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    • Mom's Super Laundry Sauce

      Super Laundry SauceHere is an amazingly simple Do It Yourself detergent that doesn't leave any residue on clothing, gets nearly every stain known to man out the first time around and smells clean and fresh- oh and did I mention that it costs about $1.76 for 128 loads of laundry?
      Since our teen son started working at a fast food restaurant, this has become our most-loved detergent recipe. His clothing was so saturated with heavy french fry and onion ring grease scent that even washing them in TIDE didn't take out the horrendous smell. I whipped up a half gallon of this detergent and washed his clothes while he was at school- he thought I'd gotten a new shirt from his boss at work! First time EVER that ALL of the smell finally came out of his clothes, without further à deux - here is my Super Laundry Sauce recipe!

      By the way, One Single tablespoon of soap does a whole load of wash! As with ALL household/Soap/Detergent/ Cleaner recipes, please take the time to read through the ENTIRE recipe before starting it. It will save you loads of hassle with a recipe that doesn't set properly.


      Mom's Super Laundry Sauce

      Recipe adapted from Whipped Laundry Concentrate

      ~ This makes 1/2 Gallon of concentrate ~
      ~ Btw, that's a full 128 loads of laundry!! ~

      1 bar Fels Naptha (Yes, the ENTIRE Bar!)
      1 cup 20 Mule Team Borax
      1 cup Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (NOT BAKING SODA!!)
      4 cups of hot water

      Here are what the ingredients look like:


      Quick Note: Follow the directions Carefully, adding the ingredients at the wrong time will result in a grainy textured detergent that will not dissolve well in the washer.

      Step 1: Put 4 cups of water in a large heavy saucepan over high heat. While that is heating, mix the borax and washing soda together in a bowl, mixing well, set aside.





      Step 2: Grate the Fels Naptha- the easiest way to do this is to cut it into several smaller chunks and then run it through a food processor- otherwise, you can just grate it with a hand grater or shave it with a knife.


      grated fels naptha


      Step 3: Add the freshly grated soap to the water in the saucepan, stirring almost constantly. Reduce the heat to medium, It will take approximately 10 – 15 minutes for the Fels Naptha to complete dissolve. If it takes longer, your heat wasn't up high enough. Alternatively, you can melt the fels on the stove over low heat without water then add the water afterwards, stirring it in, as the original recipe called for. I find that it's much easier to melt IN the water. Absolutely do NOT let this Boil over, or you'll have a sudsy mess that you do NOT want to contend with!!

      It should be a rolling, simmering boil where you must stir Constantly but it does not foam heavily or seem to "creep up" the saucepan. See the photo below- note the amount of "foam" - that's all you should see.

      Super Laundry Detergent recipe



      Step 4: Once the fels naptha has completely melted, remove the pan from the heat and add in the Borax and the Washing Soda, stirring constantly until the powders are completely dissolved, this will take about 3-5 minutes. Do not under-stir or your soap texture will be very grainy rather than smooth. (You can fee the "graininess" on the bottom of the pan, once you can't feel it, it's incorporated fully!)




      Step 5: Pour the liquid equally into (2) 1 quart Mason jars.



      Step 6: Add just enough water to bring the contents up to the “shoulders” or Rounded part of the jar, leaving approximately 1 ½ inches of headspace.



      Step 7: Put the lid on the jars and turn them UPSIDE DOWN and let them sit a few hours (about 4 - 5 hours). The reason for this is that the soap is going to Separate into layers while it's resting and occasionally will form crystals on the bottom. Rather than waste these trying to scrape them off, in the next step we're going to incorporate them easily! Btw, if you leave it overnight it will have a slightly grainier texture than if you whip it immediately after 4 hours.





      The Layers will separate after a few hours:



      Then the bottom layer will become very, very thick, like so:


      Step 8: There are two ways to do this next step, depending on what you have for equipment. Here's how I like to do it- unscrew the blade and bottom from your blender and screw them onto your regular mouthed mason jar containing all of your ingredients.



      Place the entire mason jar on the blender and whip until smooth and creamy throughout, about a minute. Flip back over, unscrew the blender blade, attach a cover and seal.




      If you don't have mason jars or a blender, pour the contents of your settled jar into a large bowl, be sure to scrape down any remaining from the jar to get it all. Using a Hand mixer, Whip the ingredients until light and fluffy and well blended. Transfer the ingredients back into the jar, cover and store until needed. If you like, add a tsp of glycerin per jar.


