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Wed Dec 12, 2012, 05:46 PM

Feeling frugal? Homemade laundry detergent, the powdered kind. Costs about $3 for 64 loads.

Grate a bar of fels naptha or ivory soap with the fine side of your grater.

To the powdered soap add 1 cup each of washing soda, borax, and baking soda. Toss it in a jar, shake it up and use a scant 1/8 cup per load.

Use white vinegar as your fabric softener.

This works well in HE washing machines.

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Reply Feeling frugal? Homemade laundry detergent, the powdered kind. Costs about $3 for 64 loads. (Original post)
peacebird Dec 2012 OP
yortsed snacilbuper Dec 2012 #1
madokie Dec 2012 #8
GiaGiovanni Dec 2012 #10
madokie Dec 2012 #43
pnwmom Dec 2012 #58
GiaGiovanni Dec 2012 #65
msanthrope Dec 2012 #67
madokie Dec 2012 #72
TalkingDog Dec 2012 #71
pansypoo53219 Dec 2012 #56
Liberal_in_LA Dec 2012 #18
Nay Dec 2012 #23
Jackpine Radical Dec 2012 #24
Liberal_in_LA Dec 2012 #28
riverbendviewgal Dec 2012 #27
Liberal_in_LA Dec 2012 #30
dhol82 Dec 2012 #39
llmart Dec 2012 #46
sammytko Dec 2012 #61
one_voice Dec 2012 #47
csziggy Dec 2012 #68
kiva Dec 2012 #70
LeftyMom Dec 2012 #48
struggle4progress Dec 2012 #51
Voice for Peace Dec 2012 #52
Pryderi Dec 2012 #2
msongs Dec 2012 #5
eShirl Dec 2012 #32
LeftyMom Dec 2012 #49
eShirl Dec 2012 #57
Care Acutely Dec 2012 #59
Kaleva Dec 2012 #3
BainsBane Dec 2012 #14
jmowreader Dec 2012 #17
DonRedwood Dec 2012 #36
alfredo Dec 2012 #40
pugetres Dec 2012 #4
peacebird Dec 2012 #6
lbrtbell Dec 2012 #35
alfredo Dec 2012 #38
ProfessionalLeftist Dec 2012 #7
Lionessa Dec 2012 #9
Mariana Dec 2012 #11
Roland99 Dec 2012 #12
kelliekat44 Dec 2012 #13
LiberalCatholic Dec 2012 #15
Mariana Dec 2012 #53
M_A Dec 2012 #16
peacebird Dec 2012 #19
Squinch Dec 2012 #21
Squinch Dec 2012 #20
sammytko Dec 2012 #22
savebigbird Dec 2012 #25
Robb Dec 2012 #26
drthais Dec 2012 #29
riverbendviewgal Dec 2012 #31
peacebird Dec 2012 #33
surrealAmerican Dec 2012 #37
marybourg Dec 2012 #34
TexasBushwhacker Dec 2012 #55
csziggy Dec 2012 #69
yortsed snacilbuper Dec 2012 #41
Ednahilda Dec 2012 #42
Squinch Dec 2012 #44
hunter Dec 2012 #45
LeftyMom Dec 2012 #50
mckara Dec 2012 #54
watch the sky Dec 2012 #60
Taverner Dec 2012 #62
peacebird Dec 2012 #64
Taverner Dec 2012 #66
CreekDog Dec 2012 #63

Response to peacebird (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 05:51 PM

1. Get one of these too!

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Response to yortsed snacilbuper (Reply #1)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 06:15 PM

8. As a kid when my mom couldn't get the gasoline engine powered maytag washer

to run for whatever reason she would do laundry on a wash board.
People back then didn't shy away from work and they appreciated whatever they had. Much simpler and I think as fun of a time to live as what we now.

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Response to madokie (Reply #8)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 06:24 PM

10. Chances are your mom wasn't working full time outside the home

 

These days, most women have a job outside the home and a job inside. I don't know that there is any time or energy for washboards.

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Response to GiaGiovanni (Reply #10)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 09:30 PM

43. You're right never worked outside of the home

way too many kids to take care of plus this was in the early 50's when not many women worked outside of the home.

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Response to madokie (Reply #43)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 03:04 AM

58. Back in those days, there was often an entire day -- or more -- devoted to laundry.

Thank goodness most of us are beyond that now.

