Wisconsin is where I live, We have Piggly Wiggly and Pick and Save grocery stores. I have found washing soda at both of these stores.It's made by Arm and Hammer [same company that makes Baking Soda ; 'edible ' ]. It helps to 'improve liquid laundry detergent performance up to 40%'. Also a household cleaner. Pure and natural, 100% fragrance and phosphate free. For a free booklet send a 'sase' to Super Washing, Arm and Hammer Division, Church & Dwight Co. Inc; P.O. Box 7468 Princton, NJ 08543-7468. Hope this helps to answer your question about washing soda[ not edible].
I have been making my own laundry soap for a couple of years because of my grandson's eczema. I use 3 cups of borax, 3 cups of washing soda and 3 bars of fels naptha. Grate the fels naptha and mix the washing soda and borax into it. Stir completely and use from the container. I use a third to half cup per normal load. It works great and is cheap. Also, the eczema improved dramatically.
However, I had to stop making the mixture when I had both corneas transplanted early this year. I used half the store bought liquid with 1/3 cup of borax. With this combination I only need half the fabric softener and half the bleach normally needed. Clothing is soft without fabric softener. So, for the price of 1/3 cup borax I am saving 50% on detergent, fabric softener and bleach. Quite a savings and eczema has not been a problem.
There are recipes for laundry detergents on this site if you are still interested. In the search box at the top of the page, type in laundry detergent. I have never tried them as I'm not interested in using them, but a lot of people make their own. The ones with fels-naptha would be good as that's what grandma used to use all the time and it does remove stains!
I don't. I use regular detergent I get on sale (and with coupons). I found it made no difference, although I started with dye and fragrance free.
I use Ivory soap, washing soda (different than backing soda) and hot water. All I do is grate a bar of Ivory soap and melt it in a pot of water, then I fill up a bucket with about 4 gallons of hot water and add the soap, make sure the soap is smooth or your laundry soap will be lumpy. Last add 2 cups of the washing soda and stir. As it cools it will get thick and then you can put it in your bottles. I just use water jugs. You use a cup per load. I like the way it works your clothes don't have a perfume smell, but it's the perfume that's bad for us anyway. Hope this helps you. For more great homemade things like baby wipes check out http://www.recipegoldmine.com
Low Suds Laundry Gel - suitable for top or front loading washing machines.
Take one bar of laundry soap (eg Velvet soap) and shred. Place into two quarts (1.9 liters) of simmering water. Stir well and allow to sit, stirring occasionally till completely dissolved. Pour into a 2 gallon (7.4 liter) bucket and add 1 gallon (3.7 liters) of cold water. Dissolve 2 tsp of lye in one cup of cold water (never use an aluminum container for this process - preferably use stainless steel) and when main mixture is cool add the dissolved lye and two cups of borax to the mixture and stir very well until the borax is dissolved. You can add a few drops of essence oils if you want fragrance. Add enough water to the fill the bucket, stir, set aside covered until the next day. It should be a gel that dissolves perfectly into a load of wash. Use one or two cups per wash load.
I am using caustic soda for the lye. Both the caustic soda and borax are available from the supermarket.
WARNING: Always add your solid form lye (sodium hydroxide, potassium hydroxide, caustic soda) to the liquid. If the liquid were added to the solid form lye a violent reaction could result. This means you could have a "volcano" erupt out of your container. Any form of lye will give off poisonous fumes so don't breathe the fumes in and prepare in a well ventilated area. Do not have children present. The caustic soda prevents your washing machine from clogging up.
I put the gel directly into the drum of the front loading washing machine. The gel is firmish and will clog up the normal dispenser.
Add your voice to the conversation. Click here to answer this question.