Friday, June 17, 2011

DIY Laundry Soap

So as many of my readers and friends know, I am broke as a joke.

Some serious costly things in our house were processed foods, cat litter and laundry soap.

So now that I make our bread, make our pizza dough, and make all baking mixes from scratch (which was a LOT easier than I thought it would be!)

We couldn't replace cat litter with the cheaper thicker grain kind (the kind that doesn't clump urine, just makes it go to the bottom of the pan...ewww) We are buying BOXES of cat litter instead at a discount place (clumping, and unscented, works for us since I clean their boxes daily)

Now for Laundry soap.

First a little background. I am sensitive to smells. I HATE the way most laundry soaps smell. I grew up hating the way TIDE, GAIN, and ERA smelled.

I used Dreft unscented for the longest time but it didn't get my clothes clean.

I even tried Ivory snow (which has a light scent) but still, clothes came out not that clean.

So I went online to an awesome Pioneer Women forum and researched laundry soap.

There were a few recipes that required liquid soap, but I was really looking for a powder. Then I saw some powder recipes but they called for castile soap, I wanted something I knew worked and smelled good (if I had to have scent I wanted it to be CLEAN smell)

So I got Fels Naptha and used that.

Once ground Fels Naptha will give you about 2 cups soap flakes.

I add 4 cups borax, and 4 cups washing soda (soda ash)

This gives me a total of 80 ounces of product. Around 145 tablespoons.

1 TBSP equals one normal sized load.

So the basic recipe is 1 cup soap flakes (you can use ivory, dr. bronners, ZOTE, Fels Naptha, or another castile soap)

1 cup borax

1 cup washing soda.

Now here is the reason why my numbers are different.

I used Fels Naptha which is a heavy duty soap. So I doubled up on Borax and Washing soda.

Results? Worked perfectly.

Now the 1 cup each mixed together recipe may work perfectly if the soap you use is Ivory, or Kirk's Castile or Dr. Bronners.

But A soap like ZOTE or Fels Naptha which is specifically made to be heavy duty I find it works good to double the other ingredients.

But here is the thing: Experiment, try mixing soap flakes,such as ivory AND fels naptha, 1 and 1/2 cups each borax and washing soda. Experiment and find out which one of these recipes and conversions works best for your soiled clothes.

And note that you will be using about .05 cents per load vs. commercial detergents which cost about .25 cents a load.

I use 3 tablespoons on my fiance's work clothes, and since the commercial front loaders have 2 wash cycles I split the soap between the two and he ALWAYS has his clothes come out soft, clean, and smelling good.

Give your own recipe a try and save some time and money!

So how do you do it?

Grate the soap with a fine grater into a bowl (takes about 3 minutes)
Add your Borax and washing soda (amounts depend on which soap you use: Heavy duty laundry soap I use 1 cup soap to 2 cups each borax and washing soda. Regular soap such as Ivory or Kirk's Castile I follow the 1 bar, 1 cup each Borax and Washing soda)

After you grate the soap (and this part is optional) Mix it in with the borax,washing soda and pulse it in a food processor for about 2 minutes.

(Otherwise you can just mix everything together and have it be more chunky)

I recommend using a food processor because the smaller the soap the more quickly it dissolves.

Store in an airtight container, add essential oil scent if you wish.


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