Friday, August 27, 2010

Homemade Laundry Soap

My ears are buzzing lately with the talk of "homemade laundry soap". I haven't yet blogged it so thought I'd do my own tutorial for homemade laundry soap. 

It's easy.
It's economical.
It's better for you.
It's better for the environment.
It's better for those with allergies to scents/chemicals. (that's us) 
And no more lugging around the bottles to and from the store.

Yes, it takes a little time (but really not much at all, especially if you get yourself a 12 year old boy to make it for you!) I've been happily making it for 3 years and wouldn't go back! 

Homemade Laundry Soap
Google and you will find many recipes for this. I got mine somewhere...I may have tweaked it along the way, maybe not. :-)

~3.1 oz bar Ivory (you can use any kind of soap you like a lot of people like Fels Naptha but that was way too smelly for us)

~1 cup borax

~1/2 cup super washing soda (this is made by Arm & Hammer but don't confuse it with baking soda ~ washing soda is something different and that's what ya need)


~5 gallon container

~Stirring stick

Get that 12 year old boy of yours to:
Shred the soap~ (which he absolutely loves doing, all kinds of interesting characters and shapes have been made!)
Then heat 5 cups water in a medium to large saucepan on stove. Warm. Does not need to boil. Add soap shavings. Stir until completely  melted.
It will look like this~
And as it warms, stir every so often and it will get bubbly~
Take your clean 5 gallon pail~
and pour 3 gallons of hot water into it.
I used a washed out milk gallon to measure the first time then marked with a permanent marker the "fill line" for ease next time.

Stir in melted soap. Mix

Add 1/2 cup washing soda until completely dissolved. (here's where you use that stir stick)
Add 1 cup borax and stir until completely dissolved. 
Allow this to sit overnight.

It will look like this after it sits.

I have found the best way to break up the "gunk" is to use this~
It's a painting "stir stick" easily found at your local hardware in painting supplies, attaches to our cordless drill. (we also use ours for paint as you can tell.)

Stick it in the bucket and go to town!
Once broken up it stays that way. I keep my bucket in the basement and refill a container I keep in my laundry room. 

I use approx. a half cup for a extra large load of laundry.

The one thing I am still searching for is a fun, funky, easily accessible container to store my laundry soap in. Right now I'm just using an old jug from the laundry soap I used to buy. So the hunt has been on for that.

Perhaps this seems likes too many steps, or too hard to do but it's really not a big deal. I held off for years because it seemed like too much work. It's really not at all. Try it you might just like it!

Just pennies a load! 

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