Jun 9, 2011

Homemade Laundry Soap

     For over a year now we have been using homemade laundry soap. I had to make a new batch and I wanted to share with you how we make it.
     I was a little skeptical about how it worked but I have used it on cloth diapers and it gets those stains out. We have three kids, two of which seem to get as much on there clothes as they do in there mouths and one that is a boy (need I say more). I feel like it gets out as much if not more than the store bought stuff. I do still have to use stain spays occasionally and sometimes we have pesky stains but no more than I would using store bought. The amount of time it takes making it (about 30 min) is well worth the savings for us (over $50 per year) and one batch lasts my family (5 people) over a year. There is a cost comparison for anyone interested at the bottom.
What you will need:
310fFyVJ3XL._SL500_AA300_You find it in the laundry isle (usually top shelf) by the oxy-clean and other stain fighters. It cost me about $2/bar and you will need one bar.
41bxg3WDP8L._SL500_AA300_Also in the laundry isle (DO NOT use baking soda, it’s NOT the same). My box cost me about $4 and it will make multiple batches.
boraxThis is also in the laundry isle. My box cost me about $5 and it will also make multiple batches.
     You also need a bucket with a lid, we use a gamma lid (the kind that screw on and off) I believe the bucket was about $4 (see if your local bakery has any, sometimes you can get them for free) and the gamma lid was about $6, they sell them for food storage.
IMG_3995IMG_3998This is what our laundry tub looks like. I also use an old Costco laundry soap dispenser that sits above my washer. The cap measures about a cup so that is what I use for my measuring. I also have a mixer attachment that was about $5 at Ace (paint section), it attaches to the drill and is optional but a HUGE help ( I didn’t have any thing that would reach the bottom of my bucket).
Recipe for Soap: (note this will make 5 gallons of undiluted soap, enough to last my family of 5 an entire year, you can always make a smaller quantity)
     -HOT water (I just use hot tap water)
     -1 bar Fels-Naptha soap
     -1 Cup Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda
     -1/2 Cup Borax
IMG_3983 Grate soap well (I use my food processor, we tried by hand the last time and it was a pain!!)
IMG_3987Pour about 4 cups HOT water (a med pan half full) and grated soap in a pan (I use the play dough pan), heat on med heat until soap is dissolved (I always have little bit of soap that doesn't seem to dissolve).
IMG_3990Fill the bucket about half full of HOT water and add the soap to your bucket. I use our grease splatter thing (have no idea what it is actually called) to strain out any large chunks then I just squish them around to help them dissolve. Now add the wash soda and borax and mix.
IMG_3993Fill the bucket to the top with HOT water and mix well. Close the lid and let it sit overnight.
     This is what it will look like the next morning. There will be a very thick and “jelloy”  layer on the top. This is where the mixer comes in VERY handy, you need to mix it all up until you get a more even texture. It will be a dish soap consistency and it may still have chunks. You can use it just like it is and use 1/2 cup but my soap dispenser gets clogged if I don’t dilute it so I fill the dispenser 1/2 way and add hot water to fill it up, shake well and use about 1 cup (I use more for hubby’s work clothes because they have a funny smell, one of the perks of his job). If you use just the 5 gal you will use 1/2 Cup, if you dilute it you will use 1 Cup. (note: as it sits it will thicken, I stir mine before I refill the Costco container)
     Cost comparison:
Store Bought Soap: Tide for example is about $8 for 32 loads (I wash about 5 loads per week) that means I need 7.5 bottles per year for store bought soap=$60.  Also that is NOT including washing bedding or extra loads from sick kids, cloth diapers or any other laundry.
Home made soap: Both the Borax and the wash soda are $0.07 per oz, you use 10.3 oz of wash soda for each batch=$0.721 per batch, 3.2 oz of Borax=$0.224 and the Fels-Naptha is about $2 a batch. That means that I spent a total of $2.95 on laundry soap last year. That includes extra washing such as cloth diapers, bedding, and blankets. That means it is about 1 cent per load!
     I saved over $57 last year by spending 30 minutes making soap, I did not figured out the cost saving until now (see I’ll even do math for you ;-). I knew it was cheaper but did not know how much cheaper. I hope everyone has a great week end. Do you have any plans?


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