Saturday, April 18, 2009

Homemade Laundry Soap

More homemade stuff today, this time it's laundry soap. Eventually I'll add pictures, but for now just imagine in your mind what these things look like. Thanks.

So, everyone uses laundry soap. And it's not cheap. Or if it is cheap, it doesn't clean very well in my experience. As an alternative, I decided to try a homemade "recipe" for laundry soap that a bunch of my friends are using...and it turns out that I really love it! It's easy to make, very economical and, since you only use one-two tablespoons per load, it saves me time in the long run because I don't have to continuously buy laundry soap.

Here's the basic recipe below with instructions. I keep mine in an old coffee can. It's plastic, so maybe it's more of a coffee tub. None-the-less, it's there, and it lasts a long time. You can use the aforementioned pure essential oils from your sugar scrub recipe too if you want to fragrance it up a bit. See, now that's thrifty! I don't, personally, because I like it just the way it is. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Oh, and one tip is that you'll need a grater. Specifically, I recommend a microplane. Trust. Without one, if you're anything like me, you'll cut your knuckles up during the assembly process. Microplane is the way to go, it gets a finer grate AND it's safer. :)

Basic Homemade Laundry Soap

one bar Fels-Naptha (found in the laundry section, it's a bar of soap for laundry not bodies)
one box of Arm & Hammer washing soda (not baking soda, not laundry detergent, "washing soda" - it's a powder, also found in the laundry isle)
one box of Borax powder (guess where this is...yep, laundry isle)

Grate fels bar with a microplane. If you use a regular box grater, please be careful and use the smallest grate you can. Add one cup each of the Borax and the Arm & Hammer washing soda. If you have lots of stains, you can add an additional 1/2 cup of the Borax for added cleaning power. Mix and store in a container with a lid.

To use:
Add one to two tablespoons to each wash load. Add essential oil if you like.

Obviously, this recipe is for a powder soap. Historically, I never liked using powders, but this soap has changed my mind. I love it. You will too. Believe me. Have I ever steered you wrong?


wee woo said...

how much fels naptha to the 1 cup of each Borax ans arm& hammer?

Claudine said...

The fels naptha comes in a bar and I grate an entire bar for the recipe. One bar, plus one cup each of the Borax and washing soda.

Mom_2_Boo_and_Roo said...

Do you have to wash in hot or warm to get the powder to dissolve? I usually wash in cold.

Claudine said...

I wash a lot of my clothes on cold too. I rarely have problems with it dissolving as long as I put the powder in first with the water running and then give it a minute to mix up before putting the clothes in.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Claudine. I wasn't sure how to wash with powder either. I'm making a batch today. Thanks!!!

Question - for dirty work clothes, do you add a little extra fels naptha? I thought you could put in something extra for dirt or stains.


Claudine said...

For stains, you can rub some of the fels naptha bar directly on the stain. Or, if the whole load is particularly dirty, you can add a little extra Borax powder if you want (I add 1/2 c. extra to the whole batch sometimes).

I think it's just trial and error to see what works the best with your clothes and your machine. I like to add just a touch of Oxy Clean powder to my wash for extra soiled loads.