Original review of castile & laundry soap published May 14, 2013. Updated 8/10/2016 to include automatic dish powder review & current prices.
Review of Castile & liquid laundry soap handmade & bottled by MamaSuds, located in Goodrich, MI. As all of us have different water types & expectations, of course results will vary. These are my experiences with these products, and I don’t expect any product to satisfy 100% of the people who try it…
Laundry Soap- 1 gal= $26, cloth diaper safe. Also a borate-free option for $27. Ingredients: Castile soap, water, sodium bicarbonate, sodium tetraborate. If you’ve been on my page for very long, you’ll know I’m a huge fan of soap nuts. If you’re new to the page, well, I’m a huge fan of soap nuts However, not everyone who has tried them loves them as much as I do, so I was happy to try out the laundry soap from MamaSuds to have an alternate recommendation for a liquid laundry soap. Normally I don’t use products containing Borax (sodium tetraborate) in my home. Many are fine using it for laundry & even dishes, but the research I’ve done on it has led me to look for alternatives that don’t contain it (many with very sensitive skin have issues with it). However, this recipe uses 1/3 cup per 5 gallon batch, so one gallon has very, very little, and each load has a miniscule amount (many homemade recipes call for equal parts Borax & Washing Soda, so it’s being used in high amounts). So, what’s the purpose of such a tiny amount? Michelle, the mama behind MamaSuds, who was great at answering any questions I had, said this: “it allows clothes to absorb the soap to get out stains and rinse clean (no residue), chemically it raises the Ph of the water. I used a lot trial an error and this was the least amount I could use to get the formula to a 9.5 Ph.”
I put my soap nuts aside for a few weeks & put this liquid laundry soap to the test on our daily laundry, and cloth diapers. It did a great job! Our daily laundry consists mainly of normal daily wear & tear, and dirt/mud stains this time of year, as Spring finally arrived and we spend a great portion of our day outside. I have no complaints whatsoever about it not getting my clothes as clean as I’d like. It did great on the diapers too. I also was impressed with how soft everything felt when transferring it to the dryer or line, and even after it was done drying (I use dryer balls, not fabric softener). It does not produce bubbles, something I was used to as soap nuts don’t either (bubbles require additional ingredients, I’m fine going without- the fewer ingredients the better is my motto). I used ¼ cup for diapers (2 oz.) and 3/8 cup (3 oz.) for a large load of laundry. I have a top-loading regular (not HE) machine.
Info about the liquid laundry soap from MamaSuds website: Enjoy a chemical free, all natural laundry soap product made by hand and bottled by hand. We first developed this product to clean our cloth diapers and use it for all of our household laundry. Using our all natural castile soap developed by MamaSuds, we now offer a low cost high quality alternative laundry soap for cleaning cloth diapers and everyday laundry.
For normal loads of laundry – use two ounces of our MamaSuds Laundry Soap per load. For cleaning cloth diapers use two to four ounces of MamaSuds Laundry Soap per load. Do you have a High Efficiency laundry machine? Then MamaSuds laundry soap is a must have – only ONE OUNCE PER LOAD!
Castile Soap- $10.50/ 16 oz. bottle, can add essential oils for an extra $.50. Ingredients: olive oil, saponified lye, distilled water. “MamaSuds Castile Soap is perfect for cleaning ANYTHING around the house… From babies to toilets! 100% vegan, not tested on animals and made of pure olive oil. All natural, chemical free, bottled by hand.”
I am (and I know many of you are) a huge fan of castile soap. Dr. Bronner’s is the most well-known brand, and what I normally recommend for an all-purpose soap. Several of you have commented in the past that you feel Dr. Bronner’s is harsh on your skin (although many making such comments weren’t aware of the need/ability to dilute it). Dr. Bronner’s does contain Citric Acid (EWG rates it a 2), an ingredient I was happy to see this castile soap doesn’t! The same size bottle of Dr. Bronner’s (16 oz.) costs a little over $10 on their website, compared to $7 for a bottle from MamaSuds. Dr. Bronner’s does use a combination of 4 organic oils vs. just the olive oil in MamaSuds, but again, less ingredients isn’t a bad thing, especially considering MamaSuds doesn’t use Citric Acid. How does it work? I feel it works just as good as Dr. Bronner’s. I diluted some 50/50 with water in my foaming hand soap dispenser, and was very impressed with the lather it produced. I used it for a few other things I would normally use Dr. Bronner’s for, like shaving my legs, and as a body wash, and it honestly worked just as well. I have no hesitation recommending MamaSuds castile soap, or laundry soap (which has their castile soap as a primary ingredient). I know many of you are looking to support fellow mamas vs. large companies, and this is a chance for you to do so.
