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Old 03-11-2009, 08:19 PM
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Default Laundry Soap

Posting this again. I'm on my third batch and I love it. One gallon makes 32 loads.

Laundry Soap

By Crystal Miller

Making your own laundry soap is very easy! No longer do you need to rely on store bought detergents. With a few ingredients on hand you will be able to make batch after batch of laundry soap. The cost savings by doing this is incredible!

~If after reading through this you have a question PLEASE read the "Questions Answered" at the bottom of this page. I am no longer able to answer questions about the laundry soap via email. Thank you! Crystal

What Ingredients Do You Need?

You will need 3 basic ingredients; a soap of some sort, washing soda and borax.

The Soap: The most typical type of soap to use is Fels Naptha. It is an old-fashioned type of soap usually found in the laundry aisle. The other options for soap are Ivory or another brand called, Zote. Any of these will work. I use my own homemade soap and find it works quite well and I do have this for sale in my Country Store. If you use Ivory or your own homemade soap you will need to use the whole bar.

Washing Soda: This is not to be confused with baking soda. They are not the same thing. Washing soda is sodium carbonate or soda ash (baking soda is sodium bicarbonate). It is a white powder. Its purpose is to help remove dirt and orders. The brand to look for is Arm & Hammer Washing Soda. I find it in the laundry section of my grocery store. Many people have a hard time finding this locally. I know you can purchase it on-line, even through Amazon.com. I would also suggest asking your grocery store manager if it would be possible for the store to get it for you.

Borax: Borax is a naturally occurring mineral: Sodium Borate. It is a white powder. Itís purpose is as a laundry whitener and deodorizer. The brand to look for is 20 Mule Team. It comes in a 76 oz. box. You should be able to locate this in the laundry detergent aisle. Again as with the washing soda, if you cannot find it ask you store manager or look online.

The Recipe

Now that you have assembled all the needed ingredients here is the recipe:

Homemade Laundry Soap
1/3 bar Fels Naptha or other type of soap, as listed above
Ĺ cup washing soda
Ĺ cup borax powder
~You will also need a small bucket, about 2 gallon size~

Grate the soap and put it in a sauce pan. Add 6 cups water and heat it until the soap melts. Add the washing soda and the borax and stir until it is dissolved. Remove from heat. Pour 4 cups hot water into the bucket. Now add your soap mixture and stir. Now add 1 gallon plus 6 cups of water and stir. Let the soap sit for about 24 hours and it will gel. You use Ĺ cup per load.

Use a large spoon to break up clots. Then take a whisk to it. Pour into 2 one gallon plastic water jugs.
A few times I found that I was about 3 or 4 cups short of the 2 gallons the recipe makes. I just topped it off with hot water after I had filled the gallon jugs and it works just fine.

**A few things to note about the soap**

~The finished soap will not be a solid gel. It will be more of a watery gel that has been accurately described as an "egg noodle soup" look.

~The soap is a low sudsing soap. So if you donít see suds, that is ok. Suds are not what does the cleaning, it is the ingredients in the soap.




Optional: If you want your soap to have some sort of scent you can scent this with Ĺ to 1 oz. of essential oil or fragrance oil of your choice. My favorite scent is orange essential oil.



But is it Really Less Expensive?

Is the laundry detergent a cost saver? How do the numbers on this add up? Well I am a person who likes to know what I am spending and if my efforts save me in one way or another. This is one of the areas that I wanted to know if I was actually saving money. We do a lot of laundry and I make double batches of this soap and knowing that the time spent doing this was a savings for my family was important to me.

Here are my calculations:

The cost of making the above recipe of laundry soap was .71 cents. That was amazing to me! With this 2 gallon size recipe you will have enough to do 64 loads of laundry. That translates to about .01 cent a load.

How Did I Figure This Out?

Here is the breakdown of my costs and how I came up with those numbers (I am using the prices I paid for these items and you may find your price varies some based on what you pay):

Fels Naptha: $1.12 for a 5.5 oz bar. The recipes says use a 1/3 of a bar. I calculated 2 oz. just to make the math a little easier. The cost of the Fels Naptha per batch is: .40 cents


Washing Soda: $2.23 for a 55 oz. box. This came to .17 cents per batch. I calculated how much per oz (2.23 divided by 55) and then weighed a half cup of washing soda (4.2oz.) and multiplied my per oz. price by 4.2

Borax: $3.27 for a 76 oz. box. This came to .14 cents per batch. Did the same calculations as above, however a 1/2 cup of borax weighs 3.5 oz.

