Well, lately I have been hearing a lot of hype about homemade laundry detergent. I've heard how it washes clothes better and is so much more cheaper than store bought detergent. I did several searches on what ingredients go into homemade detergent and all have the same basic 3 ingredients; washing soda, Borax, and baking soda. So I just picked one and made a batch up.
I took and old shirt and tried to stain it with the most common stains I come across in our laundry. They are: ketchup, mustard, BBQ sauce, cooking oil, marker, and grass stain. I then took the shirt and cut in in half and tossed it into the washer. I washed both with cold water on the regular cycle. I did not use any stain treater so I would have accurate results on the detergent alone.
Unfortunately, I have to say that the manufactured detergent did a much better job on the clothes all around! It lightened the stains much better than the homemade.
I think it looks like here that the mustard on the homemade side is darker and more set in than on the manufactured side.
There is no smell on the clothes after they have been washed. If you like that clean, "perfumy" smell when you clothes come out of the dryer, like I do, homemade soap is not for you. The homemade soap did, however, take the urine smell out of Jaiden's sheets.
Here is the recipe in case you'd like to try it for yourself:
Homemade Laundry Detergent
3/4 c. Borax
1/2 c. washing soda
1/2 c. baking soda
1/4 bar of Ivory soap, grated
Mix all ingredients. Add 1/4 of a cup to washer. This soap will not suds up.
Side note: I found the washing soda at Kroger grocery store. My Walmart did not carry it. At Kroger, it was in the laundry aisle with the stain treaters and fabric softener. It comes in a big yellow box with the Arm and Hammer logo. It is different than baking soda.