Looking for somthing you once saw here?

Monday, March 7, 2011

DIY Laundry Soap

Lately, I have been trying to find ways to save money.  One of the highest ticket items that continually ends up in our cart is laundry detergent.  I try to only buy when it is on sale and with coupons, but even so, it's $8-10 a jug.  I'm a Tide gal.  My Joseph has sensitive skin and this was the one brand that didn't make his little body break out in a rash.  At the time, I figured I was willing to pay the price.  In my attempts to make our dollars go a bit further, however, I discovered the idea of making my own laundry soap.  About a year ago, a friend told me about this, but I thought it would be too much work...LAZY!!!  So, I spent our family's money on Tide for another year.

A couple weeks ago, we were all watching an episode of the Duggar Family (on Netflix) and they were sharing ways that their family lives frugally.  One of her best tips was making their own laundry detergent.  My immediate thought was, "She does WAY more laundry than I do.  If it works for her, maybe it could work for me."  So I hopped online and found a million and one recipes for laundry soap.  I decided to use the Duggar recipe because she had a front loading High Efficiency machine similar to mine.  I found the recipe, sent my hubby out to gather ingredients, and got started.

Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap- Front or top load machine
4  Cups - hot tap water
1  Fels-Naptha soap bar
1 Cup Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
½ Cup Borax
- Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.
-Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of hot tap water. Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax. Stir well until all powder is dissolved. Fill bucket to top with more hot water. Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken.
-Stir and fill a used, clean, laundry soap dispenser half full with soap and then fill rest of way with water. Shake before each use. (will gel)
-Optional: You can add 10-15 drops of essential oil per 2 gallons. Add once soap has cooled. Ideas: lavender, rosemary, tea tree oil.
-Yield: Liquid soap recipe makes 10 gallons.
-Top Load Machine- 5/8 Cup per load (Approx. 180 loads)
-Front Load Machines- ¼ Cup per load (Approx. 640 loads)

Todd found all of the ingredients at our local grocery store.  The only thing to be careful of is that you buy the Super Washing Soda - not plain old baking soda.  I got the Fels-Naptha soap, but a good friend of mine used Ivory soap and we were both happy with the end result. I had the borax on hand from a science experiment we did last spring, so that cost me nothing.

Next, I shredded the soap.  After a little mishap where I got the palm of my hand in the shredder, everything went very smoothly.  I next measured out the water and added the shredded soap.  I stirred it constantly until it was all melted.  It took about 10 minutes.  I still thought there might be some chunks, so I poured it through a fine, wire colander and did catch a few unmelted pieces.  I then combined the rest of the ingredients with the water into my 5 gallon bucket and stirred it well.  The recipe says to let it sit over night, but I mixed mine up in the morning and let it set until evening which worked just fine.
And here's what it looked like after setting all day in my 5 gallon Homer bucket.  It was a very thick gel-like substance and I was wondering if I did something wrong.  But I stirred it up and poured half mixture/half water into my containers and it turned out well.
I had to get a little creative in my storage containers!
Check out all of the laundry soap that little bit of ingredients and water made!!!  I still can't believe it ~ and I only use 1/4 cup for each load!  I am happy with the results.  Joseph's skin has not broken out and the clothes come out clean.  Also, they don't smell like anything but clean clothes.  Some people like all of the scents that are available in the detergent aisle, but I'm a plain Jane I guess.  If you'd like, you could add some essential oils which was suggested on the Duggar's recipe.

I'd love to hear if any of you have also made your own laundry soap.  Do you have any other DIY projects for expensive, consumable household items that you could share?  I'd love to hear from you!

God Bless!

Heather :-)