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Old 02-03-2002, 11:18 PM
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How many of you use HM laundry detergent ?

I would like to start making my own laundry detergent --the powdered form, not liquid. Does anyone have a tried and true recipe for it ? Does it keep the whites white and not fade colors ?

Also, Ive read if you use this type of detergent, you should use vinegar in the rinse cycle and not fabric softener to remove any build up on your clothes.....what do you use to control static cling ?

So far Ive tried using a cheaper brand of soap and cheaper fabric softener but now I see things are starting to take a grey tone to them and everything comes out of the dryer clinging to each other !

Any suggestions ?
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Old 02-04-2002, 11:01 AM
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<So far Ive tried using a cheaper brand of soap and cheaper fabric softener but now I see things are starting to take a grey tone to them and everything comes out of the dryer clinging to each other ! >

While I am not able to help with the homemade laundry detergent (and am not even familiar with a liquid form), I can answer why you are seeing the gray tone in some of your laundry. I was a product manager for a direct marketing company and laundry products were part of my line.

The gray is actually the buildup of fillers in the fibers of your clothes from your laundry detergent. The fillers most popular commercial products contain is VERY finely ground wood chips. We as consumers have been programmed to think that it takes a lot of suds to clean clothes and that is not true. Manufacturers of laundry products are, first and foremost, in business to make a profit and to get your consumer dollar before one of their competitors does. Consequently, a decades old practice in powdered detergents is to use fillers to make the consumer think they are getting more "cleaning powder" (i.e. more for their money) in their box of detergent.

A couple of hints that might help you out until you are able to locate and produce a laundry detergent you like:

1. Switch to a liquid laundry detergent in that they have a much smaller or no laundry detergent fillers in them. (Powders are notorious for this practice, including the industry giants.)
2. Try soaking clothes with a dingy gray buildup to help break down the soil and residue. Either overnight with a soaking product or even overnight with the liquid detergent could help. Be particularly careful what you wash nylon garments such as slips and lingerie in as these are the garments you will see it most on.
3. A little detergent goes a long way!! Always avoid the temptation to add "just a little more" in hopes of getting cleaner clothes. Nothing is really going to help until you get rid of the filler buildup.
4. If you use your dryer for drying clothes, purchase a concentrated fabric softener if you can't quite handle the idea of using vinegar as a rinse agent which, by the way, works. Find a square of old toweling (5" square) and dampen and put a quarter-sized blob of the fabric softener on it. Fold and throw in on the clothes. You can use any good concentrated commercial fabric softener for this purpose and it will save you TONS of money! For further savings, always reset your washer to give the clean clothes an extra final spin cycle, which will eliminate as much of the moisture as possible. Do the fabric softener thing above and then throw in a clean bathtowel with the wet load. You will find it takes about half the time to dry the load. The thought here is that what little energy it takes to do a couple more minutes of spin action isn't a drop in the bucket to what you will expend by using the dryer.
5. Back to the dingy gray subject ~ don't overload your washer in hopes of saving $$. Clothes need to agitate freely in the washing machine or you will be trapping the dirt in the fibers, thereby adding to the dingy gray problem.

6. It's been years since I made homemade soap. My recipe was a lye-based product which turned out in its final stages in cakes and then had to be grated into curds. Does anyone have a recipe for liquid soap or even a true powdered detergent that does not need to be grated?

Sandie
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Old 02-04-2002, 11:04 AM
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I use the liquid laundry soap. My water is much too hard too disolve the powder properly. I have no problem with fading colors so far. And for the whites, I just use a clorox presoak once or twice a month. To keep the whites nice. I do use vinegar, it does keep the clothes soft. And for static I just use 1/4 fabric sheet when I dry in dryer. But I don't seem too have too much problem with static. Hope this helps!
Aubry

My recipe:
1 bar of grated laundry soap- I use felsnaptha or kirks
1 C washing soda
1 C borox
Melt soap on stove. Pour into 5 gallon bucket add other ingrediants and fill with hot water. Stir well! Will take 24-48 hrs. too gel. But can be used immediately.
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Last edited by aubry; 02-04-2002 at 11:12 AM.
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Old 02-04-2002, 05:35 PM
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Thanks for the great advice !!!

