I had never heard of Borax, Washing Soda, or Fels Naptha soap previous to my looking into homemade laundry detergent. As skeptical as I am, I'm also agonizingly curious, so I had to go ahead and making some laundry detergent. Upon buying these ingredients, I took a look at each product label.
- Borax is a naturally occurring mineral compound that can be used as a laundry detergent booster, an alternative to color-safe bleach, and great multipurpose cleaner and deodorizer.
- Washing Soda a.k.a soda ash, is sodium carbonate and is also consider a laundry booster and multipurpose cleaner.
- Fels Naptha is a nice stain remover in the form of a bar.
I choose to try the powered laundry detergent because making the liquid stuff just looked too laborious. The powdered stuff is just a matter of stirring our three ingredients together. Some say to use a tablespoon per load of laundry and others say to use 2 tablespoons per load (What to do???). For the record, I used one Tablespoon per load.
I used this homemade powder stuff for about 5 months. I can't say it cleaned my clothes better than the stuff I was using before. (I think it was Wisk.) Nearly every time I put the tiny Tablespoon into the washer, I had my doubts. I had read that the Borax label recommended half a cup in each load of laundry if using it as a booster. The washing soda also recommended a modest 1/4 cup amount for laundry booster. And here I was, using it as part of a detergent, barely using a couple teaspoons... (Anyway, I still pretreated all soiled clothing with my stain remover that I love.) Like I said, no real difference in cleaning my clothes.
I did, however, notice a difference in my washing machine: a greyish waxy film, making a ring at the water level. Yuck. That, I'm pretty sure was from using the Fels Naptha Soap. After all, one of soap's main ingredients is oil. I cleaned the waxy film and went back to my regular detergent, with a few changes. I'll talk about what changes I made in my next post. Suspense, I know.