Here is a list of uses for the castile soap, from MamaSuds website (not all-inclusive): Can Be Used To Clean Everything! From Babies to Toilets!
•Baby Wash – This also works great as a head to toe baby wash. You do have to be a little careful with it around their eyes because it’s not tear-free, but especially if you dilute it, it shouldn’t be too much of a problem. •Hand Soap
•Baby Wipes Solution– I use castile soap mixed with water as a homemade solution for my baby wipes. These wipes are great for changing diapers, but also great just to use for wiping hands and faces after eating, for cleaning spots of spit-up or other stains off of clothing, just about anything you would use a disposable baby wipe for.
•Homemade Multipurpose Cleaner
Added 8/10/16 AUTOMATIC DISHWASHER POWDER:
$16/ 30 ounces net weight / 60-90 loads. Ingredients: non-GMO citric acid, sodium bicarbonate, sodium percarbonate, sodium carbonate.
The dish powder works amazingly well for me, and I have very hard well water & no water softener. I use vinegar in the rinse compartment as instructed. I’ve not had great luck with natural auto dish detergents, but am very, very pleased with this. As with all products, results will vary from household to household. The outcome greatly depends on your machine, water type, and expectations. I HIGHLY recommend starting with a sample as they are available for only $5 & you can try several loads out! One other thing that really helps is I clean my filter after every other use, it really makes a difference in how sparkly my dishes come out!
Michelle has greatly expanded her line since I 1st did my review 3 years ago. Other popular items are her toilet bombs and lotions. She also has a pet shampoo, body wash, deodorant, bug spray, sun cream & several other items that are all made with minimal, safe, yet effective ingredients.
From their website: A little bit about us MamaSuds was the vision of a mother of two who was always seeking for an affordable yet safe way to clean her home and family. Michelle (mama) wanted to find an affordable cloth diaper detergent that rinsed, cleaned, and actually got the soil and stink out of the diapers! Michelle started searching detergents and wondered, why is everything that is natural, safe, and chemical-free come with a hefty price tag? After several recipes, she started giving it to friends and family to try. Shortly after Michelle started making all the soap in the house, and her husband Jim thought if their family benefited from the soap, why wouldn’t other families? MamaSuds was born!
How MamaSuds got started. From Michelle: ” I just finished watching the documentary Food, inc., and while it really enraged me at the core, it really reminded me of how I started this journey that I am on. I have struggled a little bit along the way because I didn’t know where my path was leading me, and my Type A mentality was having trouble understanding how to go down a path without having a plan or a backup plan. The journey started when I began learning about essential oils and their natural healing ability. Then I decided to make my own baby food which led me looking into cloth diapers. While I was informing myself about cloth diapers and convincing my husband of all the benefits we had purchased new nursery furniture for our second baby that was on the way. I had left a bottle of Name-brand baby soap on the nursery dresser and it had fallen over and leaked a tiny amount onto the furniture. After I noticed it, I wiped it off to see it had eaten the varnish off of the new furniture. I remember thinking, huh- if it does that to furniture what’s it doing to the skin of a baby. This of course sent me straight to the Internet to research baby soap and I opened a whole world that I was not prepared for! I bought Castile soap off the Internet and was pretty happy with it except for the fact that it was expensive and I thought, hey let’s look to see if I can make it myself (I don’t have enough to do as it is, haha) Turns out, you can make it yourself but it’s daunting (potassium hydroxide is not easy to find or fun to work with) and it takes hours to make. Nonetheless, I made a few batches and was extremely satisfied. At the same time I was trying out recipes for laundry soap that would clean my cloth diapers.
My point is, sometimes you just have to let the path lead you, even when you can’t see around the corner. I just kept “making it myself” because it felt gratifying and it was for the good of my family. So after watching that riveting documentary it made me realize my Journey is really a path of Getting Back to Basics. Our Earth is an amazing place that really can provide us with everything that we need to be healthy! If I can make it and feel gratified and proud to use it on my family, I feel like it is good enough for yours!”
Please check out her website & Facebook pages:
FB page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/MamaSuds/257240647659779