Call me pioneer lady. Or call me self reliant. You can even call me cheap. I just really love exploring simpler times when most household items were made at home. I bottle fruit. I sew. I bake from scratch. I dig do it yourself projects. So when my daughter shared with me how to make homemade laundry soap, I was all for doing it myself.
Making homemade laundry soap has made a resurgence the past year or so. I’ve seen numerous blog posts on it, read articles in the newspaper, and know several people (including a 70-something lady friend and a niece-in-law) besides my daughter who tout the low cost, low hassle, better for you, homemade laundry soap.
Here is my recipe and the steps to make your own homemade laundry detergent:
4 cups hot tap water 2 cups Washing Soda 1 cup Whisk 1 Fels-Naptha bar of soap 2 cups borax (optional) 1- 5 gallon bucket with lid
1) Grate the bar of soap and put in to a saucepan with the 4 cups of hot water. The soap is somewhat porous so it is easy to grate. Try to grate it as fine as possible because that speeds up the dissolving.
2) Stir continually over medium/low heat until soap dissolves and is melted. This took me about 8 minutes.
3) Fill the 5 gallon bucket half full of hot tap water. I did this step in my bathtub. It made it easier and more manageable to fill the bucket. Add in the melted soap, whisk, and washing soda. If you decided to use borax, you would add itin now as well. Stir well with a paint stick until all of the powder is dissolved.
(At this point, I totally felt like I was making meth. Not that I know what making meth is like or anything. I have seen movies where someone was making it. And my 78 year old mother has told me how to make meth. She was a juror for a case where the defendant was accused of making meth in her house. The jury had to learn all the ends and outs of making meth in order to be able to honestly decide the case. So, when my mom became a quasi-expert, she couldn't wait to share her new found knowledge).
4) Fill the bucket to the top with more hot water. Stir, cover, and let sit overnight to thicken.
5. The soap is already pretty clean smelling, but if you want a "prettier" smell, you can add 10 to15 drops of essentialoil once the soap has cooled. Recommended scents would be lavender, rosemary or tea tree oil. Instead of adding essential oil, I put in half a canister of Downey Unstoppables since I am such a huge fan of that product.
6. When it's laundry time, add 1/2 cup of the detergent to a top load machine or 1/4 cup to a front load machine. Thisyields enough soap to do approximately 320 loads in a top loader and approximately 640 loads in a front loader. One batch of laundry soap lasts about 6-8 months, depending on your size and number of loads.
The total cost for this little project: $14.33 plus tax. About what I pay for the jumbo size at Costco. And since one purchase of Whisk and the washing soda can be used for 2-3 batches, the savings just get better.
I really like how my clothes are cleaned using this soap. Stains were lifted, they felt soft, and they smelled good too. Above all, I appreciate that there are no harmful chemicals.
A little preparation can go a long way!! Next, I want to try other homemade cleaning remedies.