Sunday, September 6, 2009

Mom's Laundry Soap

So, I had a busy night last night. We made blackberry jam with the berries we picked yesterday at Nana's house. Then I made zucchini crisp, which I shared the recipe for earlier. And finally, we ended the evening with a batch of homemade laundry soap.

My mom found this recipe on the internet and I have been using it for quite some time. Only...I have been reaping the harvest of her work =). Last night was our first batch made by my own hands. It's quite simple, so lets get to it. I have been very pleased with how well this laundry soap works by the way. Better throw that in there.

Laundry Soap

1 cup washing soda

1 cup Borax

1 bar Fels-Naptha soap (found in the laundry soap aisle...for locals, Fred Meyer carries it)

And 5 gallons of water (not pictured...I think you can figure that part out)

First you want to grate the soap with your cheese grater. You put the grated bar of Fells Naptha soap in a pot with 1/2 gallon of water and melt it on low. (I am not patient and don't like to wait around, so I let it get pretty warm on medium high first and then lowered it to medium low.) You want to melt the soap all the way.

While that is melting, put the remaining water, hot or very warm, into a container big enough to hold 5 gallons of liquid. Put your washing soda and borax in there with the water. You will end up with four and a half gallons in for now. When the soap is melted fully with no chunks in it, add that to the big container with the borax and washing soda. Stir it really well until you feel it is equally mixed together.

Then comes the fun part. You have to bottle it up. I like to use old liquid laundry soap containers that are saved, the ones without the button are best. You want a pour spout. Bottle up the soap in whatever containers you have, or you can leave all of it in a 5 gallon bucket and just use it from there every time. It's just easier to store it all and use it in a few smaller containers.

In actuality, I used what I had. I used two large liquid laundry soap containers (the kind with the push button spout), two empty milk jugs (which I also used to measure out each gallon of water), and 1 pour spout liquid laundry soap container. I figure that I will just refill my 1 good container with the other soap as I use it up.

Why is it better to have a pour spout? Well, after the soap sits and cools (overnight) it can get a little clumpy. You will need to shake it when you use it and the clumps get stuck in the press button style.

Use half a cup per load of laundry. Simple as that. It may sound a bit long written out, but I assure you that the process is not very hard once you do it.


Jenilee said...

you are so cute! love the pictures of you making soap. how funny :) I might just have to give it a try... a few questions? how does it compare in cost? and can you use it in the new high efficiancy washers? you might not know that answers to that but I was wondering... thanks for the soap lesson though!!

Vicky said...

Can you save me a piece of Zucchini Crisp, please? I've kinda sorta never been brave enough to try it, but my new adventurism is making me curious as to whether or not I'd like it. (this is, of course, assuming you guys haven't already eaten all of it).

Also, I like the idea of "make your own laundry soap", but 5 gallons would be absolutely ridiculous for me. My current bottle is less than a gallon and it will probably last me until Thanksgiving. And my storage abilities for the soap (and the various ingredients) are somewhat limited. But, when my current bottle starts running low, I'm going to keep this in mind and see what I can come up with. Any suggestions for me? If I can't make my own now, I will definitely keep it in mind when my laundry pile increase :)

Also, how does the stuff smell? The look on your face when you're mixing it looks like it is less than pleasant.

Vicky said...

Also, I love that the last two posts have been recipes involving using your cheese grater to grate non-cheese items (butter and soap). It just made me laugh :)

Pure Mommy Extract said...

Vicky, it actually smells very good. Laundry soapish in fact =). The smell is good when you make it and when you load the wash, but it doesn't come out with much of a smell at all.

I forgot to mention in there that if you want to you can use the powdered stuff and blend it in the blender really well (has to get to little granules) and you can just use 2 Tablespoons of powder. Or you could do a smaller batch if you wish to as well.

As for the zucchini crisp, I will have to see if any lasts after my dad's house today. We made it to take over for dessert today =).

It's a LOT cheaper and works well with the high efficiency washers. I use less soap then suggested and it works well. I have Whirlpool Duet front loaders. You might try the powdered form I spoke of above, though that doesn't save quite as much money as the liquid.

The fels-naptha was $1.25, the washing soda was $2.89, and the Borax was in the $2-3 range as well (don't have the receipt for that). The Borax and Washing soda last for many batches, so you are spending less than $4 for 5 gallons of soap.

Laurel said...

I think I'll have to try it. We have the Whirlpool Duet, also ... so that was going to be my question. How much soap do you use for your front loader?

So ... Vicky is getting adventurous ... the good ol' Big D Family must be rubbing off on her. :)

After our Road Trip ... I totally want you and the kids to join Vicky and come up for a weekend.


Laurel :)

Mom said...

I did the math on cost when I first made it. It came out to about 3 cents per load. The full batch gives me about 80 loads (I use one cup per washer is the old kind). My store brand costs me 17 cents per load. If you make the powdered version the recomended 2 tbl per load gives you less than eighty loads but I'm not sure exactly how many. You still would be saving money. Our laundry room is in the garage so I just use a 5 gallon bucket with a lid and keep it on the floor next to the washing machine.
BTW if you have a bad stain...wet it and rub a bar of Fels-Naptha on the stain then throw it in the wash...STAIN'S GONE!

Alicia Reynolds said...

Thanks Amber! I'm excited to try it! Looks super easy and it's probably good for cloth diapers.

Jenilee said...

WOW!! $4 for 5 gallons of soap??? That is amazing! I just bought detergent but I am going to have to try this. I have the whirlpool duet front loaders as well. thanks for answering my ?!!

Crystal said...

Hey, I use the same recipe! Great stuff. I need to make some more very soon.