Homemade Laundry Soap for an HE Washer

You can easily and inexpensively make your own laundry soap to use in all types of washers, including HE. This is a guide about homemade laundry soap for an HE washer.

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Can homemade laundry soap be used in the HE washing machines?

Brenda from Carrollton, Texas

AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

Homemade laundry detergent does not have any suds because we don't put a 'sudsing agent' in it. Suds do nothing to clean the clothes - it's just a visual thing - when we see suds, we think the soap is working.

Homemade laundry soap is made by grating a bar of Fels Naptha soap, put it into a pot with enough water to cover the soap + about 2". Heat on low to medium until soap is dissolved , stirring occasionally, and add to a 5 gal. bucket of the hottest water from your tap. Stir well & add 1 cup of WASHING soda (found in laundry area of store). Put into gallon jugs (not milk jugs - plastic is too weak). Use 1/2 c. per load. A bar of Ivory soap can be used instead of Fels Naptha. Soap can gel, so shake before using. Works great & comes to about $1.50 for 5 gal! Been using it for years. If you don't have a laundry tub, use the bathtub & clean it out with the spilled stuff after you are done - a 2fer!

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Please, can anyone give me some advice?
I have a brand new HE top loading washing machine being delivered next week and I'm worried if I can use my homemade laundry powder in it.

My recipe is:
1 cup grated laundry soap
1 cup washing soda
1 cup baking soda (I have hard water)
1 cup oxygen-based brightener (like oxy)
I don't use borax since its not available in my country.

I usually use 1/2 cup of powder since my old twin-tub machine had the capacity for 17lb "dry" weight of clothes. This new one has the same capacity. I don't get good results using less powder. This recipe suds up a little, but not too much.

Will I damage my new machine if I use this powder or should I buy the expensive HE laundry powder available?
Liquid detergent is not an option coz I don't like them.
Thanks for any help.

By cettina from Malta, Europe

AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

HE washers are notorious for the buildup of mold and mildew regardless of the brand and have to be cleaned frequently and all instructions followed. the stinky clothes refer to are actually mold or mildew located somewhere within the machine. Use only detergent marked h/e and use as little as possible.

I have used powder and liquid so go with your preference but you should only see minimal suds and that is because the detergent formulation is different. Excessive soap and suds build up in the machine which is what ultimately will causes the problems. I also use vinegar as a fabric softener and final rinse. commercial or even homemade softeners also tend to create the odors.

If you do laundry almost daily it usually is helpful, otherwise you must leave the door and dispenser open to dry. they do clean well but require a lot of care. I will be switching back to a regular washer soon due to a back flow problem... suds held in the bottom of the machine.

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Is homemade laundry soap safe for HE washers?

Lisa from Lebanon, IL

AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

OK I have to ask. What is an 'HE washer'?

Editor's Note: An HE washer stands for "high efficiency washer". They are typically front loading washers that use much less water than conventional washing machines.

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Is it OK to use homemade soap in the new HE washers?

By Dell

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I am getting a HE washer this weekend and I have read about 20 articles that say homemade detergents are safe.

Also Carol, homemade detergents are not crap, they are all natural, no dyes or perfumes and people have been using these ingredients for ages.

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When using homemade laundry soap, should I use liquid or power for he washer? Mine is a Cabrio top loader.

By Debra from Grayling, MI

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Liquid.

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Do you know if I can use your homemade laundry soap recipe instead of HE/high efficiency laundry detergent required for my new machine?

By Diana B.

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I got a HE washer a month ago and have had no problem using my homemade soap. I make the liquid soap, but think the powder would work well also.

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Is there a homemade washing soap powder that is safe for HE machines?

By Sharon from Sprakers, NY

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I am not sure if this answers your question but many people use homeade powdered detergent in their HE machines. However, my opinion is that powdered detergents tend to gunk up machines. I stick to liquid only. Homeade detergents are low sudsing so it works well for HE machines.

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Home and Garden Cleaning Cleaning Supply Recipes Laundry RecipesJune 4, 2013
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