      Step 9: To use, add 1 Tablespoon to a load of laundry in any type of machine, conventional, Front Loader, High Capacity & High Efficiency (HE), etc. Do not add the detergent to the "detergent compartment" but instead directly with the dirty clothes. The detergent is Smooth and creamy with the same Look and consistency of Mayonnaise. Be sure to label the jar to prevent accidental ingestion!!



      Here is EXACTLY how I use our detergent:

      Top Loading Machine Directions
      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.

      Front-loader Machine Directions:
      1. Fill the machine with dirty clothes
      2. Measure out 1 Tablespoon (literally) of super laundry sauce On Top of the dirty Clothes
      3. Close the washer, start it, go away and do something else while the machine runs.

      Really, it's that easy folks!




      Tips and Tricks, Troubleshooting & Other Thoughts and experiences:

      • Do NOT Use Baking Soda or Oxyclean in this recipe hoping it will be an added "Boost". Your jars will likely explode within 7-10 days in storage (Don't ask how we know!)
      • We have not had any issues with clothing fading due to use
      • Since the Soaps have been completely dissolved in this recipe, it leaves NO residue on your clothing like many homemade detergent recipes
      • This recipe can easily be doubled to make a Full Gallon of Detergent.
      • This can be stored indefinitely. It does become slightly firmer but still melts fine in water, hot or cold
      • Fels Naptha Can usually be found in the Laundry Detergent Isle of the Grocery Store for about $1 a bar, or it can be found online here.
      • If you leave the detergent sitting more than 6 hours without whipping it, it will likely take on a grainy texture. It should be light, smooth, silky feeling with no "gritty" feeling whatsoever. If it Does have grit, that means that it did Not dissolve properly.
      • What do I do if it's too grainy or if it doesn't separate? If it's too grainy or doesn't separate it means that the soaps were not fully dissolved. You can spoon the mixture back into your saucepan and remelt it until it is smooth. Try not to breathe in the fumes, remember, you are making detergent! Once it feels "smooth" pour it back into the mason jars. Let it set a few hours and then whip.
        • Gritty Soap- if your soap is mostly smooth with only a little "grit" feeling, it will still work fine, but may not dissolve well in cold water.
        • If you have Moderately gritty soap that DID separate, but you don't feel like it's "good enough" to use in your laundry, then use it as a super stain remover for those stubborn stains
        • If your soap is Super Gritty or didn't separate, you should remelt it over medium heat, stirring constantly.
      • Do NOT use different sized jars, your soap will not set properly.
      Budget101 Budget Breakdown:

      Fels Naptha .99 bar
      Borax 76 oz box = 9.5 cups $3.29 box = .34 c per cup
      Washing Soda 55 oz box =6.875 cups - $2.97 box = .43 per cup
      -------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      Total Expense for 128 loads of Laundry = $1.76

      Before you Begin- Check out our Simplified NO COOK Version of this Recipe, aptly named
      Super Laundry Sauce for Dummies, No Fail 7 minute Laundry Detergent


      Free Printable Labels

      See Also: Frequently Asked Questions
      Comments 670 Comments
      1. BaconEater's Avatar
        Great Recipe, thank you for sharing
      1. cklein62's Avatar
        I use the Duggar's recipe for home-made laundry soap and all the ingredient's are the same except I like the idea of your's being concentrated! Will use this recipe after my current soap is all used up!!
      1. MrsPaws's Avatar
        Does long term storage affect the detergent's effectiveness or consistency and how long is too long as far as storage for this recipe?
      1. FreebieQueen's Avatar
        Quote Originally Posted by MrsPaws View Post
        Does long term storage affect the detergent's effectiveness or consistency and how long is too long as far as storage for this recipe?
        It may become slightly firmer, yet still spoonable with long term storage. It doesn't appear to affect the effectiveness/potency of the detergent. We've stored laundry soap for over a year before (due to forgetting a jar).
      1. pennyjean's Avatar
        I have made this before I was just wondering if you ever had the soap to make yor clothes look dingy? I have and that is why I stopped making it . Could you tell me what I might be doing wrong?
      1. MabelMartha's Avatar
        The number one reason clothes look dingy is too much soap. A little vinegar instead of fabric softener in the rinse cycle will help remove detergent build-up.
      1. jenniferm.coult's Avatar
        i'm wondering if you can add scents to this recipe?
        if so..how much..
      1. The2fields's Avatar
        Can you use this soap in the dishwasher?
      1. Bvenable's Avatar
        Can this soap be used in a HE washer?
      1. FreebieQueen's Avatar
        Quote Originally Posted by The2fields View Post
        Can you use this soap in the dishwasher?
        NO. Fels Naptha is not meant to be used on Dishes. There are a number of (Tried-n-True) homemade dishwasher detergents on the site.

