Friday, January 14, 2011

Homemade Laundry Soap

I went to a conference this fall and one of the speakers talked about making her own laundry detergent at home to save on money.  I was excited to try this out.  I finally got around to it this new year.  This is such a great find for those of you wanting to save a little bit of money, so thought I would share.

You need:
  • 5 gallon buck w/lid
  • 1 bar Fels Naptha Soap
  • 1/2 Cup Borax
  • 1 Cup Arm and Hammer Washing Soda

**Note - the bucket is a one time purchase to store all of your homemade soap in.  I got one at Fleet Farm (Farm & Fleet for some of you) for about $5.  The Borax and Arm and Hammer were easily found at many of our grocery stores around here.  The Fels Naptha was a bit harder to find but that too I got at Fleet Farm (actually Brandon found it for me).

  • Grate and melt bar of Fels Naptha Soap in 4 cups of water on the stove (the smaller you can grate this, the easier/quicker it is to melt it).  Also, do not worry about wrecking a pan - I was worried but even after it cooled it did not leave a soap residue on the pan, very easy to wash up).
  • Add to other ingredients in bucket.  Fill Bucket with hot water and stir. 
  • Cover and let sit overnight.
  • Stir and then pour your homemade detergent into left over laundry detergent bottles BUT only fill half full.  Then, add water to fill to the top.  (So half soap, half water).
  • Shake before using each time.  Fill one cap full of your detergent bottle that you are using (approx. 1/2-3/4 cup).

When I first opened my 5 gallon bucket after letting the mixture sit, I found the soap to be a thick, rubbery jello type substance with water around the outside.  In order to pour it into the detergent bottles I had to "squish" it up with my hands.  The next time that I make this I am going to try and stir it more often to see if that helps keep it more of a liquid texture instead of a gel texture. 

This detergent does not create suds in the washer and does not have too much of a smell, but it cleans just the same.  I have only been using mine for about two weeks so I am not sure how long it will last me but the woman who told me about it has a family of 5 and she said she made hers in March and it lasted through Mid November.  So, you basically are spending about $8 for 9 months of soap plus you still have lots of Arm and Hammer and Borax left over for your next batch (or probably next 2-3 batches).  So really, $2-$3 every 9 months for detergent! 


Sharon said...

Keep us posted on your detergent experience. What a great pioneer woman you would of made.

Kelly said...

I've made powdered laundry detergent but have yet to try the liquid. I just may do it next time...keep us posted on if it seems to clean stains...that's my biggest issue...most things come out some don't.