Our Laundry Sauce recipe has been popular for years here on the site, but we've noticed an ever growing list of Questions and although most of them have been answered several times already, the answers seem to have gotten buried in the hundreds of comments on the article. So, to make it easier for you to find the answer to Your questions, we've compiled a list of ALL FAQ that we've received about the recipe . . .

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  • Super Laundry Sauce Frequently Asked Questions

    Our Laundry Sauce recipe has been popular for years here on the site, but we've noticed an ever growing list of Questions and although most of them have been answered several times already, the answers seem to have gotten buried in the hundreds of comments on the article. So, to make it easier for you to find the answer to Your questions, we've compiled a list of ALL FAQ that we've received about the recipe . . .
    Before you begin, we recommend the Super Laundry Sauce No FAIL /No Cook Version. If you used our original cooked version recipe, we've addressed your questions at the bottom.

    1. How Exactly do I use the Laundry Detergent in my Machine?

    For a Top Loading Machine:

    1. Fill the machine with dirty clothes
    2. start the water, (hot- Cold- or warm- doesn't matter)
    3. Measure out 1 Tablespoon (literally) of super laundry sauce
    4. stick the measuring spoon of detergent under the running water, let it fall off the spoon.
    5. Close the washer lid, go away and do something else while the machine runs.

    For a Front Loading or HE Machine

    1. Fill the machine with dirty clothes
    2. Measure out 1 Tablespoon (literally) of super laundry sauce & dump it on top of the dirty clothes.
    3. Close the door & start the Machine, (hot- Cold- or warm- doesn't matter)
    4. Go away and do something else while the machine runs.

    Do NOT ADD the Detergent to the Detergent Compartment on a Front Loader. It WILL Not Work and it WILL get stuck.



    2. How many clothes is a load?


    A load is whatever your machine holds according to the manufacturers directions on your machine.


    3. How Much Laundry Sauce should I use per load?


    A Full load needs 1 Tablespoon of Laundry Sauce.
    A Half load needs 1/2 of that amount
    A Massively Soiled Load of Clothes (aka a Farmers Clothes, Mechanics Clothes, Fast Food Workers Clothes) needs a ROUNDED Tablespoon of Laundry Sauce.

    To Put it into perspective, a cookie dough scoop holds exactly 1 Tablespoon. We use a cookie dough scoop to scoop out our Homemade Laundry Sauce. See the photo above.


    4. Is there a way to make this that does not involve the use of a blender?

    Yes, you can prepare as directed until you reach the step where it must go in a blender and use a hand mixer to whip it instead. You will get a different consistency and texture, but it will work fine. Others have used immersion blender sticks, magic bullets, and hand mixers. As you can see from our photos we use a cheapie oster blender and mason jars.


    5. Why doesn't this Laundry Sauce detergent have suds?

    Laundry sauce is non sudsy, unfortunately, we have an obsession with suds in the US; many of us falsely assuming that if it suds, it's somehow cleaning better; but they are not required for cleaning, they are simply created by chemicals in some soaps to give the illusion that the "soap" is Doing something. Want an example of how "suds" are actually useless. Next time you eat some velveeta, run water over the container it was in, the "cheese" will create more suds than the most fantastic bottle of dish detergent you ever purchased. *shudder*

    6. Can you please tell me what size your bars of Fels is?

    We use a 5.05oz bar of fels naptha. We've never seen it available in any other size, but we'd certainly buy it!


    7. Can I substitute Zote or Lirio or Ivory or "insert other product name here" in place of the fels naptha?

    Technically you CAN. It will "Look" like laundry sauce, but It won't work as well, in some cases it wont even dissolve in your machine. See the Fels Naptha vs Zote page for more information.

    Our Aussie members have reported that they have had good luck using SARDS Wonder Bar in place of the Fels Naptha in Australia where Fels is not readily available.

    8. I tried making this and ended up with a consistency more like shortening or butter or frosting or Crisco or baked apples (yeah, someone put that)... what should it be like?


    • Any of those textures/thickness are fine. It's generally thick and smooth and creamy. If it is slightly grainy, it means your dry soaps didn't fully dissolve. If it's chunky it means your fels naptha wasn't diced up small enough.
    • If it's thick like shortening, you didn't have enough water.
    • If it's runny like egg whites, you had too much water.


