Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Laundry Soap

This is the recipe that really got us interested in making homemade products. It has been figured that using this soap costs you about 1 cent per load, versus the average 30 cents per load when using a commercial brand. And if you are a mom like us, you do a LOT of laundry and every little bit of savings helps.

What you need:

1/3 bar of Fels-Naptha or 1 bar of Ivory soap, grated

½ cup washing soda (found in the laundry aisle in most stores - Arm & Hammer makes it)

½ cup borax powder (also in the laundry aisle - look for "20 Mule Team" brand)

~You will also need a small bucket, about 2 gallon size~

Put the grated soap in a sauce pan. Add 6 cups water and heat it until the soap melts. Add the washing soda and the borax and stir until it is dissolved. Remove from heat. Pour 4 cups hot water into the bucket. Now add your soap mixture and stir. Now add 1 gallon plus 6 cups of water and stir. Let the soap sit for about 24 hours and it will gel (it's a little like magic!). You use ½ cup per load.

We found that for easy storage and use, pour your finished laundry soap in two 1-gallon containers (we've used Gaterade and vinegar bottles - a great way to recycle!).

This soap does not foam, so don't be surprised when you first use it. Also, it really has no scent so if you'd like a stronger-smelling laundry soap just add a couple drops of your favorite essential oil.

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  1. how cool! homemade laundry soap? do either of you have front loading washers? i wonder if this works with that kind of a washer? supposedly im only to use "HE" detergent. thanks for the great homemade recipes!!!

  2. I also would like to know if it's okay to use in an HE machine! Has anyone tried it?

  3. What a great idea, I think my daughter will love this.

  4. I just take a box of borax, a box of washing soda, a grated bar of fels naptha, mix it all together and use 1/4 cup in a load. This recipe looks as though it would certainly last much longer than the way I do it! :D

  5. I cheat... a little ;)

    I take a box of cheap Purex laundry detergent (less than $3 for a big box), a box of Borax, and two bars of Zote (or Fels Naptha).

    I use 1/4 cup for large loads and it works well for me. I also use the 'reusable' fabric strips :)

  6. Has anyone found out whether this works in HE washers?
    I'd love to try it but don't need the added cost if it's not compatible with my machine!! =)

  7. Since it does not foam it is fine in an HE washer. I use it in mine all the time. I made a dry version. Same recipe (just omit the water) and just use 1 table spoon per load. I also added about 1/4c Oxiclean too. My clothes are so clean, and they smell great too. Just clean, with no heavy scents! Never using store bought soap again!

  8. I have a question. Do you mix it with water after you let it sit over night?
    I saw a recipe on a different site that said after letting it sit over night to split it into two containers filling each half way, and then fill the rest of the way with water.
    Any thoughts on this? Have you tried it and prefer not to based on results? Just curious!
    Thanks :)

  9. I used this recipe for over a year (and would even make batches for my massage therapist who used lots of detergents for sheets). This will fade and dull your blacks and bright colors - beware!

  10. Thank you for sharing this with everyone, I have been making my own laundry soap using this recipe for four months now! It goes such a long way! And with 3 kids, two of whom are potty training, that's an amazing thing!