Use caution when making DIY laundry detergent

Many of us have begun making laundry soap with Fels Naptha soap, borax, and washing soda. If you’re doing that, please take a look at what’s in Fels Naptha soap. Turns out the stuff contains mineral spirits, a petroleum product. It can be highly irritating and apparently should not be used as a regular laundry additive.

Several bloggers have reported good results using ordinary bath soap, such as Ivory. See, for example, Thrifty Fun, Little House in the Suburbs, and The Simple Dollar, among others. Whichever bar soap you decide to use, be careful when grinding it in a food processor. Some soaps can throw off fine dust when processed, which will fly up into your face when you open the machine’s lid. Avoid breathing the stuff, either by waiting a while before opening the food processor or at least by keeping your face a good long way back from the machine.

Be Sociable, Share!
SimplyForties March 22, 2009 at 4:43 pm

Thanks for the tip. I use a castile soap because I think it’s more gentle. Now I’m glad I did!

Chance March 22, 2009 at 5:51 pm

I had a good experience with Fels Naptha, no irritation at all and it cleans well. That said, I made the new batch with Ivory because at least I know what’s in it. No difference in cleaning power, I rest easier at night.

funnyaboutmoney1 March 24, 2009 at 10:04 am

Sprouts has some wonderful castile soaps, not too expensive.

Mrs. Modern Tightwad March 24, 2009 at 9:01 pm

I’m making diy detergent, but already had a bar of Dr. Bronner’s Castile soap set aside. I always wanted Peppermint Laundry Soap! Thanks for the tip, sometimes even homemade isn’t home-healthy.

Keri R. March 25, 2009 at 6:39 am

I have been using Ivory soap and it works great. My laundry detergent recipe is a little different than the washing soda one. Check it out its a few posts down in my blog. I have found that ivory soap is so soft that it grates easily with a regular box grater.

JB March 26, 2009 at 5:34 am

My first batch of laundry soap with Fels Naptha gave me no problems, but since making the second batch (months ago) I’ve had a persistent rash on my legs. I kept telling myself it COULDN’T be the detergent since there’s ONLY 3 INGREDIENTS, but I didn’t think to look at what the soap actually contained. Next time I make it, I’ll try a bar of Ivory instead, & see if that helps.

Jupiter April 7, 2009 at 4:10 am

I have REALLY sensitive skin and have never had any problems using fels naptha! I do (well,used to) use Ivory or other gentle soaps to make detergent for washing baby clothes in,though.

funnyaboutmoney1 April 7, 2009 at 5:22 am

Apparently lot’s of people have no problem with it. But check out what Wikipedia has to say about the stuff.

Comments on this entry are closed.

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: