Category Archives: Thrifty Tips

Homemade Laundry Detergent Results

I’ve now washed several loads of laundry using the batch of homemade detergent I made.  (If you would like to see the recipe, go here.)

Results are in!  (Drumroll, please!) 🙂

It’s worked great for coloreds and did fairly well on some very dirty jeans, but when I did a load of whites it didn’t work so well.  I picked the dirtiest sock I could find.  Now this sock is not representative of how they always look – sometimes they’re worse!

What I did for this load of whites was to use 1/2 cup of homemade detergent and 1/2 cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide.

Before the wash.

AFTER the 1st wash – not so good.  The dirt is still there.

For the 2nd wash I used 1/2 cup of my homemade detergent and regular bleach.  Much better results.

I read that if you have a real dirty load to throw in a scoop of Oxy-Clean.  That appears to be a very good suggestion based upon my findings.  I am also curious if my whites will get dingy over time using the homemade detergent.  I’ll need to keep an eye on that.  My next test should be to soak my whites in 3% hydrogen peroxide before they are washed and see what results I get.


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Homemade Laundry Detergent

A few years ago I tried making my own dishwasher detergent.  It was a dismal failure but apparently I was using a wrong ingredient.  The recipe called for soda and so I used baking soda.  That was very wrong.  I needed Washing Soda.  I have not tried it again but this week, after talking with a friend who makes her own and after the topic came up on the soap forum I belong to, I did get inspired to make my own laundry detergent. I really do dislike all the perfumes in regular detergent; they are just too strong smelling making my nose twitch. 🙂

I used Fels-Naptha in my laundry detergent this time but I would like to try using my own homemade soap.  Fels-Naptha has some “unnatural” ingredients as well as yellow dye that I would like to avoid.  Fels-Naptha looks like a bar of soap and it is used for the pre-treatment of stains.

Here is the recipe I followed this time.

The ingredients are few:  water, Fels-Naptha soap, Washing Soda, Borax.

Step 1.  Grate 1/3 bar Fels-Naptha.

3.  Add it to 3 pints of water and dissolve over low heat.

4.  Add 1/2 cup Washing soda & 1/2 cup Borax.

5.  Stir until thickened. (I never saw a major difference in thickening after I added the soda and Borax.  I have read that, if that’s the case, add more Fels-Naptha next time.)

6.  Add 1 quart hot water to 2 gallon bucket.

7.  Add soap mixture and mix well.

8.  Fill bucket with cold water and mix well.

9.  Set aside for 24 hours or until mixture thickens.  (This is what it looks like after setting 10 hours.)

10.  Use 1/2 cup of mixture per load.

Here is the recipe once again, taken from the soap forum I belong to.

Liquid Laundry Detergent
3 pints water
1/3 bar Fels-Naptha or Castille soap (once again I use my own soap)
1/2 Cup Washing Soda
1/2 Cup Borax
2 Gallon Bucket
1 Quart hot water
Cold Water
Essential Oil or Fragrance Oil to preference (use only oils that are safe for skin)

Dissolve grated soap bar in 3 pints of water over low heat. Add washing soda & Borax. Stir until thickened and remove from heat. Add 1 quart hot water to 2 gallon bucket. Add soap mixture and mix well. Fill bucket with cold water and mix well. Set aside for 24 hours or until mixture thickens. Use 1/2 cup of mixture per load.
I have marked lines on the container I use to mark the water levels so I don’t have to measure each time.

Washing Soda & Fels-Naptha can both be found at A*ce Hardware.  I actually found the Fels-Naptha to be cheaper at A*ce than at the groery store. 

I will be trying this homemade detergent out in the next few days as I am almost out of my store detergent.  I’ll post the results after I use it.

Also, I have read that you can use 3% Hydrogen Peroxide in place of bleach.  Has anyone tried this and what have been your results?


Filed under Household Cleaners, Thrifty Tips

Ebates – A Cashback Program that Works

Have you heard of Ebates.comEbates is an online store directory where you earn back, in the form of cash, a percentage of your total purchase while shopping online.  There are over 1,200 stores in their directory including Sam’s Club, EBAY, Barnes & Noble, Cabela’s, Target, Sears and Wal-Mart.  Some stores also offer coupons in addition to the cash back. 

How does it work?  First you need to go to Ebates website and sign-up.  It’s very simple and will take only a few minutes.  Then you start shopping.  You must enter the store you want to shop at through Ebates, otherwise they cannot track what you have purchased and you will not get any cash back.  Ebates will keep track of your purchases.  Four times a year (after you’ve earned $10) they will send you, depending on your choice, a check or you can choose to have the funds deposited directly into your Paypal account, or option three is to have them send the check to a charity of your choice.  There is absolutely no charge to use this program.   

Since you might be doing some of your Christmas shopping online, this is a good time to join Ebates.  You can sign up for their program here or cut and paste into your browser  Just for signing up they’ll give you $5.  And if you don’t mind using me as a referral, my email is

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