DIY Laundry Pretreater

Whether you’re using a DIY Detergent or a store bought detergent, you’re going to need a pretreater. With three kids, it seems like I’m always getting these little oily spots on my clothes that seem to not come out in a normal wash. This mix works well on stains and oily/greasy spots too!

This pretreater is affordable and easy to make. I hope you love it as much as I do. You’ll need some DIY detergent (a mixture of Washing Soda, BoraxOxiClean Free), a bar of Fels Naptha soap (I highly recommend this bar for it’s stain fighting abilities), a bottle and/or spray bottle and hot water.

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  • Thanks for this. I've been struggling to come up with a pre-treatment that works!

    Since we're thinking green, what is Fels Naptha made of? And where do you buy it? I don't think I've seen it in stores.

  • Thank you so much for sharing this one. I am going to try and mix up some of these pre-treater, then cloth diapering detergent and the clothing detergent. Awesome! 🙂

    Adin B

  • Thank you so much for sharing this! I have been looking for a homemade solution and I am so excited to try this out!

    • It is. This recipe uses soap, so depending on the soap it may bubble more or less. Keep the water running slowly when adding the soap and mix gently to reduce bubbling 🙂

  • WIN! This is fantastic. I used it to clean my BF’s baseball jacket… from 20 years ago. It was as filthy as any fifteen year old’s beloved jacket might be… just seasoned a bit more. It looked amazingly better before I even put it in the wash! Thank you!

  • Hi Nicole,
    I’m surprised that you included Fels-Naptha soap in an eco-friendly stain pre-treater recipe. These ingredients look very chemical to me.
    Soap (sodium tallowate*, sodium cocoate* (or) sodium palmate kernelate*, and sodium palmate*), water, talc, cocnut acid*, palm acid*, tallow acid*, PEG-6 methyl ether, glycerin, sorbitol, sodium chloride, pentasodium pentetate and/or tetrasodium etidronate, titatium dioxide, fragrance, Acid Orange (CI 20170), Acid yellow 73 (ci43350)
    Can you comment?
    Peggy S

    • Fels Naptha is very good at removing stains, more so than other soaps I have tried. It is not as environmentally friendly as something like a castile soap, but it is much better than many most detergents and pretreaters available. It is also generally very easy on the skin, even for those with sensitive skin.

      It could easily be substituted for a liquid or bar castile soap, but I’m not sure that it would be quite as effective at stain removal.

  • Hi, Just wondering why you’re using Fels-Naptha. It has optical brighteners which are known carcinogens.

    • I have heard this before so I did a bit of digging. I have called the company and done a bit of research online and found that to be untrue. I am not sure where that report originated.

      While Fels Naptha is not as benign as a castile soap it works extremely well on clothes. It rates a C on the EWG list, vs castile, which rates an A – but I find it’s ability to fight stains to be much better.

      • I’ve been reading your detergent post and I love your honesty and your ability to stand behind your recipes as well as your “if its not broken don’t fix it” mentality! I’m excited to try out this pre-treater along with your powdered soap nuts recipe….with borax 🙂

  • Hi fellas, just want to say – don’t pay $500 for platinum roulette system, you can find it for free, just type in google – platinum roulette system –
    you will find article about this system

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