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Response to madokie (Reply #43)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 02:28 PM

65. Actually, many working class women and immigrants worked outside the home

 

Middle class women did not, but I had great-great-aunts who worked in garment factories while their children were in school.

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Response to madokie (Reply #43)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 02:31 PM

67. Not many women worked outside of the home in the 50s? If you forget minorities, immigrants, and the

poor, that might be true.

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Response to msanthrope (Reply #67)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 09:17 PM

72. We were poor

everyone in the neighbor was poor and I don't remember any of the women working outside of the home. Of course most of them were like my mother with a bunch of kids to take care of. Back then we didn't have pre school or even kindergarten and not many baby setters. I'm talking country about as country as you can get.

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Response to madokie (Reply #43)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 04:18 PM

71. I love middle and upper class feminists.

Their world is so rosy.

Poor women have always worked outside the home.

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Response to madokie (Reply #8)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 03:00 AM

56. i live in a fancy 1926 house.

i grew up in older w/ concrete stationary tubs. here it is porcelain and it has washboard groves, but more like for delicates. usually i only see porcelain ones on the lakeside basements.

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Response to yortsed snacilbuper (Reply #1)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 06:52 PM

18. no! update to this

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Reply #18)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 07:14 PM

23. My mom had this washer when I was a kid!! That was a long time ago...

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Response to Nay (Reply #23)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 07:26 PM

24. We had one very much like that one.

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Response to Jackpine Radical (Reply #24)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 07:36 PM

28. My aunt had one on the late 60s, long after they were out of fashion. I'd watch her feed the wet

clothes through the wringer at the top.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Reply #18)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 07:35 PM

27. My grandfather used to turn this on

and put dollars through the wringer rollers and my little boys thought this was his money making machine. LOL

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Response to riverbendviewgal (Reply #27)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 07:36 PM

30. lol n/t

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Reply #18)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 08:54 PM

39. remember when


Remember when my family got this washer. My mom was sooooo ecstactic! This was a major step up from the wash board.

The wringer was another orgasmic addendum. )

This generation is spoiled.

Anybody remember having a stretching board for their table cloths and curtains? You washed them and then added starch and then had to pin them up on the stretcher for drying. Fun memory. My dad made our stretcher himself. Poor European immigrant knowledge. Whenever I think about it I am impressed by what my folks were able to do - post war, not speaking the language, coming to a new country and succeeding. Just awesome!

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Reply #18)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 09:52 PM

46. My mother had one of these too!

She didn't have a clothes dryer until the mid-1960's and we were a family of nine! I think of her often and how difficult her life was compared to mine. I would never want to go back to all that damned work. I can still see her running the diapers through the wringer, sometimes getting a finger a little too close to the wringers.

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Response to llmart (Reply #46)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 07:27 AM

61. My mother must be weird. She loved seeing rows of diapers on the clothe lines.

Never wanted a dryer. Eleven kids!

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Reply #18)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 09:54 PM

47. I put my arm through one of those...

wringers I was five at the sitters house. I put my finger in and my arm went through up to the elbow, and instead of popping it apart the sitter ran my arm back out. I had to have a skin graph done. I still remember my grandmother calling that woman every kind of stupid so-n-so.

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Response to one_voice (Reply #47)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 02:53 PM

68. That part is called a mangle for good reason!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mangle_%28machine%29

I'm sorry you had to get skin grafts - glad it wasn't worse!

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Response to one_voice (Reply #47)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 03:15 PM

70. Me too!

I've never met anyone else that admitted it. I was lucky because it didn't leave any lasting damage - I think I was a bit younger - but I do remember lots of screaming (it was in a laundrymat).

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Reply #18)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 09:57 PM

48. My mom washed my diapers in one of those, in the eighties.

Note to self: increase Christmas gift budget for mom.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Reply #18)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 10:20 PM

51. Holy shizz! It's the finger masher! We had one in a place we rented when I was a tyke!

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Response to yortsed snacilbuper (Reply #1)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 10:23 PM

52. and one of these

we used to have one of these when living in the country
and doing all laundry by hand. a great invention.

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Response to peacebird (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 05:54 PM

2. "washing soda?" nt

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Response to Pryderi (Reply #2)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 05:58 PM

5. sodium carbonate - most common version is arm & hammer in a big yellow box nt

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Response to msongs (Reply #5)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 07:45 PM

32. and if you can't find that, it's easy to make from baking soda

http://chemistry.about.com/od/makechemicalsyourself/a/Sodium-Carbonate-From-Baking-Soda.htm

Sodium bicarbonate is CHNaO3 while sodium carbonate is Na2CO3. Simply heat baking soda or sodium bicarbonate in a 200F oven for about an hour. Carbon dioxide and water will be given off. Dry sodium carbonate will remain.