    9. Follow up to #8, Will it still work?


    IF you used the ingredients listed in the recipe and did NOT substitute them for something else (like baking Soda or Oxyclean, etc) than YES, it will still work even if it's not "pretty". If you substituted ingredients, I can't answer that question, you;'ll have to try it to see.

    10. Does this get clothes clean?

    Yes, sort of a silly question, but yes, it works. It's the best laundry detergent I've ever used in my life.


    11. Does this get out Smells? My husband, brother, son, neighbor, friend in law, butcher-guy I saw at the supermarket has super dirty farmers/mechanic/greasy/bloody clothes.. with this get out the smell?

    Yes. What it will NOT do is leave a perfumey stench on your clothing like store bought detergents. So if you want your clothes to stink (aka smell like a field of daisies or mountain springs, etc") you will need to add your essential oils or scents to the laundry. You can add scents by following this recipe. or scroll down to #22


    12. Does this get out stains?

    Yes, See the Fels Naptha vs Zote page for additional information regarding the types of stains it can remove.


    13. Is this safe for kids/pets/ babies/ kids clothing/pet beds/ Septic tanks etc?

    Yes. All of the ingredients are kid & pet friendly. The ingredients state they are septic safe.


    14. I have skin allergies, is this safe for me to use?

    It depends on whether you are allergic to any of the ingredients in it. I can't answer that for you, only you or your doctor can answer that.

    15. Does long term storage affect the detergent's effectiveness or consistency and how long is too long as far as storage for this recipe?

    As long as it is in a sealed covered container, it lasts indefinitely.

    16. I've had problems with detergents making my clothes look dingy or grayed, why did this happen?

    This happens when you use too much detergent and sometimes too long of a machine cycle (such as the power wash), which simply redistributes the filth back into your clothes.

    17. Can this soap be used in a HE washer?


    Yes, See answer #1.


    18. Can you use this soap in the dishwasher?

    NO, this is for Clothing, not food items.

    19. What is Washing Soda? Can I use Baking Soda instead?


    Washing Soda is sodium carbonate, baking soda is sodium bicarbonate. No, you cannot use Baking soda in place of Washing soda. Washing soda is caustic and NOT edible. It is found for sale in the laundry detergent aisle. Homemade Washing Soda does NOT work the same way as Commercial Washing soda.

    20. Where can I purchase the ingredients?

    All of the ingredients for our Super Laundry Sauce are available for sale in the Laundry detergent aisle of Walmart, target, Kmart, nearly every grocery store imaginable. If, for some reason, you cannot find them locally, you can purchase them online on Amazon and have them shipped to your house.



    Alternative Ingredients some people choose:


    21. When I am opening and closing my mason jar, there is dried soap all around the lid. Do you have this problem? I am noticing a lot of laundry dust on top of my dryer (where I keep the detergent). What do you do to keep your laundry soap jar neat?

    We have re-purposed a parmesan lid to keep the top of the jar clean. It allows plenty of room to get a tablespoon into for measuring.

    22. Can I add a scent and if so, when?

    Yes you can add a scent. To add purex crystals as we do in our Lavender Laundry Sauce add 3 TBS purex crystals in whatever scent you like, per Jar, at the same time you add the borax and washing soda, mixing it with the 2 ingredients BEFORE adding it to the jar of gelled fels.

    If you would like to add Essential Oils, add 20-25 drops whatever scent you like, lemongrass, cottonwood, lavender, etc . Just add the drops AFTER you add the borax, washing soda and Final additional of water, but BEFORE whipping.




    23. Can I use bleach with this soap?

    Yes, it can be used in addition to the soap, as can oxyclean, or any booster you deem necessary. Just don't mix it INTO the recipe, add it to the machine like you would with any other detergent.


    Cooked Version Questions:


    24. tried the recipe and well... I had a very gritty outcome., what should I do?

    If it's still gritty it's because the borax and washing soda were not fully dissolved. I don't know whether or not it will incorporate if it's reheated, I've never tried that before. If you do, let us know how it works. I would probably try melting just a cup or so of it to see. The other thing you can do is to dissolve a Tbs of the soap in a cup of HOT water and pour it into the laundry, rather than scrapping the batch. It will still work, it just won't dissolve well in cold water.


    25. My soap didn't separate into layers like yours did, what did I do wrong?

    Chances are your fels doesn't have enough water in it. If it's a jello like consistency without any lumps, just continue to the next step in the recipe. If it's lumpy, with big undissolved chunks, remelt it with a touch more water.




    26. Can it be reheated after it has been whipped?

    Yes, it you still have big chunks that didn't dissolve than it can be reheated, but don't breathe in the fumes.


    27. Can you shave the soap first?

    Yes, but if you're just beginning, we recommend you use the no cook/no fail version.



    28. How did you label your jars?

    You can print free labels here & follow the directions here to attach the labels.

    Still have a question that wasn't answered above? Feel free to post is below:

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    Comments 119 Comments
    1. Mommybott's Avatar
      Mommybott -
      For the scented version, can you use Downy Unstopables instead of Purex? Will it still work?
    1. Duchess76's Avatar
      Duchess76 -
      What a fantastic FAQ, thank you so much! My question is about your lavender scented version of this. I purchased Downy Unstoppables instead of Purex Crystals. Will this still work for that version? I think they are bigger, but they do seem like they would melt. TIA!
    1. Duchess76's Avatar
      Duchess76 -
      I just posted the same question!!! LOL
    1. daubjm's Avatar
      daubjm -
      I've read the Q&A, and the comparison of Fels Naptha and Zote. My question is: has anyone tried using a Sunlight Laundry Bar? What were your results?
    1. danie2k's Avatar
      danie2k -
      i have just the powdered version and wanted to the the sauce version. i did exactly what the instructions said but it did not seperate in the jars and when i pate it it was only enough for one 32oz mason jar should i have doubled the water from 4 cups to 8 cups or was the reciepe pictured doubled? Also my ninja didnt work so well so i think i will just use my hand mixer next time. Also im assuming with washing the pots and stuff well u can still use them for everyday cooking has anyone else found different?
    1. Segcost11's Avatar
      Segcost11 -
      Can you use something else besides mason jars?

      If you have to use them how can you put the mixed stuff into another jar?

      I guess if you do the whipped version vs blender you can use something else? Is the only reason you are using Mason so it fits on the blender?
    1. hacinta's Avatar
      hacinta -
      I wanted to comment on using the moms laundry sauce. I have found no need for fabric softener, my cloths are nice and soft when dry. double savings
    1. topeairs's Avatar
      topeairs -
      I absolutely LOVE this stuff! I have recommended it to everyone of my friends and family. So easy and cheap to make and my clothes come out smelling nice and clean! The first time I made it, it came out really thick, but still worked well. Once I used a good bit of it, I added a bit water to my jar and remixed it. Now it is the consistency it is supposed to be. Gave my Mom a jar yesterday to see how she likes it. We are both on a pretty tight budget and this will sure help with laundry costs.
    1. tcweikel's Avatar
      tcweikel -
      I made my first batch yesterday! I am so excited to try this with my next load of wash! I love your idea of repurposing the parmesan lid!!! I'll be doing that soon. I appreciate you taking the time to answer all of those questions as I has not thought of some but now I know and will not need to look if they come up!!!
    1. Suenich's Avatar
      Suenich -
      Thanks for sharing your recipe, I love the idea of not paying $20 for a bottle of Tide!! I made the scented version yesterday and followed the directions exactly. It did everything it was supposed to do each step of the way, melted, separated, firmed up. When I whipped it, I found that the soap closest to the blender blade whipped up very firm and didn't allow the rest of it to whip as much. I unscrewed the jar, attempted to stir a little and rewhipped. The final result was a two tone jar with the contents at the bottom of my jar being a little thinner and a little darker in color. For the 2nd jar, I decided to try it with the mixer, BIG MISTAKE! As the mixer would pull a chunk of soap through the beaters, the liquid soap would slosh all over the counter, floor, other appliances, me and the dogs at my feet, the up side to this is my kitchen, dogs and me are spotless and smell really good, even this morning! So I dumped it all out of the bowl and into the blender. Again the stuff closest to the blade whipped up first and would not allow the rest to whip as well. Some stirring and restarting and I finally got a uniform consistency!! Now to get it all back into the jar, UGH. So, finally finished and put the sheets in the wash. I LOVE IT!! We celebrate clean sheet night around here and it felt and smelled so good crawling into bed!! So thanks for this recipe, despite my challenges with the whipping part, I will be making and using this from now on!! Was wondering if anyone had experienced the same thing and if so, what were you able to do about it.
    1. dialam's Avatar
      dialam -
      I've been using the powder version of this for about 18 mos and LOVE it. I also use white vinegar as fabric softener and all our clothes are soft and fresh smelling without the perfumey smell.
    1. Fruitcake1's Avatar
      Fruitcake1 -
      Quote Originally Posted by hacinta View Post
      I wanted to comment on using the moms laundry sauce. I have found no need for fabric softener, my cloths are nice and soft when dry. double savings
      I found that to be true also. Tried it first on dark, very dirty clothes. then on
      my polyester and work out clothes and am now using on my husband's underwear
      He has extremely sensitive skin and have only used the unscented gentle soaps up until this time so will be anxious to see if he has any allergies
    1. Unregistered's Avatar
      Unregistered -
      Quote Originally Posted by Mommybott View Post
      For the scented version, can you use Downy Unstopables instead of Purex? Will it still work?
      I used the Gain enhancers (same pearls as downy unstoppables) & it came out perfectly!!

