade-Fabric-Softener-767x1024

Homemade Fabric Softener

6 cups hot water
3 cups vinegar
2 cups Suave Refreshing Waterfall Conditioner {or other favorite scent}

(Read more: http://thefrugalgirls.com/2010/10/homemade-fabric-softener.html#ixzz1pV8HVagy)
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Post  AvaDGardner 3/21/2012, 3:18 pm

I've been making homemade laundry soap for years. I use the liquid variety, because I don't like powdered soaps (I think it makes cloth pill faster).

I started with a slightly different recipe than the one liquid one given in the thread. Over time, I found our whites were graying, so I boosted the powder content. That did the trick, and white are white now without using bleach (which breaks down the integrity of fabric).

I don't like the gelatinous goop either, so I've made another change. I'm testing it currently, to see if the whites are affected.

Each batch makes 2 gallons. I keep two old liquid laundry gallon containers around, and refill them. We use the cap for a measure - 1/2 cup.

We do a lot of laundry. We have a DH and DM with hyper skin sensitivies, 2 prone to get food on their clothes, 1 prone to bladder and bowel loss (way worse than diapers), heavy dirt gardeners, desert players, and a stinky 13yo boy. I treat urine (ammonia) with vinegar in the load, and pre-soak feces stains in Biz), and spot food and blood with Zout.

Our water is hard (lime and salts), awful and irritating.

I'm in the "if it doesn't smell weird, it's clean camp" and I want no signs of spots.

On the first go round, I priced it all out (including the bucket to mix) and it works out to $0.125 cents per gallon...or 2 gallons for a whopping 25 cents! SUCH a savings over the $10/gal natural stuff I used to buy. Even with extra powder, it's still really cheap.

Now I use homemade dishwasher detergent too, although it needs some tweaking. I hated that they removed the phosphates. They removed hard water stains and detergent residue as well as capture air (the bubbles). 9 states complained and all 50 lost it! Evil or Very Mad


The Original takes some time, and I either start it the night before or first thing in the morning.

Original Laundry Detergent:
  1. A bucket, marked with 1/2 gal, 1 gal, 1-1/2 gal and 2 gal indicators (I used a Sharpie)
  2. 1/3 laundry soap (fels naptha, zote, etc. OR substitute a bar of bath soap)
  3. 1/2 cup borax
  4. 1/2 cup washing soda (NOT baking soda yet also sold by Arm & Hammer Corp).

I slice up the soap into thin slivers, grating is too messy and time consuming. It takes me about 10 min to slice.

Fill a dutch oven (spaghetti pot) with water. It's probably 6-8 cups. Soak your soap overnight if you wish, or simply heat on low until the cut up bar soap is dissolved. Let cool. NOTE: the lye in the soap has a distinctive smell. I keep a lid on it, and the exhaust fan on.

Add the powders to the liquid. Some add the powders to the hot liquid. I do it when the liquid is cool or lukewarm.

The heat increases the speed of the 'egg drop soup' consistency.

Add additional water to the 2 gal mark. Pour into containers (easier to do when cool).

Shake container before using. 1/2 cup per load.


Improved Original Laundry Detergent: (Still gelatinous, whiter whites)
  1. A bucket, marked with 1/2 gal, 1 gal, 1-1/2 gal and 2 gal indicators (I used a Sharpie)
  2. 1/3 laundry soap (fels naptha, zote, etc. OR substitute a bar of bath soap)
  3. 1 cup borax
  4. 1 cup washing soda (NOT baking soda yet also sold by Arm & Hammer Corp).


Mix as above.

I don't like the gooeyness or the thick skin it develops when exposed to air, and I don't like how the powders lump and don't dissolve. It's based on a chemical reaction between the powders and the lye.


TESTING: Laundry Detergent: (NON-gelatinous & REALLY FAST)
  1. A bucket, marked with 1/2 gal, 1 gal, 1-1/2 gal and 2 gal indicators (I used a Sharpie)
  2. 1 oz liquid castile soap (I use 1/2 bottle of Dr Bronner's samples)
  3. 1 cup borax
  4. 1 cup washing soda (NOT baking soda yet also sold by Arm & Hammer Corp).