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Response to eShirl (Reply #32)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 09:58 PM

49. You can get a giant box at the pool supply store for about ten bucks.

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Response to LeftyMom (Reply #49)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 03:03 AM

57. Then do it.

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Response to eShirl (Reply #32)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 03:06 AM

59. Oh God. Now I would need to make washing soda out of my baking soda to make my laundry detergent?

I don't even bake real cookies anymore. Who has this kind of time?

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Response to peacebird (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 05:57 PM

3. I need something that is bio-compatible..

as I'll be using the wash water to water the garden with. I already save the rinse water to use as the wash water for the next load of laundry.

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Response to Kaleva (Reply #3)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 06:41 PM

14. They don't add phosphates any more

Since so many states have banned them. The same is true for dishwashing detergent, which is why you see bits of junk all over you dishes. They say the dishwashing detergent companies will eventually figure out how to improve formulas without using phosphates, as the laundry detergent companies have done.

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #14)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 06:48 PM

17. Even the phosphates are phosphate free now

I used to sell Red Devil TSP Substitute. It is phosphate free.

This makes as much sense as fat free half and half, but it works well.

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Response to jmowreader (Reply #17)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 08:44 PM

36. Don't you mess with my fat free half and half!!!

I have no idea what it is and I don't care. After my heart issue my nutritionist checked the label and OK'd it.

God Bless the fat free half and half, is all I can say.

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Response to Kaleva (Reply #3)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 08:57 PM

40. It repels bugs too.

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Response to peacebird (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 05:58 PM

4. Please don't use any soaps that contain tallow (fels naptha does) on kids pajamas

or other clothing items that are treated to be fire-resistant. It reduces the fire-resistant properties.

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Response to pugetres (Reply #4)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 06:01 PM

6. Good to know! Thank you! Ivory works just as well really...

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Response to pugetres (Reply #4)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 08:41 PM

35. It also stains white clothes a hideous yellow

And it smells terrible. I was going to try to make some homemade laundry soap, but one bar of Fels made our entire huge double garage stink like horrible chemicals!

Now that I know Ivory soap can work, I might give it a try!

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Response to lbrtbell (Reply #35)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 08:54 PM

38. Fels is used on stains in our house, that's all.

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Response to peacebird (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 06:05 PM

7. Wow. I have to try that. I've been using Charlie's Soap for laundry

for a while now, but it can be hard to find.

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Response to peacebird (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 06:16 PM

9. Hmm, I buy the dishwashing liquid at the dollar store,

 

three strong squirts does a load beautifully. And vinegar for softener and is also good for body odor clothes.

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Response to peacebird (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 06:27 PM

11. I've been using this recipe for awhile.

It works great.

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Response to peacebird (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 06:37 PM

12. Will have to give this a try!

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Response to peacebird (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 06:38 PM

13. My grandfather worked at Fels in Philly until it closed. Fels Naptha had many uses including

painting on windows at Christmas time to make snow scenes.

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Response to kelliekat44 (Reply #13)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 06:43 PM

15. also prevents poison ivy and oak

My grandmother always had us take a shower with it when we came from anywhere where there was poison ivy and oak. She always swore it prevented it.

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Response to LiberalCatholic (Reply #15)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 10:25 PM

53. If you wash off the oil before your skin absorbs it

it certainly will prevent poison ivy rash.

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Response to peacebird (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 06:48 PM

16. works

I've been making my own laundry and dishwasher detergent for some time. Saves $$ and doesn't need much to do the job so more environmentally friendly as well. Safe for the septic tanks for the fellow rural dwellers.

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Response to M_A (Reply #16)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 06:57 PM

19. Please pass on your dishwasher detergent recipe! I am looking for one...

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Response to peacebird (Reply #19)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 07:07 PM

21. I've been looking too. All the reviews for the homemade ones seem to say they leave

a film on the dishes and don't do a very good job.

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Response to peacebird (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 07:06 PM

20. If you don't want to go through the grating, there are recipes on the net where

you replace the grated soap with a little dish soap.

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Response to Squinch (Reply #20)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 07:10 PM

22. or you could use a food processor or blender.

