Thursday, October 11, 2007

Make Your Own Laundry Soap

A friend of mine recently pointed out that she has begun making her own laundry detergent and saving a ton of money. I was curious. How easy is it to make, does it work, and how much money could she really be saving?

The answers surprised me. It's easy to make, the ingredients are common and don't cost much, it works beautifully, and the cost is incredible. Less than a penny per load! Yes, you read that right. It comes out to $0.007 per load of laundry. I knew I had to pass on the savings.

The recipe is easy to make. I was able to get most of it in one place, though the washing soda took a trip to a second store. But even with the added trip it was too easy to make and saved me so much money. You can find the original recipe and an interesting discussion on it in the comments by reading here. But I'm also going to share it here.

  • 1/3 bar Fels Naptha or Ivory Soap
  • 1/2 cup washing soda (not baking soda!)
  • 1/2 cup borax
  • 2 gallon container

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 ½ cup per load.

Sometimes the soap has a tendency to separate from the water, but a quick sloshing around will mix it back together easily. It works perfectly, even on the dirty clothes that my sons can create. And for the cost it is so worth it.