I’ve made laundry soap several times now, and as I was making it yesterday morning I thought it would be worth a share. I’ve posted a similar recipe at my old blog, thesociallyconsciouscrafter.com, but have modified it a bit over time to account for experience. Whichever way you choose, it’s really easy to make… in less than an hour you are in possession of 4 jugs of laundry detergent.
What you need:
1/3 bar of Fels Naptha
1/2 C. borax
1/2 C. washing soda
A stock pot
Lots of water
A big bucket (I recommend 5+ gallons. I got my six gallon bucket at Steinbart’s)
A funnel (For a big one, check in the auto department)
Something to stir with (my heat resistant spoon also came from Steinbart’s).
Step One – grate 1/3 bar of your soap.
If you’re using the Fels Naptha, it will smell amazing.
Step Two – Toss it in a pot with 6 cups of hot tap water, and set it over medium heat.
Keep stirring, it will take a little while to melt, but you don’t want it to boil. However, this isn’t really a precise science, and if it does start to boil it’s really not the end of the world.
Once the soap has melted, add 1/2 cup of washing soda:
And 1/2 cup of borax:
When it dissolves, it will all look like this:
Now in your bucket pour in 6 cups of hot tap water, and the soap mixture, then stir it all together.
Now keep adding hot water – a gallon, plus 6 more cups. If you have a 4 cup measuring cup like I do, this mean 5.5 of those (yeah, I had to look it up).
Then stir-stir-stir until it’s mixed really well, and transfer it to jugs to gel up over night.
In the end I filled just shy of four!
Now let it sit over night, and shake before using. Use 1/2 cup for top loading machines or 1/4-1/3 cup for high efficiency/front-loader machines.
Now it’s cost benefit analysis time:
1 box of Borax = $4.35 (One box can make 19 batches)
1 box of Washing Soda = $3.49 (One box can make 13.75 batches)
1 bar of Fels Naptha = $1.33 (One bar can make 3 batches)
One batch = $0.92 (Each one of those bottles comes out to about $0.23)
One bottle contains about 24 washes – so each wash is less than a penny!
There you have it – you save $0.28 every time you do a load of laundry. And the best part – it took less than an hours worth of work, AND my house smells amazing!!!