Thursday, July 12, 2012

Homemade Laundry Soap: Cheap, effective, safe!

I tried out this recipe for homemade laundry soap. It has a clean smell with no fragrances or dyes, although you can add essential oils to give it a fragrance if you wish. It is more liquid-y than a store-bought detergent, and does not suds up like many detergents do. I put the whole mixture in a clean 5-gallon bucket with a tight fitting lid. I use a wooden spoon to mix it up before adding to the washing machine, and a dipping cup from an old jug of laundry detergent to measure out a quarter cup. It was quite easy to make! Homemade Laundry Soap Ingredients: 1 bar Fels Naptha 1 box Borax (usually 20 Mule Team brand) 1 box Washing Soda (usually Arm and Hammer brand) (These ingredients can usually be found at your local grocery store in the laundry detergent aisle. If you can't find them, try a hardware store, or ask the manager of the grocery to special order them for you.) Directions: 1. Grate 1/3 of the bar of Fels Naptha into a large soup pot. Add six cups of water, and melt the soap slivers over medium heat. 2. Add 1/2 cup of washing soda and a 1/2 cup of borax. Stir until dissolved, then remove from heat. 3. In a clean bucket 3 gallons or larger, pour 4 cups of hot water. Add the soap mixture in the soup pot, stirring constantly. 4. Add 1 gallon plus six cups of water, and stir. If you'd like to use essential oils, add several drops now. 5. Let the bucket sit undisturbed overnight, to allow the mixture to gel. This is a low-sudsing mix, so you won't see large bubbles. Stir before using each time, and use a half-cup per load of laundry. With the leftovers, you have enough to make three batches of laundry soap PLUS enough leftover for dishwashing powder detergent! For this, mix equal parts borax and washing soda. At my grocery store's prices, this laundry detergent cost me $3.40 for 64 loads.