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Thread: BBB method ... for the laundry

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    BBB method ... for the laundry

    Ran across homemade laundry soap recipe on the internet and my wife decided to give it a try:

    1 box of borax
    2 - 4lb boxes of baking soda
    and 3 grated bars of fels-naptha soap

    Mix it all up and use like 2 tablespoons per load. Cost about $12 to make and should last for 250+ loads.

    Seems to be working great.
    Had some towels that used to get musty smelling after 1 use. After a single wash using this soap, they no longer have the smell.

    Of course this makes me wonder why raising the pH and TA in the laundry is beneficial
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    dmanb2b's Avatar
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    Re: BBB method ... for the laundry

    Cool...would it work on HE washer too?
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: BBB method ... for the laundry

    It does not bubble up, so it should be fine in HE washers.

    Here is the article she used ...
    http://thefrugalgirls.com/2012/09/homem ... vings.html

    Although now I learn that she did not follow the directions and substituted more baking soda instead of washing soda ... so we may have to double the batch and fix the portions. But, she tells me that other recipes used all baking soda, so there appears to be some flexibility.

    Corrected ingredients for this recipe:
    1 box Arm & Hammer Super Washing Powder
    4lb box of Baking Soda
    1 box Borax
    3 bars Fels-Naptha

    All in all that link is a little flaky on the details when they are discussing the difference between baking soda and washing soda (one comment says they are the same ingredient ... ugh). And I am not clear if they want you to use washing powder or washing soda (soda ash) which appear to be different.

    YYMV

    EDIT: Another link that does not use washing powder / soda
    http://www.thehenpen.org/2011/05/homema ... t.html?m=1
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: BBB method ... for the laundry

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle
    Of course this makes me wonder why raising the pH and TA in the laundry is beneficial ;)
    As described in this link regarding the use of borax in laundry, the higher pH and TA results in saponification of triglycerides that converts them into soluble fatty acids and glycerol (similar to the glycerine soap-making process, but without the precipitation of the soap using salt or lowering the pH), and this helps to remove them from fabrics. The borates at high concentration also complex with calcium and magnesium thereby preventing hard water from precipitating with surfactants (wetting agents) in detergents.
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    reagan's Avatar
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    Re: BBB method ... for the laundry

    Dear Chem Geek: I understand everything you wrote as I'm completing my second semester of Gen/Org/Bio Chemistry. SCIENCE FTW!!1!

    I have been using this homemade recipe for several years now; Fels Naptha is hard to find around here; I've found it at my local hardware store (always great to support small, locally-owned, 100-year-old+ businesses) and stock up every six months or so.

    I use an old food processor to grind it, and it takes me less than 5 minutes to make, from peeling the packaging off to dumping into my soap container. When hubs complained that his undershirts didn't seem as clean, I told him that I'd ran out of my homemade stuff and had to use store-brand detergent.

    I have an HE washer and have had no trouble whatsoever.
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    Re: BBB method ... for the laundry

    Does this work on greasy dirty clothes.... what about taking diesel smell out of the clothes???? My husband is a farmer. Enough said.
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