Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Home Made Laundry Soap Tutorial

I love to buy things in bulk when I can at Costco. It saves our family LOTS of money each month. By far our biggest expense at Costco was laundry soap. With four very dirty boys, we spent about $30 per month just on laundry detergent.

I started researching alternatives on the internet after I saw Michele Duggar on an episode of "19 Kids and Counting" making her own laundry soap. I was impressed to find that after making my own soap, I could do a load of laundry for about 3 cents a load, giving us a lot of savings!

It ended up being VERY easy to do. The whole process took me about 20 minutes. I have also been extremely impressed with how well it gets out stains. When I have tried other natural laundry detergents, I have been very disappointed with their stain fighting qualities, especially with wash cloths (did I mention dirty boys?!) and food stains.

The Recipe
This is a low sudsing soap, so it can be used in HE machines as well as regular washing machines. You will not see bubbles in the water, but that's okay! It's the ingredients that clean, not the bubbles!

1/3 bar of Fels Naptha soap
1/2 cup of 20 Mule Team Borax
1/2 cup of Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (this is NOT baking soda!)
Sweet Orange Essential Oil (optional, if you would like to add a little scent to your soap)
***Note: with the exception of the Essential Oil, these items should be available in the laundry aisle of your local super market. I chose to start with a starter kit from Lehmans.com, because it came with a grater, and a great 4 gallon bucket to store the detergent in.

First, grate your 1/3 bar of Fels Naptha soap using a vegetable grater.

Next, put the grated soap into a pan. Add 6 cups of water, and heat over medium heat until the soap melts. Stir constantly, and do not let the water come to a boil.

Add the washing soda and the borax to the melted soap. Stir until all is dissolved, and then remove from the heat. Be sure to use washing soda, not baking soda. Baking soda will not work. I also chose to add 3/4 cup of the borax, for an extra stain fighting boost.

Pour 4 cups of HOT water into a 4 gallon bucket (the bucket should have a lid). Add the soap mixture and stir well, then add 1 gallon plus 6 cups of water and stir again. After the mixture has cooled down, put the lid on the bucket and let it sit overnight.

The soap should turn into a gel overnight. It will look more like an "egg soup" consistency, rather than a traditional gel. At this point you can add essential oil if you would like your soap to be scented. I like Sweet Orange. I used 25 drops for this recipe.

One Batch of Soap will make approximately 2 gallons. Use 1/2 cup per load. The soap should be stirred or shaken before each use. I saved and rinsed out a used liquid detergent bottle, and I fill this up with soap from my bucket as needed. The bottle can easily be shaken before each use, and the cap is exactly a 1/2 cup, so it works perfectly. The recipe can be doubled if you would like, or your family uses a lot of laundry soap per month.

Happy Soap Making!!

1 comment:

John and Teresa said...

yep, that's the same recipe! i love it!

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