        Budget101.com - - Homemade Dishwasher pellets | Make Your Own Dish Detergents | Tips-n-Tricks Kitchen

        Homemade Dishwasher liquid - Help

        Quote Originally Posted by jenniferm.coult View Post
        i'm wondering if you can add scents to this recipe?
        if so..how much..
        Yes, you could, depends on what you use for scent, if you try it, let us know how it worked for you.

        Quote Originally Posted by pennyjean View Post
        I have made this before I was just wondering if you ever had the soap to make yor clothes look dingy? I have and that is why I stopped making it . Could you tell me what I might be doing wrong?
        1. Too Much Soap
        2. Hard water or Soft Water Issues
        Quote Originally Posted by Bvenable View Post
        Can this soap be used in a HE washer?

        YES.
      1. monhollenmom's Avatar
        HI, SO GLAD YOU POSTED THIS! 1ST: I HAD NO IDEA THAT YOU COULD PUT A MASON JAR ONTO A BLENDER BLADE! OMG! ITS LIKE A MAGIC BULLET! WOW.
        OK, NEXT: I SIMPLY CAN NOT FIND THE ARM & HAMMER WASHING POWDER. IS THIS THE SAME THING AS LIKE POWERED DETERGENT? I CAN FIND THAT ALL DAY LONG. I FINALLY FOUND BORAX IN TARGET, EVEN MY WALLY WORLD DIDNT HAVE IT. I WILL LOOK FOR THE FELS SOAP, BUT I DOUBT I CAN FIND IT. I WILL BE MAKING THIS THO, I LOVE THE IDEA OF A "SAUCE" RATHER THAN THE THIN LIQUIDS I HAVE MADE BEFORE THAT DID NOT WORK. (PERHAPS B/C I USED REGULAR POWDER DETERGENT, CHEAP OF CHEAP?) ANYWAYS, THANKS SO MUCH FOR THE POST!
      1. sexton101's Avatar
        Does it HAVE TO BE Fels Naptha? I found a beatiful rose scented bar soap, could this be substituted?
      1. Liss's Avatar
        Quote Originally Posted by sexton101 View Post
        Does it HAVE TO BE Fels Naptha? I found a beatiful rose scented bar soap, could this be substituted?
        Yes, it MUST be fels naptha, other types of soap will leave a dingy film on your clothes.
      1. kingdawnking's Avatar
        Quote Originally Posted by monhollenmom View Post
        HI, SO GLAD YOU POSTED THIS! 1ST: I HAD NO IDEA THAT YOU COULD PUT A MASON JAR ONTO A BLENDER BLADE! OMG! ITS LIKE A MAGIC BULLET! WOW.
        OK, NEXT: I SIMPLY CAN NOT FIND THE ARM & HAMMER WASHING POWDER. IS THIS THE SAME THING AS LIKE POWERED DETERGENT? I CAN FIND THAT ALL DAY LONG. I FINALLY FOUND BORAX IN TARGET, EVEN MY WALLY WORLD DIDNT HAVE IT. I WILL LOOK FOR THE FELS SOAP, BUT I DOUBT I CAN FIND IT. I WILL BE MAKING THIS THO, I LOVE THE IDEA OF A "SAUCE" RATHER THAN THE THIN LIQUIDS I HAVE MADE BEFORE THAT DID NOT WORK. (PERHAPS B/C I USED REGULAR POWDER DETERGENT, CHEAP OF CHEAP?) ANYWAYS, THANKS SO MUCH FOR THE POST!

