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 . . .
1. How Exactly do I use the Laundry Detergent in my Machine?
For a Top Loading Machine:
- Fill the machine with dirty clothes
- start the water, (hot- Cold- or warm- doesn’t matter)
- Measure out 1 Tablespoon (literally) of super laundry sauce
- stick the measuring spoon of detergent under the running water, let it fall off the spoon.
- Close the washer lid, go away and do something else while the machine runs.For a Front Loading or HE Machine
- Fill the machine with dirty clothes
- Measure out 1 Tablespoon (literally) of super laundry sauce & dump it on top of the dirty clothes.
- Close the door & start the Machine, (hot- Cold- or warm- doesn’t matter)
- 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 assume 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 won’t 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) then YES, it will still work even if it’s not “pretty”. If you substitute 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, a 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. If you do, your jars WILL Explode.
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 was 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 as 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, if you still have big chunks that didn’t dissolve then 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.