Monday, August 6, 2012

Homemade Laundry Soap

In an effort to cut costs and eliminate a few icky chemicals from our house, I have been making our own laundry soap for over a year now.  And if you couldn't tell, then it's probably working, right??  :)  I was blown away when I saw how easy the recipe was on a friend's blog so I thought I'd give it a shot.  And I haven't bought laundry soap for over a year.  The ingredients are super cheap and last FOREVER.  Forever as in I think I've only bought most of them once...ever!!  There have been loads that have required a little extra umph, like baby spit up or poo, and for those loads I have added a scoop or two of oxyclean.  But I would have done that with normal detergent too. 

The recipe I use comes from The Family Homestead blog...which is full of great recipes, household cleaners, organizing tips, and budgeting ideas.  It really is the easiest thing in the world, and if you are looking to cut costs in any area of your home, this is probably the easiest. 

1 bar soap OR 1/3 bar of fels naptha (a stronger soap, found on the detergent aisle)
1/2 cup washing soda
1/2 cup borax

2 gallon bucket
large pot
wooden spoon (or something to stir with)
cheese grater

  1. Grate soap into a sauce pan.  You'll want to grate it completely, not just chop it up because it will take quite a while to melt if the chunks are too big.  I'd also suggest wearing rubber gloves if you are using fels naptha because it can be a little irritating on your skin if you handle it too long. 
  2. Add 6 cups water and heat on medium until the soap melts, stirring occassionally. 
  3. Add washing soda and borax and stir until dissolved.  Remove from heat. 
  4. Pour 4 cups hot water into 2 gallon bucket, then add soap mixture. 
  5. Add 1 gallon (16 cups) plus another 6 cups water and stir. 
  6. Allow to sit for about 24 hours, then it's ready to use!  The consistency should be something like egg flower soup, with some thicker chunks, but mostly liquid.  Use about 1/2 cup per load of laundry. 

If you like scented detergent, you can use any scent of essential oil.  I believe the original recipe calls for .5 to 1 ounce, but today is the first time I used fragrance and I think I put in about 1/2 of the .5 ounce bottle of orange blossom oil.  We'll see how it turns out :) 

If you have a lot of space to store the detergent in the 2 gallon bucket close to your washer, great.  I don't, so I have a smaller bucket that I keep by the washer, and store the big bucket in the bathroom.  Some people also fill their favorite laundry detergent container and use that instead.  Whatever you like :) 

I have also successfully doubled the batch and the detergent still turns out just great. 

Happy laundry soap making!!

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