        The Fels SOAP IN IN THE DETERGENT ISLE ALONG WITH THE BORAX AND WASHING SODA. AT THE WALMART IN MY AREA THE SOAP WAS RIGHT NEXT TO THE BORAX AND WASHING SODA.
      1. Ashmeg's Avatar
        Can you use this on an he washer?
      1. allison92's Avatar
        I've tried this recipes twice and I'm having a few problems with it. First, the fels naptha takes about 30min to completely melt and I grated it. I never let it boil and it still becomes very sudsy. The borax and soda take about 15min to dissolve and even after that its not completely dissolved. I used 4 pint mason jars because that's all I had. I whipped it on the blender which worked fine. But it doesn't dissolve in the washer. I'm really sure what I'm doing wrong. I follwed to directions exactly. Also wasn't sure if you add hot or cold water to the jars or if it mattered. Thanks
      1. pianojanie's Avatar
        Do you have a large pot used only for soap making? Can food be cooked in pot after soap making? Thank you.
      1. Asianchik435's Avatar
        I DID THIS TODAY!

        So I have been wanting to try out a detergent recipe because we spend a lot.... A LOT of money on laundry detergent. My darling fiancé is a farmer which means HEAVILY soiled clothes... Included tractor grease, hydraulic fuel, and cow manure. Yuckk. We are Gain snobs simply because Tide makes him itchy. So anyways I wanted to give this a whirl to save money since A.) this is less expensive to make and B.) I wouldn't have to use so much per load.

        So to try out this recipe I only made half. I got all the ingredients at my local Walmart. The Fels Naptha was $0.97 and the other two... Well one was about $2.50 and the other about $3.50.

        So I get home, and I heated 2 cups of water in a large pot. I don't even own any medium sized pots anymore (long story-lol) but I used my smaller 10 Qt stainless steel pot. I didn't process nor grate the soap. Since I was halving the recipe I only needed half the bar. To my surprise when I went to chop it in Half I noticed it was very soft so I just shaved it with my knife and gave it a few good run throughs. It looked fine enough to me. I let my water come to a boil. I tossed my soap in and started stirring with a wooden spoon immediately. Then turned heat to medium. THIS PART I was not expecting..... I swear I stirred that soap for 35 minutes! It felt like it anyways, I really wish I would have timed myself. Lets just blame it on the humidity! Us here in south alabama blame everything on humidity! But it would build up on my spoon and I'd scrape it off and stir and over and over ugh! I finally had about 5 baby pieces and was like "oh they'll live" and went on to the next part- (at this time my liquid was a yellowish tint and slightly thickened)

        I turned off the heat while I opened my Borax. I measured half a cup dumped it in, and I stirred immediately. The Borax dissolved almost immediately. Now my liquid was thicker (almost a Liquid hand soap consitency) and I'm still stirring..... And trying to open my washing soda.... At the same time. Left hand-- wooden spoon. Right hand-- steak knife. Anyways I put the spoon down to open and measure my Soda. When I dumped it in the mixture was immediately thick and gloopy. But I thought to my self keep stirring sista! After about 10 minutes my mixture STILL had the same ricotta cheese consistency. It would not go away. I kept stirring and stirring. So ugh! I thought- perhaps some water evaporated out while I was melting my soap, because my mixture was THICK! so I added approximately 1 cup of boiling water (by the way my well was gettig worked on today so the only means of warm water or water at all for that matter was ice!) and I turned my burner back on to medium. I'm not sure what helped more... the extra water or the heat... but finally it dissolved through more stirring. It was still slightly grainy though, but I just couldn't stir any longer! Both my hands were asleep!! So I got my quart mason jar, scraped the pot (lord, I really need a sauce pan for this job) and filled the rest up with water to the shoulder. It immediately started to separate. I turned it upside down and went shopping from 11:30 to 5:00. when I got home I noticed my top solid layer wasnt as... Um... Solid? As yours! There were holes and unevenness in my solids but oh well. I turned the jar on its side, and it stayed liked yours so good enough I suppose!

        I took off my cap and added my blender blade. (My mother actually was throwing out this blender last year, and I saved the base and screw cap because I knew it fit a mason jar! I've never used it though because I have a Ninja Blender that makes snow out of ice, and I lovvvvve it)

        Anywho- I go to plug in and turn on the blender and BOOM POP CRACK!! Black smoke going everywhere! Guess that blender had seen better days! Into the trash! No fear Ninja is here! I scraped (which was a lot easier than I expected) the solids into my ninja with the liquids and buzzed it up! I didn't really notice too much of a grainy texture. It looked like yours- a whipped glossy mayonnaise type deal.

