Tuesday, June 14, 2011

I Tried it Tuesday- Laundry Soap

I was talking to a friend from church, and she mentioned that she made her own laundry soap. She was kind enough to teach me how!

You will need:
2 cups of Borax
2 cups of Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (NOT baking soda)
1 bar of Zote or Fels-Naptha or Dr. Bronner's Soap bar (these are all concentrated bars of cleaning soap, I found Zote at the local Mexican grocery)

 1. Take the bar of soap and grate it all up using a cheese grater. The finer you grate it the quicker it will melt. It will look like coconut, but resist the urge to eat it!!

Grated Soap

2. Place it in a large sauce pan and add 4 cups of water. Cook on medium heat until it melts. This was the longest part of the process, it took about 20 minutes.
Melting the Soap
 3. Put the Borax and Washing Soda in a big plastic tote or 5 gallon bucket. Mix with 2 gallons of HOT water (just hot from the tap, it doesn't need to be boiling). DO NOT use cold water, it will make the Borax hard as a rock!

4. Stir until dissolved. You can use an electric mixer to do this, but we just used wire whisks. It only took about 5 minutes with the two of us mixing.
 5. Add the melted soap to the bucket. Stir until it becomes a thick jelly.
Homemade Laundry Soap
6. Add 1 1/2 gallons of more water to the mixture, and mix it again until it is fully blended. You can add essential oils at this point, if you wanted your soap to be scented. I don't really care, so I skipped this step.

7. Pour into plastic bottles. It makes about 4-5 gallons. I put mine in a big tupperware, and have a special measuring cup to scoop it out with. My friend put hers into empty milk jugs, which I think would make it a lot easier to store and to pour out.

It's a pretty strong soap, (my hands were very dry after mixing and pouring it) so you don't need to use a lot. I use 1/4 cup for regular loads, and 1/2 cup for heavy loads. I have done three loads with it (one white, one colored, and one towels) and I can't tell a difference between that and the store bought stuff.

The cost:
Borax: $2.50- will make three batches, so $0.83 per batch
Washing soda- $2.50- also makes three batches, $0.83 again
Zote- $1.00

Total Cost: $2.66, and if I'm figuring correctly, it should last over six months! I did make the initial investment of buying the tupperware ($9.00) but that was a one time cost.

Saves money, doesn't take very long, and helps us be more self reliant! What's not to love??

1 comment:

Jalenna Call said...

THANKS!!!!! I am excited to try!!!