:: The following is a guest post by Nichola at Peach Farmer’s Wife ::
Why make my own laundry soap? Here are a few of the reasons I gave it a shot…
1. Cost. I am always looking for ways to free up limited resources. If I can pay less to wash my clothes, something that most people do over and over and over, then I can use that money for something else….
2. Safety. I am all about safer products for my family and the environment. Laundry soap is something most people use a ton of over the course of their lives. I like the idea of lowering the negative impact washing laundry could have on the planet. And a choice that is doable, affordable and works is a must for me..
3. Fun! I am a homemaker and am passionate about what I do. I love learning about how to do it myself. I also love the personal touch that making my own products allows me to have.
Now for the recipe and how-to!
I found this recipe on Crystal’s site, and then added a few of my own things. Her page is worth a read and very helpful. In this recipe I have included links to sites that sell the products so you can see what I used, but you should be able for to find the things needed at a local store, and in most cases for less than the online stores. (Esp. with a coupon!) Some people have a hard time finding the washing soda locally in some areas.
DIY Liquid Laundry Soap
Add to a medium saucepan:
- 1/3 bar grated soap – Fels Naptha, Ivory, Zote, etc. Grab what you have on hand. I used Fels Naptha. (A food processor woks for grating the soap, or a simple hand grater. Some online suppliers sell it pre-grated… )
- & 6 Cups water
Heat until soap melts (make sure there are no bits left unmelted in the bottom of the pan…) You don’t really need to boil the mixture, just get it hot and stir it every so often. (Try not to stir too vigorously so you don’t get too many suds. Suds can make it hard to tell if the soap is all the way dissolved…)
Add to pan:
1/2 Cup Washing Soda (NOT baking soda…)
1/2 Cup Borax (can be found in the laundry section at most grocery stores or Wal-Mart…)
Stir until Washing Soda and Borax are dissolved. Remove from heat.
Pour 4 Cups hot water into a large container that will hold at least 2 gallons. (This could be an old laundry soap bucket, a large enamel pan, plastic tub, etc. This could be the container you plan to store your soap in, or you can pour it into smaller containers later…)
Now add your soap/washing soda/borax mixture to the large container of water and stir. Do a good job of stirring. You want to mix the soap mixture into the water really well.
1 Gallon + 6 Cups of water, (or, 22 Cups) and, again, stir well. (But don’t slop!)
Optional: At this point, you can add “extra” stuff, like essential oils, etc. I added some orange essential oil, about 20 drops, and some DeSolvit, about 2 Tablespoons. (I love DeSolvit! It is a great laundry stain pre-treat product and safe to use on babies full strength. I couldn’t resist adding just a bit to my laundry soap!) Other essential oils you might consider would be lavender, rosemary, lemon, tea tree, etc.
Let the mixture sit for 24 hrs and you are good to go! You can use the soap right out of the container, or pour it up into smaller bottles (recycled laundry soap containers work great!)
Use about 1/2 Cup laundry soap per load. (I actually use a bit less in my front-loading washer. When I use a full 1/2 Cup, I notice a bit of suds left on the door at the end of the wash. An extra rinse would probably solve this, but I just used a bit less soap…)
This recipe makes about 64 loads.
Here is a not so great picture of my finished laundry soap. I was trying to show the consistency… (I am using a recycled scoop from store bought laundry detergent. Filled, it measures a perfect 1/2 cup.)
The process is a lot simpler than I thought it would be. I was amazed at how simple it was. The main thing is, gather your supplies ahead of time, get just a bit familiar with the instructions, and enjoy the process.
So, the real question for anything like this is, does it work? I have been using my soap for a month now, and in that time I have had a normal sampling of the things generated by 4 kids who live in the country, a round with the flu, bed wetting, etc. I have been very pleased with the results of the laundry soap in my clothes. Things smell nice and I nearly dance with glee knowing that I made it and it cost me very little. I say it works for me!
Nichola is a Home Manager who loves trying new products and getting the best deal. She lives with her husband and 4 children on a farm in TX. She blogs about random farm happenings, things she is interested in and deals she finds at Peach Farmer’s Wife.