Fill your bucket with water to 1.5 gal mark. Add your ingredients. Add more water to the 2 gal mark. Pour into containers. Use 1/2 gal per load. It may thicken a very small amount.

NOTE: to get rid of the lumps I put about 2-4 cups of water in the blender, add the dry soaps and blend them up. Then I add them to the bucket with the castile soap.

So far, it's doing great. No more waiting around for soap to be made or lye smell from the kitchen or running the exhaust fan for hours. No stink and no stains in the clothes. The gray buildup (if it happens) takes a while (under observation!).


NOW...Does anyone know
  • how to make bleach? Or,
  • how to make Zout (my favorite pre-spotter). Or,
  • how to make a dishwasher detergent that cleans, doesn't spot or smell weird(we don't use dry heat on dishes)? Or
  • can identify Gwennifer's Flubber?

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Post  morganfam7 3/24/2012, 6:59 pm

We're doing the fabric softener this week, so I'll report back once I know.
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Post  AvaDGardner 4/10/2012, 1:47 am

Morgan, how did the fabric softener test go?
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Post  Goosegirl 4/10/2012, 8:03 am

morganfam7 wrote:I haven't tried this yet, but hopefully soon.

Home Made Laundry Detergent & More - Page 3 How-To-Make-Homemade-Fabric-Softener-767x1024

Homemade Fabric Softener

6 cups hot water
3 cups vinegar
2 cups Suave Refreshing Waterfall Conditioner {or other favorite scent}

(Read more: http://thefrugalgirls.com/2010/10/homemade-fabric-softener.html#ixzz1pV8HVagy)

I am definitely trying this!

GG

PS - Just mixed up a batch and Hubby will try it out on Laundry Day!


Last edited by Goosegirl on 4/10/2012, 8:31 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : added PS)
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Post  CarolinaGirl 4/10/2012, 8:51 am

Do these soaps work in an HE washer? We had issues once when we accidentally bought non-HE soap.. we had soap suds coming up out of the vent on the back of the washer. We now make sure that we get the HE kind. I wouldn't mind trying homemade detergent, but fear having a repeat of the suds out the back (and onto the wall and down the wall to the floor.. we just put down new flooring and don't want water damage already lol).
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Post  camprn 4/10/2012, 11:02 am

CarolinaGirl wrote:Do these soaps work in an HE washer? We had issues once when we accidentally bought non-HE soap.. we had soap suds coming up out of the vent on the back of the washer. We now make sure that we get the HE kind. I wouldn't mind trying homemade detergent, but fear having a repeat of the suds out the back (and onto the wall and down the wall to the floor.. we just put down new flooring and don't want water damage already lol).
I use mine in the HE washer, works just fine, low suds. Very Happy

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Post  JeanneRamick 4/10/2012, 12:48 pm

AvaDGardner wrote: NOW...Does anyone know

  • how to make bleach? Or,
  • how to make Zout (my favorite pre-spotter). Or,
  • how to make a dishwasher detergent that cleans, doesn't spot or smell weird(we don't use dry heat on dishes)?
Google searching turned up a recipe for bleach and dish-washer detergent, but nothing for Zout

Bleach Recipe:
1 gallon water
2 cups chlorinated lime
3 cups washing soda

Mix in an old plastic bucket. Stir well. Let stand, uncovered, for 24 hours.
Strain into storage containers. Use like any commercial bleach. AVOID CONTACT
WITH SKIN AND FUMES WHEN MIXING.

Dishwasher Detergent Recipe:

  • 1 cup borax
  • 1 cup washing soda
  • 1/2 cup citric acid
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt

Fill rinse agent compartment with white vinegar.
Probably a good idea to go to their FAQ page, too because it sounds as if it's a little problematic. Here's that link:
http://www.diynatural.com/homemade-dishwasher-detergent-soap-faqs/
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Post  AvaDGardner 4/10/2012, 1:02 pm

LOL...That dishwashing recipe is what I use. It is not very good though. Even with vinegar it can leave a residue on the dishes.

Worse, it makes me cry or my eyes burn, the acridity is so bad (and heat dry is OFF). On the flip side, it is cleaning the heating coil in the DW. If I don't run the oven's exaust fan, I can't be in the house. I smell it even upstairs.

Ava
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