Monday, January 30, 2012

How to Make your own Laundry Soap

Recipe 2-

I blogged about making your own laundry soap already.  But here's one more recipe I will try out! I will be posted which works the best!
I did a lot of research online to find as much information as I could about making my own laundry soap. What I found was that pretty much all the recipes are essentially the same, some people use more or less of each ingredient, and that bath soap does not clean as well as laundry soap. I also learned that this is great for High Efficiency washers because it makes little to no suds (FYI the suds in store bought laundry detergent are for looks only and don't actually have anything to do with cleaning.)

I did the price breakdown which will save you a lot of mental math work. Basically, homemade laundry soap costs less than 1 cent per load. You can't get much better than that!

 Here's what you need:

Some kind of bucket to mix all your ingredients in. I used a 2 gallon paint bucket.
1/3 bar of Fels Naptha Laundry Soap (you can also use Zote, Octagon, or Ivory--amounts may vary)
1/2 cup Borax
1/2 cup Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (everything but the bucket can be found in the laundry aisle of grocery store.
Baking Soda and Washing Soda are different. See?

Step 1: Cut your bar of Fels Naptha Soap into thirds and finely grate one third of it
This looks like it would be good on spaghetti 

when making soap - save 2/3 for next batch
Step 2: Place grated soap in a pot w/6 cups of water & heat on low until the soap melts. Don't let the soap boil. After soap is melted add the washing soda and the borax and stir until it is dissolved. Continue stirring until the mixture thickens (almost as thick as honey) Remove from heat.

Step 3: Pour 4 cups of hot tap water into your bucket. Add the soap mixture and stir it up. At this point you could add a few drops of essential oil like lavender or tea tree oil if you wanted your soap to have a fragrance. Add nothing and your clothes will simply smell clean.

Give it another few minutes of stirring and then let it sit overnight.

Now add one gallon of hot tap water plus 6 more cups. I used my giant 8 cup Pyrex measuring cup but if I had had an old milk carton I would have just used that. As you can see my 2 gallon bucket barely fit it all. You might want to use a 5 gallon bucket to avoid unnecessary sloshing.

Step: 4 In the morning your soap might look runny or like gel or separated with big clumps of slime on top and water on the bottom. This is all normal depending on the weather, the type of soap you used. At this point you can be done and simply keep your laundry soap in the bucket and just scoop out 1/2 cup per load. Or you can give it another good stir and funnel it into your old well rinsed laundry soap bottle.

Step 5: I wanted to use a Beverage Dispenser with a spigot but my soap came out all clumpy and I knew there was no way it would flow through. So I busted out my immersion blender and smoothed all the clumps layer by layer.

If you have a Downy ball, you can put about 1/2 cup of Distilled White Vinegar in there and it makes a fantastic fabric softener. And no, your clothes do not come out smelling like vinegar. If you don't have a Downy ball just add your 1/2 cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle. I don't like babysitting my washing machine so I have a Downy ball.
I found this cute cup at a thrift store and it holds exactly 1/2 c