Thursday, January 31, 2008

How to make homemade laundry soap - step by step

I often have requests for this recipe. It's ridiculously inexpensive and easy to do. A family size box of Tide at Sam's Club cost $19.48 (Sam's is the cheapest in our area). It gives you 108 loads. This averages out to a little over 18 cents per load. The best I can figure is that this recipe costs me 75 cent to make. It makes two gallons. There are 16 cups in a gallon. So if you use 1/2 cup per load that will give you 64 loads. That comes out to a little less than 2 cents per load for laundry soap. I told you saving money is like earning it. Being at home allows me to come up with all these ridiculous calculations! Another bonus is your homemade detergent will not be filled with a bunch of additives such as optimizers (see Seventh Genenrations "Naturally Clean" book).

First gather all of your ingredients and tools.

Ingredients: 1/3 bar of Fel's Naptha Soap (avaiable on-line at Soaps Gone Buy see link)
1/2 cup of Super washing powder (available on-line at Soaps Gone Buy)
1/2 cup of Borax (Usually available locally)
Essential oils (optional)
Tools: Bucket large enough to hold two gallons
Saucepan
Measuring cups
Grater
Spoon for stirring
Gallon jug (I use this to have a gallon of water quickly available)

1. Grate 1/3 of the Fel's Naptha Bar soap
2. Measure out 1/2 cup of borax and 1/2 cup of super washing powder set to side
3. Put four cups of hot water in Bucket and set to side
4. Add six cups of water to saucepan and the grated Fel's Naptha soap

5. Heat until Fel's Naptha soap is completely disolved.
6. Add Borax and Super Washing Powder, again heat until disolved.
The mixture gets thick almost like lemon pie filling.

7. When mixture is completely disolved pour into prepared bucket. (That's the bucket with four cups of hot water already in it.) Stir thouroughly.

8. Add 1 gallon plus 6 cups of water and stir well.
9. At this time you can add your scent if you wish. I use lavender and orange essential oils.

10. Let mixture set stirring occaisionally. It will set into a thick gel usually, just stir this up and mix thouroughly. The consistancy varies. I'm sure there are some technical reasons why. I don't worry about it. It works just fine whether it is thinner or thicker. Your soap should be ready to use the next day! Use 1/2 cup per load.
Please let me know if anything about this is confusing :)

10 comments:

Tiffany said...

I remember making that laundry soap! Brings back memories. :) It's been a few years but that was fun! Doesn't that Fels Naphtha soap smell exactly like Dial? lol!
I ended up going back to store bought eventually. I missed the Tide scent and I didn't feel like it got my clothes as clean as I liked. I really liked it when my kids were babies because you knew there weren't any chemicals on their skin. I used that for their clothes and Bioclean soap for their diapers.

Tiffany said...

P.S. For variety try this recipe sometime with Dr Bronners peppermint bar soap in place of the Fels Naptha. YUM!!

Kristi said...

I love Dr. Bonners peppermint soap! How much should I use in place of the Fel's?

Kristi

Tiffany said...

I think I used the same amount. :) If I remember right it doesn't grate as nicely as the Fels so it's a little more work to melt the resultant chunks but not a huge deal.

Niki RuralWritings said...

Hi Kristi, it looks very easy to make, but I have a front load high efficiency washer, is it ok with this type of washer, do you know?
blessings,

Kristi said...

Hi Nikki, I have a Whirlpool Duet, a high efficiency front loading washer and it works just fine. I've been using the soap for several years now and haven't had any problems with my washer. Thank you for visiting my blog.

Kristi

Anonymous said...

I've recently been looking at the different recipes for making my own soap. Somewhere I read an article that the Fels Naptha isn't as environmentally friendly as other soaps. I really know nothing about it, but was wondering if you had ever used some liquid castille soaps as a replacement. I have Dr. Bonner's on hand (although his labeling really freaks me out).

Alison

Sandy said...

I made this liquid soap yesterday! It is working very well. The funny thing is, it's like a major gel! I poured it into old laundry deterget bottles and now it's firmed up I'm afraid I'm not going to get it out! Last night laying in bed I was imagining myself having to cut off the tops of the bottles to get the stuff out. Hilarious. Is this normal? What do you usually store the liquid soap in? Thx, Sandy

Kristi said...

Hi Sandy,

Yes that's normal. It doesn't always turn out the same consistancy, but it always works fine. I guess that's due to the non precise way of heating and mixing it. I store it in a bucket with a lid. I keep a spoon in the bucket and stir the gel each time before dipping out the desired amount. If you shake your containers, that should break up the thick gel.

Kristi said...

Hi Sandy,

Yes that's normal. It doesn't always turn out the same consistancy, but it always works fine. I guess that's due to the non precise way of heating and mixing it. I store it in a bucket with a lid. I keep a spoon in the bucket and stir the gel each time before dipping out the desired amount. If you shake your containers, that should break up the thick gel.