Saturday, January 23, 2010

Makin' It From Scratch #3 - Laundry Soap

I have loved using my homemade laundry soap powder. We have cut down significantly on laundry detergent cost since we've switched to making it ourselves. And a bonus is that it does a great job in cleaning our clothes.
I found the recipe on Hyde Handmade Soap's blog (And by the way, she makes fabulous soap!).

Here's the recipe:

Laundry Soap Powder

3 c. Borax
2 c. Soda Wash
2 c. Baking Soda
2 c. bar soap, grated (I used a cheese grater with small holes - the smaller the pieces, the faster it breaks down in the water)

Mix all in a bucket (We keep ours in a large #10 can). Use 1/8 c. - 1/4 c. per load.

You can also add a cup of an oxygen cleaner (like Oxi Clean - I used a generic brand), but keep in mind that if you add bleach to your laundry you won't be able to use the laundry soap with the oxygen cleaner in there as well.
One note: for a half load I put in 1/8 cup of detergent, for a full load I put 1/4 cup. Another note is that your laundry detergent will smell like whatever bar soap you use. I bought a big pack of Ivory because it was inexpensive. So, that's what our laundry soap smells like. It doesn't seem to affect the end result though. Our clothes just smell clean. :-)

I also have a liquid laundry soap recipe. It's a little more involved (which is why I've just stuck with the powder), but my friend Clara swears by it.
Here's the recipe from her blog:

Liquid Laundry Soap

1 bar soap, grated
1 cup Washing Soda
1/2 cup Borax
1 cup Oxy-Clean powder (optional, but we like it)
4 cups + 3 gallons Water

First, pour 4 cups of water into a pot on the stove and bring to just below a boil. Whittle or grate the bar soap (brand doesn't really matter.) into the water and stir until dissolved.

Put 3 gallons hot water in a 5 gallon bucket. Pour in the hot soapy water and stir. Add 1 cup Washing Soda and continue stirring. Add 1/2 cup Borax and stir, and finally add 1 cup Oxy-Clean and stir thoroughly.
Let the mixture set up over night. We usually get a thick gel layer on top of a watery layer and stir or shake it just before use. We get about 50 loads of laundry out of this.
(Check out their cost comparison and laundry test.)

Also, the blog "The Simple Dollar" has a post about the liquid laundry soap and has some great pictures and cost comparisons too. Go here.

Give it a try and have fun!

P.S. 7/27/2010 - Found another recipe that I plan on trying out soon:

1 comment:

Christine said...

I love it!!!! I'm so glad you've been using your homemade laundry soap. Isn't it great?! Thanks for the acknowledgement too.

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