Laundry Soap

23 Jul

Alright, in this case, please keep your mouth closed! No eating the laundry soap. I started making my own laundry soap about a year and a half ago. I had a neighbor give me a recipe  (that I keep losing – hence the reason why it’s here now), and when I found out it was comparable to about a penny a load and actually cleaned your clothes, I was sold! It is kind of ridiculous how much laundry soap costs once you realize how cheap it is to make your own. I’ve always done a liquid version because I was a little nervous about the soap not dissolving all the way and leaving a residue, but this time around I decided to go for the powdered version. All the testimonials say that it dissolves fine, even in cold water, so I gave it a go. The liquid version I make about twice a year and use 1/2 cup per load. The powder you only use 1-2 Tbsp per load, so I’m guessing it will last significantly longer. I tested out the first two loads today and I’m pleased with how everything turned out – the soap actually began to dissolve right away. If you look on Pintrest or one of those cutesy sites, everyone has their soap in really sweet containers with vinyl lettering and colored crystals…I’m boring. Laundry is laundry to me, regardless of if you dress it up in a nice bottle or not. 🙂 So, I have mine in a giant tupperware container! Real glamorous. I’ve got both versions listed below – liquid and powdered. No picture of liquid because I just ran out (remember, I’m potty training…my washing machine is working overtime right now)! I think both liquid and powdered do comparable jobs. The powdered has a few more ingredients, takes a little less time to make, and will last longer. But it’s time consuming to grate the soap bars (I only grated my knuckle three or four times and my fingernail once :)), but its a great arm workout! The liquid has to be done on the stove, but the longest part is letting the soap dissolve, and you can just leave it alone to do that – no babysitting required. You do have to come up with containers for the liquid. Some people will recycle milk jugs or vegetable oil containers, or you could just use a 5 gallon all purpose bucket. I went to the dollar store and bought six 3 qt containers. I like that size because they are small enough to shake (you have to agitate the soap before using it) but large enough to not have thirty-thousand bottles of soap cluttering up the laundry room. All in all, I don’t really have a preference as to which is better – try them both and decide for yourself!! My daughter asked what I was making and when I told her, “Laundry soap,” she said, “With cheese?” 🙂

photo-82

Powdered:

Ingredients –

1 (4lb 12 oz) box of Borax

1 (3 lb 7 oz) box of Washing Soda

1 (3lb) container of Oxiclean

3 (5.5 oz) bars of Fels Naptha

1 (4lb) box of Baking Soda

Using a cheese grater, grate the Fels Naptha bars finely (if you have a food processor or blender, you can pulse the grated soap in them until powdered – I didn’t opt for this since I was afraid of ruining my blender!). Mix all ingredients together in a large bucket or trash bag and store in air tight container. You can add essential oils or Purex crystals if you want to add scent to the soap. Use 1-2 Tbsp for regular loads.

Liquid:

Ingredients:

1 (5.5 oz) bar of Fels Naptha

1 1/2 cups Washing Soda

1 cup Borax

Total of 4 1/2 – 5 gallons of water

*optional 1 cup Oxiclean

Chop the bar of soap and melt over medium heat in 2-3 quarts of water (about 30 min). Once melted, add in the washing soda and borax and optional Oxiclean. Simmer 3-4 minutes, making sure powders have dissolved. In a 5 gallon bucket, add one large pot of boiling water. Add your soap mixture to the bucket and stir well. Add hot tap water to within 2-3 inches from the top of bucket. Stir well. Using a funnel, while mixture is still hot, pour into empty containers, leaving 2-3 inches of head space. Place lids on top and let sit for 24 hours for detergent to set up before using. You will need to shake the bottles quite a bit to break up the chunks of detergent that will form after it sets up. Detergent will stay a little clumpy – lightly shake bottles before each use. Use 1/2 cup detergent for regular loads. Use 1/4 cup detergent for HE washers.

P.S> Don’t be scared to try this! All of the ingredients can be found at your regular grocery store on the laundry aisle.

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