Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Homemade Laundry Soap

I thought I would re-post about my homemade laundry soap, as I have now officially been using it for a year.  
It has been wonderfully cost effective and works great! 
Each load costs about 3-4 cents. 
Can you believe that? 
I have included my recipe along with a few options. 

My laundry blowing in the wind:).

Since I missed having scented soap, I started adding about 1 cup of whatever fabric softener was on sale that month.
 I also add about 1/4 cup of my favorite liquid stain remover.
This does slightly raise the cost, so it is a little more than 2 cents a load...but still a HUGE bargain.

I have found that my whites are usually not super white, so I do use bleach. 
Oxy Clean also works really well. 
Another tip: treat your stains beforehand. 
I like to use a spray, but even rubbing Fels Naptha or using the laundry soap to pre-treat the stain works well. 
If you are looking to save money, this is a great way to go!

  Here is the basic recipe I am using: 

3 Pints Water
1 Bar Fels Naptha Soap, Grated
1 Cup Washing Soda
1 Cup Borax
3 Gallon Bucket
Hot Water
Essential Oil {lavender is wonderful}
*Optional* 1 cup of your favorite liquid fabric softener
1/4 cup stain remover

Grate the Fels Naptha soap. I just use my cheese grater.

You end up with a lot!

Mix Fels Naptha soap in a saucepan with 3 pints of water, and heat on low until dissolved. 

Add Washing Soda and Borax. Stir until thickened and remove from heat. 

Try and not look at the Pioneer Woman Chocolate Sheet Cake you just made for you son's 12th birthdayOK...this has nothing to do with laundry soap, but I LOVE Pioneer Woman! This cake is absolutely divine. Visit her HERE .

Add 1 quart hot water to a bucket that holds at least 3 gallons. 

Add soap mixture and mix really well with a wooden spoon. 
At this point, you can also add the fabric softener and stain remover.

I like to add about 15 drops of essential oil. Yum!

Fill bucket to the top with hot water and mix again. 

 Put the lid on and set aside for 24 hours, or until mixture thickens. 
If you are in a will work right just won't be thick:).

It becomes a jelly- like substance. I just use a 1/2-1 cup of mixture per load. You can use a funnel and transfer the gel to a recycled pump detergent container. I  like a 3 gallon bucket with a lid. It fits nicely on my dryer. My washing machine is a top loader, but this will work for front loaders as well.
Just use about 1 TBS. per load.

This, by far, has been the BEST recipe! My kids are NOT easy on their clothing and I have found that this detergent is just as great as store bought. Sometimes, I have to increase the amount if I have an extra dirty load. I also use it as a pre-stain remover!

Here are a couple of more recipes that you might want to try...

Recipe #2

1 Cup Grated Fels Naptha Soap
1/2 Cup Washing Soda
1/2 Cup Borax
2 Tablespoons Glycerin
2 Gallons Water (NOTE: This recipe originally called for 2 Cups Water)

Mix all three ingredients together. Add glycerin and water.
Use 1/2 - 3/4 cup per load. Best when used with cold or warm water. 

Recipe #3

1 Bar Fels Naptha Soap, Grated
5 Gallon Bucket
1 Cup Washing Soda
4 1/2 Gallons Water

Place grated soap in a small saucepan and cover with water. Heat on low until dissolved. Fill bucket with hot water, and add soap. Stir to combine. Add 1 cup washing soda and mix well. As it cools it will thicken. May be used immediately. Use 1-2 cups per load. 

Powdered Detergent
{Using a food processor give the Fels Naptha Bar the best texture}.

1 Cup Grated Fels Naptha Soap
1 Cup Washing Soda
1 Cup Borax

For light load, use 1 tablespoon.
For heavy or heavily soiled load, use 2-6 tablespoons. 

Click HERE for more information and tips on making your own detergent.

I realize this might not be for everyone, but there are great monetary benefits! 
Our clothes have come out sweet smelling and clean.  
I hope this helps if you would like to give it a whirl!



Aroura said...

Thanks so much for sharing this!

Jess said...

I use the last recipe and have for quite a while. I do use Zote instead of Felsnaptha though. Have you used the powdered version? I just wondered if you used the liquid version for a specific reason?

Kristen said...

I have used this quite a bit and it is so gentle on sensitive skin (and cheap!). I also love that recipe for PW's sheet cake! Think we might be kindered your blog!
your newest follower

Kristiana said...

You have inspired me! Now I want to go make some laundry soap.

Cailan said...

I have to say this looks a little overwhelming, but I really should try it one least now I know where to go for good instructions!

Anonymous said...

I just use about 1/2 cup borax or washing soda for each load. I originally mixed them half and half, but now I just use one or the other and clothes still get clean. Note: you need to pour the powder in before the clothes go in. I've heard there might be spots if you pour the powder over the clothes. I don't like perfumes and either of these powders make the clothes smell just plain clean! If I have a stain, I use a spray like Shout.

Mary said...

I know I'm a little late to the game on this, but thanks for this recipe! I made my second batch yesterday and I've been loving how the clothes turned out from the first batch. I love saving money (buying detergent was so painful!) and I love that it doesn't take very long to whip this stuff up! Thanks for sharing it with us! I'm grateful for your blog!

LouLou said...

Hi. I made my first batch on Sunday afternoon, and it still hasn't turned into a gel. It's more like a clumpy liquid mixture. Any suggestions? Thanks.

Lauren said...

does this work with high efficiency (HE) washers?

Unknown said...

For the lemon juice, do you use the kind you buy at the store or fresh?

Unknown said...

Shoot, my question about the lemon juice was in regards to your counter top cleaner.

Julia said...

J Elle...I just use the store bought lemon juice. Either fresh or store bought are just fine!

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