For the final numbers I have .40 + .17 + .14 = .71 for 2 gallons of laundry detergent








Two gallons translates to 64- 1/2 cup portions and .71 divided by 64 = .01109, etc... or about .01 cent a load!

Happy Laundry Soap Making!!!
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Old 07-07-2009, 09:32 PM
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I just found out that you can make liquid hand soap by taking a bar of castile soap or ivory, grate it, dissolve it in a quart of boiling hot water. Dilute to make one gallon. Fill your soap pump. Haven't tried it yet but I will. I would add an essential oil fragrance.
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Old 07-08-2009, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Arrowwind09 View Post
I just found out that you can make liquid hand soap by taking a bar of castile soap or ivory, grate it, dissolve it in a quart of boiling hot water. Dilute to make one gallon. Fill your soap pump. Haven't tried it yet but I will. I would add an essential oil fragrance.
Several years ago, I slivered Ivory soap and nuked it in the microwave to make my own liquid hand soap. I did this for around 6 months, until I got tired of it. The soap was ok, but I preferred the store bought, guess I'm just lazy.
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Old 07-08-2009, 02:43 PM
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Thanks for the instructions Arrow, I'm actually excited to try this - the less additives the better in my life.

- what common stores sell washing soda?

- And when you make two gallons - how do you store it?

Thanks again!
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Old 07-08-2009, 11:47 PM
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You can get all the ingredients at a grocery store, except I had to go to two different stores to get it all. Since I store stuff, I bought enough to make soap for about 2 years! The washing soda is made by Arm and Hammer.
Just guessing, I bought two boxes of each type of boxed soap and 8 bars of the fels. 8 bars of fels bar soap will make up 48 gallons of soap! I haven't figured out how many boxes of the boxed stuff would be needed to do that also but a box goes much much further than the bar soap does. Cost? less than two months worth of tide or cheer, that's for sure.

I make it up in my 8 quart stock pot.

I just used plastic gallon jugs like you use for water. When one of them sprung a leak last month I picked up two nice 1 gallon jugs by rubbermaid that seem much more durable and returned the other water jug back to its water tasks. I had considered purchasing liquid wash like Liquid Tide or something, just for the jugs but the bottles and their labels are too ugly for me and I don't like the soap anymore either.
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Old 08-09-2009, 12:54 AM
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I remember my grandmother coming to our house when I was young, almost 60 years ago, and she made lye soap. I believe she rendered down pork fat and used the lard in it, but can't remember any other details. We washed clothes in a wringer washer then and had to grate the soap bars. I'll never forget how clean it smelled.

I used a dash of washing soda added to Tide soap powder and powder bleach for years to do my laundry and it did a super job. Lately, since most of my clothes are a polyester-cotton blend, I have been using Woolite because it seems to help clothes hold their color better.

I first found a tip in a magazine back in the late 1960's or so about using washing soda (alone, not with soap) dissolved in hot water to remove grease-streaked wax build-up from furniture. You need to wash it quickly and rinse and dry it immediately so the wood won't develop white spots. The new coat of wax or polish then usually looks much better. I did that many times and it worked great for me, but try at your own risk.

I've also used washing soda to clean sluggish drain pipes. Run the water till very hot. Pour one cup of washing soda into the drain and a cup or two of very hot water. Let it stand a while, then rinse. I believe those instructions may still be on the box, but it's been a long time since I looked. It isn't a miracle worker, but goes a long way toward cleaning greasy sediment in the drain.
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Old 06-23-2010, 04:57 PM
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Default homemade laundry detergent

I have been making my own laundry detergent for probably about 2 years, its a bit different from the one posted, but I love it and its CHEAP Where we live it's red clay and thats not really easy to wash out so I use l bar fels napa soap l cup borax and 1cup washing SODA. and I cook mine about and hour but I usually make a 6 months supply so it's not as hard as it seems.
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Old 06-26-2010, 06:08 AM
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So same ingredients just more of each? I might try that for my heavier grime. We get a lot dirtier now that we live in the country than we did in the city.... gardens, ponds, pasture, construction etc

My friends son got sprayed with gasoline and I washed his clothes for him. My forumula did not take the gasoline smell out so I had to rewash them with Dawn Dish Detergent and that got it.

Last edited by Arrowwind09; 06-26-2010 at 04:20 PM.
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Old 06-26-2010, 09:09 AM
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Default laundry detergent

L bar fels nappa soap
2 cps 20 mule team Boraz
2 cups washings SODA
3 qts boiling water big 'old" pot
Add grated soap to boiling water,stir until melted. add borax & stir until disloved, add wshing soda and stir until disloved. cool for about an hr, willll sorta resemble honey. Add 5 Qts hot water and cook for few mins more. Let cook. I use an old 64 oz detergent bottle to pour mine in. It will Gel so will have to be shaken well before using. I pour enough into empty detergent bottle so easy to shake then use top to pour about 1 cup in washer. THIS WILL NOT SUDS UP. if you want a scent add about 10 drops of any essential oil you may have. I don't use the oil. this will make me about a 6 mts supply of detergent.
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Old 06-26-2010, 08:01 PM
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Cool post, thanks! I'm not sure when I'd get around to actually making my own soap, but I've definitely cut way down on commercial soap and bleach.

I've gotten more "green" by adding Borax (I love that stuff!) which is a natural laundry booster to every load and I use much less soap. The clean smell is heavenly

I also frequently substitute hydrogen peroxide for bleach - whitens my stuff beautifully and I'm not putting the toxic bleach into the drainage systems or on my skin through fabric absorption. It also makes my laundry smell so dang fresh.

Cheers,
BB
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Old 06-27-2010, 09:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arrowwind09 View Post
So same ingredients just more of each? I might try that for my heavier grime. We get a lot dirtier now that we live in the country than we did in the city.... gardens, ponds, pasture, construction etc

My friends son got sprayed with gasoline and I washed his clothes for him. My forumula did not take the gasoline smell out so I had to rewash them with Dawn Dish Detergent and that got it.
Try Murphys oil soap in your laundry with gas, desil or oil odors. My son is a desil mech and desil stinks, so by adding a cup of murphys oil soap it removes almost all the odor of the desil. Dollar general carries almost the same thing and its a lot cheaper than the original murphys oil soap.
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Old 06-27-2010, 09:24 AM
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Default borax

I have found that sometimes my kithen sink gets an odor to it. I usually pour about half cup borax in the drain wait for a few mins and wash it out good with Hot water, removes the odor with out bleach or lemon juice, esp since lemon juice goes fast at our house in iced tea, along with the spearment herbs i grow.
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Old 06-27-2010, 06:06 PM
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Washing clothes with gasoline in them is very dangerous if using an electric washing machine. A friend of mine, Josephine, tried washing a pair of blue jeans soaked with gas for a mechanic that was a guest at her home several years ago. She layed the jeans on the lawn and sprayed them hard with a garden hose, then put them in the washer with soap. A few minutes later she heard a rumble and opened the lid of the machine to see what was causing it. Flames shot out and hit her directly in the face, burning off her eyebrows and an inch or two of her hairline, with 2nd or 3rd degree burns on her face.

Jo wouldn't go to a doctor so slept sitting up in a rocking chair on her balcony in the cold December air. I didn't see her till several days after but I told her to rub vitamin E oil on her face direct from gel capsules pierced with a sterilized needle. I saw her a few weeks later and her face had a beautiful healthy glow without one scar! I used vitamin E oil another time when my Bob had 2nd degree burns he got while cooking...same thing...scars were avoided.

In Jo's case, I think it was probably the washer timer clicking on and off that created the spark to ignite the gas fumes.
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Old 06-28-2010, 07:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbmartin View Post
I also frequently substitute hydrogen peroxide for bleach - whitens my stuff beautifully and I'm not putting the toxic bleach into the drainage systems or on my skin through fabric absorption. It also makes my laundry smell so dang fresh.

Cheers,
BB
So what type of hydrogen peroxide do you use and how much?

-- regarding gasoline --- guess I escaped a near catastrophe washing clothes the other day!
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Old 06-29-2010, 12:12 AM
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Yes Arrow. You were very fortunate! True story!
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