Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Homemade Laundry Soap / Detergent

We've been making and using homemade laundry soap for over a year now.  We love it.

It works really well.  People who have sensitive skin love it.

And the #1 reason to love it is because it's VERY
INEXPENSIVE.  $2.00 for 640 loads of laundry.

Another bonus is that you can store the ingredients in a small space vs. storing bottles and bottles of laundry soap.

Here's the method I use.  Let me know if you have any questions.

 Ingredients & Supplies for Homemade Laundry Soap / Detergent:

I store all of my ingredients and supplies in my 5 gallon bucket in my garage.

-- 1/2 cup Borax

-- 1 bar of Fels-Naptha soap (I buy this at WalMart for $1 per bar.)

-- 1 cup Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (I buy this at Smith’s.  Baking Soda will not work, nor will Arm & Hammer Detergent - It must be sodium carbonate.)

-- Bottles to store soap in.
We save the gallon apple juice containers to store our homemade laundry soap in. You will need 10 of them.

I fill an apple juice container with 2 quarts (1/2 a gallon) of water and mark the 1/2 way point with a sharpie.

Then I add 2 more quarts of water and make a mark that says "fill " at the gallon point.  I do this on 1 empty bottle and then eyeball it on the other bottles.

After we use all of the soap in a bottle we save it for the next time we make the homemade laundry soap.

  --Hand grater
I bought a grater that I just use just to grate the soap at the Dollar Store. 

-- Funnel to pour soap into bottles.
I use an oil funnel I picked up at WalMart for $1.50.  We have several of these that also work great as bath and beach toys.

-- Beach shovel to stir mixture with (see photo below).  This is the best item I have found to do the stirring with.

-- 5 gallon bucket to mix everything in.

Recipe for Homemade Laundry Soap / Detergent:

1.  Grate bar of soap with a hand grater.
It will look like a pile of cheese.

2.  Add grated soap to saucepan with 4 cups of water.
Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.
I use an old pan just for soap making.

3.  Fill 5 gallon bucket 1/2 way with hot water.
I do this in my bathtub so I can get a large volume of really hot water.
Instead of trying to guess where the 1/2 way mark is I measure 2.5 gallons, and mark the 1/2 way point with a Sharpie. 

4.  Add melted soap, 1 cup washing soda and 1/2 cup Borax to bucket halfway full of water.
Stir well until all powder is dissolved.
Fill bucket with 2.5 more gallons of hot water.
I stir it with a large kid’s beach shovel.

5.  Stir, cover with a dishtowel or bucket lid and let sit overnight to thicken. 
I just leave the bucket in the bathtub overnight.

6.  Re-stir in the morning and fill empty bottles 1/2 full of homemade laundry soap. 
Since the bucket is really heavy, I just do this process in the bathroom.
I use a funnel to pour the soap into the bottles.

7.  Add water until bottles are full.  50% soap mixture / 50% water.
Shake well before each use as soap will gel.

Yield: Makes 10 gallons of soap.

Front Load Machine: 1/4 cup per load (Approx.  640 loads for $2.00)
I keep a 1/4 cup measuring cup in my laundry room for measuring.

Top Load Machine:   5/8  cup
per load (Approx.  180 loads for $2.00)

1 comment:

here's to you said...

This is on the top of my "learn-to-do" list! I'm so glad to see the process and to see that the detergent works well! Thanks!

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I am full time wife and Mom. Jasper is my busy 3 year old who keeps us on our toes. I like to sew and craft and make our house a home. I love to be outside and play with my boys.