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trinity_gal in naturalfamily

homemade laundry detergent that actually works in hard water areas?

I've tried only couple of recipes for homemade laundry detergents but both were useless DISASTERS (nappies still came out stained and dirty)- I know I should just adjust proportions and amounts but our washing machine is rubbish (rented apartment) - it takes 2.5hrs to complete washing cycle at 40C, so I have loads of other laundries to do so not much patience for experimenting....

Sorry to be impudent but I wonder if you have a good recipe to share that actually works hard water areas? And how much is needed per wash?

I have so far...
- borax
- baking soda
- washing soda
- white vinegar
- scented soap bars
- Dr Bonner's castile liquid soap
- essential oils

Would be so grateful for ideas and suggestions! Thanks in advance.

PS. if that makes the difference, I have front-loading machine - top-loading is unheard of here...


We're UK too (I'm guessing you are!), and use this [powder] recipe to wash our nappies in our front loader:

We only use 1-2 tablespoons per load.

Our machine also takes ages to wash at any temperature, but it has a 'rapid' setting which you can control the temperature of and only takes around 40 minutes (depends on temp), we use that 9/10 and occasionally blitz them with a really hot long wash.. The nappies are quite stained at the moment, but that's more due to not being able to sun them for ages - in the summer the sun works wonders as our stain remover!!
Hurrah, I was hoping to avoid having to boil and having to find large container I don't have. We don't have rapid wash - yup, our washing machine is that lacking....

Thank you :)
It worked with nappies - i didn't pre-soak either.
(still too tentative to spread gospel but happy now :))
Well, I can tell you what absolutely did not work for me: I followed a recipe that called for grated Fels Naptha soap, Borax and washing power. The person who posted it swore by it, but I had terrible results. </p>

Our diapers started repelling, clothes weren't coming out clean at all. It was a hot mess.

I think the recipe might have been more successful if I had melted it down on the stove, but the poster of the recipe said she had used it both melted and not melted, so I went with the easy way.

Best of luck! I hope you find an awesome recipe! :)

Yeah, I can relate to that....the Duggar family (that's how I first heard about homemade detergent) swear by melting so we'll see....
We have only ever melted the soap (never even seen a recipe that didn't call for it melted) It seems to work for us, and we have slightly hard water.
I still don't understand why melted liquid stuff is meant to be better?
You don't want to use soap on nappies -- they will repel. I use a powder that is equal parts borax, washing soda (sodium carbonate) and oxygen bleach powder with a rinse of white vinegar. It works really well on prefolds, just one tablespoon per load in my front-loader.
I thought washing soda may help with soap build-up? I tried recipe in the first comment above yesterday and it worked fine as far as getting poo and smell out from pre folds. Microfiber on other hand...they are harder to get rid of smell.
Hi, I made a 5 gallon batch that I added 2 large zote bars, 4 cups washing soda, 3 cups borax, 3 cups oxyclean, and my clothes still smell, I'm so disappointed, oh and the whites are not looking white. :(

October 2015



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