Sunday, October 10, 2010


Life seems to go full circle, doesn't it?  While the new trend is "going green" and "being thrifty" I realize that my grandmother was way ahead of the times 50 to 60 years ago.  One of my earliest memories of helping grandma was going down to her basement and watching her wash clothes in the old wringer washer.  She kept a bar of soap with a grater or knife and would scrape this soap into the wash water.  I loved the smell of clothes being washed.....

I didn't realize it at the time but grandma was using Fels Naptha bar soap to clean her clothes.  I remember her dish towels and whites were spotless!  I don't ever remember seeing stains on her whites even though she cooked and canned every day.

Recently, while on facebook I saw that one of my friends had begun making her own laundry detergent.  She said that is worked every bit as good as the grocery store detergents and said that her clothes even seemed cleaner than before, and it was very inexpensive.   I began to search for recipes and I found that one of the ingredients was "Fels Naptha" bar soap. 

All of these ingredients can be found at your local grocery stores, however, I was surprised to find that Wal-mart didn't carry them.

I am getting ready to mix up my first batch of detergent and thought you might like to see some of the recipes I've found.  I plan to try one batch of dry soap and one batch of liquid.  I'll have to let you know which I prefer:  Here are some of  the recipes:

Dry Recipe:
2 Cups Washing Soda (not baking soda)
2 Cups Borax
2 Cups grated Fels Naptha Bar Soap

Mix together and use about 1/8 cup per load.  (may have to be adjusted if using in extremely hard water).

Liquid Recipe

1 quart boiling water
2 cups grated bar soap (Fels Naptha)
2 cups Borax
2 cups Washing soda

Add grated soap to boiling water. 
You can leave this on low heat until disolved.
When this step is complete pour water and soap into a large container (I will use a plastic 5 gal. pail)
Add borax and washing soda mixing until disolved.
Add an additional 2 gallons of water to the mix and stir well.  Let stand;  this will turn to a gel like substance.

Stir each time you use it since it will gel.  Use about 1/4 cup per load of laundry.

These recipes came from if you would like to check it out.  Let me know how you like these.
* note:  I found that one bar of Fels Naptha yeilded 3 cups grated soap.


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