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.

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9 thoughts on “Use caution when making DIY laundry detergent”

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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