        I scraped all the detergent back into my quart jar (which by the way it didn't all fit-- I had about 1/2-3/4 pint extra (but that's probably because its hard to pack a jar with "whipped" contents because of all the fluffiness and air pockets))

        Anyways! Now to test it out!
        I went and gathered my darling-farming-fiance's dirty clothes from the laundry basket (also known as the floor) and started a load. I had at least a table spoon of detergent in my blender and on the blade, so I filled my blender up with water and gave it a buzz. Easy clean up, and I didn't have to waste any detergent

        1st load- watered down detergent. Successful. My clothes were fresh and smelled good (I also used snuggle fabric softener in a downy ball)

        2nd load-
        I loaded my clothes in the washer as it filled up with water. The washer was almost All the way full, and I ker-plunked a table spoon of laundry sauce right on top and shut the lid. I came back maybe 10 minutes later to see floating on top..... 2-3 penny sized dollops of detergent. well its not too bad of an issue because I'm sure it all dissolved and my washer is set on double rinse so not a problem.

        3rd load. As the water was filling up, I got a table spoon of detergent, and I let the washer's water fall hit the edge of my spoon little by little till it whisked away all the detergent off my spoon. (I know it's hard to explain) but I basically just wanted it to be some-what pieced up instead of a big blob that might not get dissolved fast enough for full usability.

        That's all for today!
        Maybe tomorrow I'll ker-plunk a blob of detergent into the bottom of the washer before the water and clothes so perhaps the clothes will have time to break it up once the agitation starts before it can float to the top.
        (By the way I have a regular old-school washing machine with the agitator in the middle- no HE, 1/3 of the water stuff here for me! Trust me. It doesn't work on farming clothes. I've tried. Plus it's WELL WATER! So soft... And free . )

        Fortunately-Unfortunately since it has been the holidays that darling farmer of mine hasn't had any HEAVILY soiled clothes, but spring is right around the corner, so I'm sure that will change soon.
        I will def do an update.

        So next time:
        -I need a medium sauce pan
        -I'm going to food-process the soap so it is finer. Maybe it will dissolve faster. (I might even incorporate a little at a time instead of dumping it into my water all at once)
        -have all of my ingredients pre-measured and set aside.
        -hunt me down a non-smoking blender in a yard sale for cheap.
        Because lord knows I did a lot of scraping today. I had to scrape the soap out of my pot into my jar, out of my jar into my blender, out of my blender into my jar, out of my blender into my washer. Lort that's a lot of scraping. Maybe I can minimize that next time!

        BUT! Overall I'm happy.
        I'm sorry I'm rambling a lot, but I just want to help anyone else out there thinking about trying this
        I like to give full-detailed reviews!
      1. WendyK84's Avatar
        Followed instructions but ingredients did not separate. Any idea what went wrong?
        I guess the only instruction I didn't follow was turning the jar upside down, because the jars I bought don't seal well and soap came pouring out of them when I flipped them.
      1. FreebieQueen's Avatar
        Quote Originally Posted by allison92 View Post
        I've tried this recipes twice and I'm having a few problems with it. First, the fels naptha takes about 30min to completely melt and I grated it. I never let it boil and it still becomes very sudsy. The borax and soda take about 15min to dissolve and even after that its not completely dissolved. I used 4 pint mason jars because that's all I had. I whipped it on the blender which worked fine. But it doesn't dissolve in the washer. I'm really sure what I'm doing wrong. I follwed to directions exactly. Also wasn't sure if you add hot or cold water to the jars or if it mattered. Thanks
        It must be made according to the directions, you cannot use pint jars, you must use quart jars and it should not take more than 12-15 minutes for the (Fels naptha) soap to melt.
        Maybe your heat isn't turned up quite enough, it should be at a decent simmer.

        You must MIX the borax and the washing soda together BEFORE pouring them into the melted fels naptha and it takes Maybe 4 minutes in all to fully dissolve them so that there is NO grainy texture.

        I literally just made another batch less than an hour ago, I really can't tell what you're doing wrong, but it sounds like you don't have the correct water ratio due to using smaller jars and it sounds like the washing soap and borax were not mixed together, hence the texture you ended up with.

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