      Add them with the other dry ingredients & make sure they melt completely, then continue as normal.
    1. Unregistered's Avatar
      Unregistered -
      Quote Originally Posted by danie2k View Post
      i have just the powdered version and wanted to the the sauce version. i did exactly what the instructions said but it did not seperate in the jars and when i pate it it was only enough for one 32oz mason jar should i have doubled the water from 4 cups to 8 cups or was the reciepe pictured doubled? Also my ninja didnt work so well so i think i will just use my hand mixer next time. Also im assuming with washing the pots and stuff well u can still use them for everyday cooking has anyone else found different?
      I had the same problem. I expected to have a little left over since my jars were a tad smaller at 750ml. But I had two inches of space left at the top of each jar. Can anyone tell me what I did wrong? I also had an issue with the powders not dissolving completely but my fels soap was still very hot so I'm not sure why. Could it be because I had the powder soaps for a long time sitting in the cabinet?
    1. bethany7725's Avatar
      bethany7725 -
      hi I started doing the no cook version with putting the soap in a ziplock baggie, does it really have to sit for 48 hours before doing the rest? I'm really excited to do this...so I got out all the lumps this morning and would love it finish it even though its been about 12 hours. please let me know thank you
    1. FreebieQueen's Avatar
      FreebieQueen -
      Quote Originally Posted by bethany7725 View Post
      hi I started doing the no cook version with putting the soap in a ziplock baggie, does it really have to sit for 48 hours before doing the rest? I'm really excited to do this...so I got out all the lumps this morning and would love it finish it even though its been about 12 hours. please let me know thank you

      No, it should be fine, go for it!
    1. KBJTAA's Avatar
      KBJTAA -
      When I made this soap, then let it sit as the directions instructed, the middle layer set back up to almost Fels Naptha consistency, the blender just plumb had a hard time so I had to resort to the mixer. What did I do wrong or what do I need to check for or did I let it sit to long even though it sat for 4 hours? We have well water if that makes a difference
    1. TXGranny's Avatar
      TXGranny -
      Has anyone else had a problem with a gunky residue around the top of the inside of the washer tub? I'm about half way thru my first batch of the laundry sauce, and have found I need to clean the tub every few loads. Never had this problem when using regular detergent. Any ideas on solving this problem will be appreciated.
    1. reneemc's Avatar
      reneemc -
      Quote Originally Posted by Mommybott View Post
      For the scented version, can you use Downy Unstopables instead of Purex? Will it still work?
      I would like to know this too!
    1. rwalker's Avatar
      rwalker -
      Can I use a bluing agent (whitener) with this and if so how much do I use, and can I use oxyclean in the liquid version ?


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