Wednesday, April 3, 2013

DIY: Homemade Laundry Soap

I have been making my own laundry soap for almost a year now. I just thought it was time to stop spending a ton on products to literally just go down the drain. This is a fairly simple process and leaves me (family of 5) with enough soap to last a few months.
There are several different recipes online for making your own laundry soap. While preparing for this post I also decided to make up some powder detergent as well but I have concerns about how well it will dissolve in my washer so I am leery about sharing that one with you.
I am going to show you the one I use most often.
 You will need these few items:
20 Mule Team Borax
Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (not baking soda)
3 bars Fels-Naptha Laundry  Soap
I always buy 3 bars of the soap because the boxes of Borax and washing soda
have enough for 3 batches of this soap.
So I just buy enough for 3 batches and don't have to worry about it the next couple time I make it.
So actually you would end up with 15 gallons of soap for
about $10! I always find everything I need at WalMart.
That is one heck of a deal compared to $15-$20 for your average store bought detergent.
You will also need a 5 gallon bucket which can be
 picked up at most hardware or department stores and they usually come with lids.
Also you could use one of those 5 gallon rubbermaid totes with lid.

I used a trusty old cheese grater and grated one bar of the Fels-Naptha.
Bring about 6 cups of water to just under a boil.
You want to dissolve the grated soap in the pot of water until it is completely dissolved.
 I use a whisk to keep it moving and you have to be very careful NOT to let it come to a full boil because it WILL boil over and you will have a big mess.

This is what it should look like after it is all dissolved. 

You then pour the hot mixture into your bucket.

You then want to add 2 cups of your washing soda and 2 cups of the Borax to the HOT mixture and mix well so the powder dissolves into the mix.
After you get all the ingredients mixed well just fill the bucket with water
the rest of the way stirring along the way.
This would be the time to add any essential oils for scent if you like.
I do not add anything else to mine.
As the mixture sits and cools for a day or 2 it will thicken up some into a gel.
You can either go ahead and fill your jugs or you can leave it in the bucket.
I find it works just fine to use a funnel and big measuring cup to fill my jugs and just screw the easy pour spouts back on.
You will use 1/2 cup per load.
I use the measuring cup that came with the jugs when I bought them to measure out for each load.
If you have any questions please ask. I will be more than happy to explain better if I didn't make this clear enough.

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