If you take the bar of soap out of the package and let it dry for a week or so, it is more crumbly and easier to process.

I used to do this, but the powder smell was too intense. I jsut use Cheer now - small amount.

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Response to peacebird (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 07:30 PM

25. I used to make this...

...it started building up on my clothes after repeated washings. I wanted it to work but it couldn't stand up to sweaty workout clothes.

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Response to peacebird (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 07:31 PM

26. Hm. This week's Safeway circular:

50 oz bottle All 2X detergent -- e.g. 50 loads -- $3.33. Add in $1/off coupon in the newspaper, final price $2.33.

Bargains are where you find them, I suppose.

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Response to peacebird (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 07:36 PM

29. I've been doing this for about 5 years

...fels naptha or OCTAGON...
a slightly different recipe....
1 cup Borax . 2 cups Washing Soda (arm and hammer makes it)
buy a teeny tiny food processor ONLY for this
whirr up in the processor
perfect powder.
I do it once every week and a half or so.

DO THIS!
because...you should be pissed at the price of laundry detergent!

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Response to peacebird (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 07:38 PM

31. My friend is a weaver

And her weaver guild did a study and found that Palmolive liquid was very gentle and a better cleaner that Woolite . Woolite broke down the wool.

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Response to riverbendviewgal (Reply #31)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 07:50 PM

33. Really? Wow. Very good to know!

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Response to riverbendviewgal (Reply #31)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 08:48 PM

37. Woolite is something to aviod.

I usually use shampoo for wool. Any brand will do. Conditioning shampoo works well for washable silk, too.

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Response to peacebird (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 08:20 PM

34. I find Ivory very harsh; makes my hands red and sore.

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Response to marybourg (Reply #34)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 02:18 AM

55. You can be allergic to Ivory. My niece was. n/t

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Response to TexasBushwhacker (Reply #55)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 02:57 PM

69. Ivory gives me hives

Has since I was a kid. So do a lot of bar soaps and detergents. If they don't give me hives, the fragrances make me sneeze.

I'd be afraid of making my own soaps or detergents. I have a very few brands I can use because of fragrances or ingredients. Any time one is discontinued, I have a big problem.

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Response to peacebird (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 09:15 PM

41. This is how they do laundry in Appalachia!

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Response to peacebird (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 09:20 PM

42. I've used a similar recipe for years

(1/2 cup grated soap, 1/3 cup each washing soda and borax) and then whisk it into hot water to make a gallon of liquid detergent. I find it dissolves better in the wash water than the powder. Hubby works in construction and it gets his clothes plenty clean. Instead of the Fels Naptha, I will sometimes use homemade lye soap in which I do use tallow and lard, but I haven't noticed any excessive yellowing.

I, too, would be interested in any dish detergent directions. I've tried a few, but I've been really disappointed with the results.

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Response to peacebird (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 09:34 PM

44. I use a wet recipe: 1.5 oz borax, 1.5 oz washing soda, 1.5 oz dish soap

to a gallon of water. It comes out to about a dollar for the 64 loads.

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Response to peacebird (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 09:44 PM

45. Doesn't work where we live. The water is too hard.

Some kinds of bar soaps are useless, like candle wax almost.

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Response to peacebird (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 10:00 PM

50. Kirk's works in teh same recipe, in case anybody needs a non-rashy, tallow free version.

My kid's got crazy sensitive skin and this is the only thing that won't make him break out in hives.

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Response to peacebird (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 11:31 PM

54. Thanks!

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Response to peacebird (Original post)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 04:36 AM

60. yeah, thanks for all the info everybody

I'd heard of this before, but didn't know the formulae . . . Tide is getting very expensive here all of a sudden, I might give this a go

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Response to peacebird (Original post)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 12:24 PM

62. Tried White Vinegar - your clothes end up smelling like, well, vinegar

 

Not a pleasant smell unless you are a salad

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Response to Taverner (Reply #62)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 02:21 PM

64. How much did you use? I use the same old Downey cap to measure mine, and there is no odor.

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Response to peacebird (Reply #64)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 02:28 PM

66. About that - 1/4 of a cup

 

Baking soda, yes that works great.

OF course anyone who's done the volcano project in science class knows vinegar and baking soda equals, well, a volcano

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Response to peacebird (Original post)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 02:19 PM

63. This is an AWESOME idea

sure, it takes a little time to get the stuff and make the detergent, but i save time by eating McDonald's that night!

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