I have spent the last 8 months experimenting with homemade laundry detergents. I have tried many recipes and countless combinations of those recipes. I know the laundry aisle in the store better then I know my closet and can navigate my way through that aisle blindfolded while holding an octopus.
I have learned a lot of things and will share a few of the more important ones.
- Castile Soap is not a good idea. It leaves an oily residue behind that is impossible to get out, and over time it can damage clothes. I've heard that it can also damage your washer.
- Glycerin is a great stain remover and it dissolves easily in any temperature of water (I have only tried glycerin in a solid form and don't know if results are different with a liquid form)
- Fels-Naptha is a popular choice for the bar of soap that most recipes call for, but in my opinion Ivory and Dove work just as well and they are easier on the skin. Fels-Naptha can irritate the skin if to much is used. When I do use Fels-Naphta I always do half of what the recipe calls for and my clothes are still clean.
- A good food processor will save you an enormous amount of time and energy when it comes time to grate the soap
- The most important thing I have learned is that Borax and Washing Soda are a must. Every time I eliminated one or both of those from a recipe my clothes did not got get very clean
You can also add things to customize it a bit more such as glycerin, Oxiclean, or essential oils. Just play around with a few batches until you find the right combination that works for you.
Good luck and happy washing. I am off to purge my laundry room of a lot of unused detergents and ingredients I will never use again.