Friday, June 26, 2009

Homemade Laundry Soap

Yesterday I did not get everything done on my list, but I did get quite a bit done and was satisfied with that. (I knew the list was pretty long and I probably wouldn't get everything done anyway.)

I did, however, realize when I started my first load of laundry that I needed to make more soap. I used the last scoop on the first load and had to do another load yet. So, I changed my immediate plans a bit and made a batch!

A while ago, Rebbecca asked about my laundry soap, so here it is :) Gayle introduced me to the idea last fall. Buying laundry soap has always been a big thing for me. I think I never realized how much moo-lah mom must've spent on laundry detergent. And she used Tide (because of allergies), so I'm sure she nearly had to take out a loan each time she restocked. 10 kids and a husband that all wallered around in either (or all three) manure, bovines or dirt at least once a day makes for some seriously dirty clothes. There wasn't any such thing as "this is clean enough to wear again". When Daniel and I got married and I had to buy laundry soap, I couldn't believe my eyes how expensive it was. So I tried different inexpensive kinds. I found out which kinds just made bubbles and the clothes were still dirty and still smelled dirty after washing. I eventually settled on a brand that was on the low-end of the "middle class" as far as expensiveness but did the job. Then I started my frugal journey and found out that you can make it homemade!! I read enough blogs and reviews and whatnot to be fairly confident that I could make it and it would clean Daniel's dirty, sweaty, filthy clothes and I would be satisfied with the end results - for pennies!

I don't remember how much the ingredients cost, but I'm fairly certain enough to say that a batch cost less than $5. And it is so easy and quick to make. It takes just a little longer to make than it takes to boil some water. See? Easy :)

You need: Borax, Washing Soda, and Fels Naptha, Ivory or Zate bar soap. Washing Soda is different than baking soda. I have only been able to find it at Kroger. I use the Ivory soap because I have yet to find a store here locally that carries the Fels Naptha.

You also need a 2 gallon bucket with a lid. I use a 1 gallon bucket because that's the size I had on hand - but it only holds 1/2 a batch.

For 1 recipe:
1/3 bar Fels Naptha soap or 1 bar Ivory or Zate soap, grated

Put grated soap in saucepan. Add 6 cups water.
Heat and stir until soap melts.
Add 1/2 cup Washing Soda and 1/2 cup Borax. Stir until dissolved.

Pour 4 cups hot water into 2 gallon bucket.
Add soap mixture and stir.
Add 1 gallon + 6 cups water to bucket and stir.

Stir frequently during the first couple hours to keep it from gelling into one big blob. It should be finished gelling after 24 hours. The finished consistency has been compared to egg noodle soup. It's kinda a slimy, gloppy gel, not a solid gel.

Use 1/2 cup per load of laundry.

Other notes: The soap is a low-sudsing soap so it is ok to use in the High-E washing machines. It also leaves NO scent on the clean laundry. If you like scented laundry you can add 1/2-1 oz of essential oil or fragrance oil of your choice.

Homemade Laundry Soap
1/3 bar Fels Naptha Soap or 1 bar Ivory or Zate soap
1/2 cup Washing Soda
1/2 cup Borax Powder
2 gallon bucket

Grate soap and put in saucepan. Add 6 cups water and heat and stir until soap melts.
Add washing soda and borax; stir until dissolved. Remove from heat.
Pour 4 cups hot water into bucket, add soap mixture and stir.
Add 1 gallon + 6 cups water and stir. Let stand for about 24 hours to gel, stirring frequently the first few hours to keep the gel broken up.

Use 1/2 cup per load of laundry.


Steph Martin said... [Reply to comment]

Great minds think alike!!

Sally said... [Reply to comment]

Sounds really good! Maybe one of these days I'll try it.

Elizabeth said... [Reply to comment]

I really need to try this. Especially if it'll work in my HE washer!

Val said... [Reply to comment]

Thank you so much fo this recipe. I am going to try this very soon.

Ann said... [Reply to comment]

I saw the Arm & Hammer Washing Soda the other day at Ukrop's. I am not ready to take on making my own laundry detergent yet, but I didn't notice it when I was walking down that aisle. (I didn't pay attention to the price, but if you want to know I'll be happy to check for you.)

Lalie said... [Reply to comment]

Do you need to use less than 1/2 cup if you have an HE washer?
Thank you for the recipe!


Miriam said... [Reply to comment]

Lalie, I really don't know. We have a reg. washing machine so I'm not sure if there's a difference or not. Do you use less "regular" High-E soap? If so, you maybe would/could. If you find out one way or the other, come back and let us know :)

Carmen S. said... [Reply to comment]

Hi there! Just found your blog, I've been trying out homemade detergents too, there are so many to choose from. I couldn't find washing soda where I live but found out online that it is sodium carbonate, which is the same chemical that raises the ph in pools! So I used that from the pool care isle at walmart. Love your blog:)