I am guilty of the "add just a little more" routine and also filling up the washer--although I make sure not to do it with white clothes.

Im going to take your advice also and switch back to a liquid detergent. Ive been doing a lot of research on HM liquid detergent and they are all basically the recipe that Aubry listed (thanks !!) Ive read though that over time, borax will wear your clothes out faster---any experience to this ? I have a recipe for the dry HM detergent too. Ill have to look for it and then Ill print it for you.

Im going to take the plunge and use vinegar in the rinse ( every time or every so often ??? how often ??) and then use the softener in the dryer. The static cling cant get much worse here !!

Looks like Id better get to work !!

Thanks again ladies. This was my first post here, I just found this place and it seems really nice so far. Im another one that cant justify the price at Frugal Moms ( but I have learned a lot there).
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Old 02-04-2002, 05:52 PM
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<Im going to take the plunge and use vinegar in the rinse ( every time or every so often ??? how often ??) and then use the softener in the dryer. The static cling cant get much worse here !! >

You don't need to use both. If you have some vinegar already in the house, give it a try on a load of towels or sheets to see if your sniffer can pick up any aroma that you can't live with. The vinegar shouldn't leave too much of a smell. (I can remember using vinegar rinse on my hair as a kid to cut the shampoo residue.)

If you already have some concentrated commercial fabric softener, then give my suggestion about the "little dab will do ya" a try. It really works so well. I frequently just throw the towel piece back in a second load without putting on any more fabric softener. Just make sure to fold the towel scrab with the fabric softener on it several times so that it does not touch any of the wet clothes directly. It is concentrated and could create another stain to have to deal with if it sits on the fabric without the aid of the dryer's heat and the tumbling action.

After you've tried both, you will know which one you prefer. Whether you use either of these methods every time you do a load of wash will depend on how hard your water is and how dirty the clothes are. Either of them are going to save you quite a bit of money!

I did forget to mention previously that you can guage the amount of filler used in commercial laundry detergents by how much dryer lint you have to clean out of the dryer mesh strainer. If you think you are "harvesting" too much lint for the clothes you are drying (consideration must be given to the type of fabric and the age of the clothing), then you just might be using a product that is loaded with filler.


Sandie
(from southern Missouri)
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Old 02-05-2002, 03:37 PM
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Lightbulb laundry filler

Very interesting to learn about the filler in laundry products.Its funny, I often thought there might be but I never had it confirmed before.I know many American foods have fillers.
As for myself ,I just dont bother with liquid fabric softeners.Just on occasion.We rarely use our dryer. In summer clothes are on the line outside, and we even hang our clothes in the basement to air dry in the winter.It also put some moisture in the air.
I have found with the liquid softeners it remains in the clothes for several washings, so truly "a little goes a long way".
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Old 02-05-2002, 08:55 PM
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I put off washing clothes today so that I could get the right instrucitons for the vinegar to use it. ( I didnt really-I was being lazy- but it sounds like a good excuse, right ???)

I am faced with A Lot of laundry in the morning so I will try the vinegar solution.

Heres my recipe for the dry laundry powder..... I havent tried this but those who have, swear by it. Some have said they use 1 TBS, others 2 TBS. I guess that would depend on your water.

I found this recipe last night and thought for sure that I would remember where it was hiding

I will keep looking until I find it !!!!

its really easy....basically the same as the liquid only no water--just cant remember the amts. I hate when this happens .

Sorry, Ill get back to you
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Old 02-06-2002, 05:04 AM
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vinegar

Ok guys, I want to test the vinegar as a softener, but how much do I use and when? Do I have to wait till the rinse cycle? That will be my downfall, LOL, I always forget about t
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Old 02-06-2002, 06:08 AM
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Hi Amanda, Ive read that you can use your Downy ball and just fill to the line with vinegar just like you would Downy. Im trying it today too. Good Luck to you !!
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Old 02-06-2002, 08:36 AM
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Poo, I don't have a downy ball Guess I could get one.

Does the vinegar work on static cling too?
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