Granny's Powdered Laundry Detergent
1 cup grated Fels-Naptha soap (or any plain soap like Castille or Ivory)
1/2 cup Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda (not baking soda)
1/2 cup 20 Mule Team Borax
Mix and store in airtight container or bag. For light loads, use 2 tablespoons. For heavy loads, use 3 tablespoons.
Big Batch: To make a large batch, grate 6 bars of Fels-Naptha Soap and then add 3 cups of Super Washing Soda and 3 cups of 20 Mule Team Borax. Mix well and store in covered container.
TIP: Homemade detergent will not make suds in your washer, so don’t be alarmed. Fels-Naptha Soap is a pure soap and typically makes little or no suds in the water. This makes it perfect for use in the new HE washers as well as traditional washers. You will also notice the need to either reduce your laundry softener; in most cases you can even eliminate the use of softener completely. You can also use white vinegar in the last rinse (1 cup is plenty) to remove all traces of detergent.
This home-made detergent takes just a few minutes to make a 2-cup batch. And, the cost is just a few pennies per load! My clothes come out just as clean, and I'm not running lots of un-prounouncable chemicals through the pipes or getting them into my clothing.
Remember to use your outdoor clothesline whenever you can (or string one up across a corner the basement for wintertime). For fluffy towels, and to de-wrinkle your permanent press items, run them through the dryer for a short time after they are dry.
Granny's Liquid Laundry Detergent
3 pints water
1/3 bar Fels-Naptha Soap, grated
1/2 cup SuperWashing Soda (not baking soda)
1/2 cup 20 Mule Team Borax
2 gallon bucket, for mixing
1 quart hot water
Mix Fels-Naptha soap in a saucepan with 3 pints hot water and heat on low until dissolved. Stir in SuperWashing Soda and Borax. Stir until thickened, and remove from heat. Add 1 quart hot water to a two-gallon bucket. Add soap mixture, and mix well. Fill bucket with additional hot water as needed (you should have about 1.5 gallons of the mixture), and mix well. Set aside for 24 hours, or until mixture thickens. Use 1/2 cup of mixture per load.
Clothes Dryer Hint
Even though you clean the lint itself from the dryer lint trap, you must also clean the mesh part with hot soapy water and a brush (may use tooth brush also) every 6 months or so. Dryer sheets cause a film over that mesh. That’s what burns out the heating unit. You can’t SEE the film, but it’s there. It’s what is in the dryer sheets to make your clothes soft and static free-that nice fragrance too, this stuff builds up on your clothes and on your lint screen. This is also what causes dryer units to catch fire and potentially burn your house down with it! By washing it, you can save electricity and help your dryer live longer.
Difficult Laundry Stains
Blood: Soak the item in cold water or hydrogen peroxide or apply a mixture of cornstarch and talcum powder or cornmeal and water; dry and brush away.
Chewing Gum: Rub with ice and flake off.
Coffee: Try egg yolk with warm water
Fruit and Wine: Immediately pour on salt or hot water and soak in milk.
Grease: Pour on boiling water and then follow by baking soda.
Heavy Soils: Rub with a solution made up of two tablespoons of washing soda and one cup of warm water.
Ink: Soak in milk or hydrogen peroxide.
Lipstick: Rub with cold cream or shortening and wash with washing soda.
Mildew: Rub strong soap and salt on spots; place in sunlight while keeping spots moist.
Rust: Soak with sour milk or lemon juice and rub with salt; dry in sun and wash.
Scorches: Boil the article in one cup of soap and two quarts of milk.
Homemade Laundry Stain Remover
1 cup hot water
1/2 cup baking soda
1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide
Mix ingredients then store in spray bottles. Spot treat stains then soak overnight.
How to Sort Laundry
The purpose of sorting clothes is to separate those items which could damage others. Sort your laundry according to the following: color, the type & amount of soil, the construction of the fabric and garment, and the texture of the fabric. All items in a load of laundry should require the same water temperature, agitation speed, wash time, and use of bleach.
Whites, pastels, and white background prints that are color fast
Non-colorfast colors of similar color
Fabric & Garment groupings:
Moderate to sturdy
Lint producers (terry cloth, chenille, flannel)
Lint receivers (permanent pres, cotton-polyester blends, corduroy, velveteen, and synthetics)
Remove unwashable belts and trims
Close zippers and fasteners so that they won’t snag other garments
Tie sashes and strings to avoid tangling
Brush loose dirt from pockets and cuffs.
Mend rips and tears
Treat spots and stains