Monday, May 16, 2011

Homemade Laundry Soap-Save Money and the Environment!

Everyone keeps asking me for the recipe I use to make homemade laundry soap.  This soap is great.  Many people all over the country use it. It's not my unique recipe, a friend from the kids' school told me about it.   The Duggars...those people on TV with 18 kids or something... they use a similar recipe.

I originally found the recipe at this site:, but I have added my own tips to this one due to my experience with making it LOTS of times.
Go to that site to see other awesome and wonderful recipes!
Thank you Tipnut website!

  It gives you five gallons of laundry soap for under $5.  I was using Costco's Ecos soap before, and this works comparably.  I have taught many people to make it, and they all agree that it works well.  They have told me that it works well with the front loading He machines because it is not a lathering bubbly soap.

Ok, so here are the materials you'll need.  In our area, Fred Meyer and WinCo carry them.  They are all in the laundry detergent aisle.

To Buy:

*1 bar Fels Naptha Soap
*Washing Soda (made by Arm and Hammer, but is NOT baking soda.  Baking soda will not work)

To Collect:

*Large hole cheese grater ( I use the oval one from Ikea that has a container underneath to catch peelings)
*5 gallon bucket with lid (if you know anyone who works in food service or the construction industry, these are often surplus.)
*Medium saucepan
*Long-handled spoon
*1/2 c and 1 c measuring cups

You will need to grate the bar of Fels Naptha soap.  My kids like to do this for me.  They think it is hilarious because it looks like cheese, but obviously tastes nothing like it.

Once you grate it, put it in a saucepan with about 1 inch of water over the top of it.  It will float, so you will need to guess a little.  You will stir with the whisk over medium heat until the soap is dissolved.

Fill your bucket half full with hot water, then pour in the dissolved naptha soap mixture, immediately followed by 1 cup Washing Soda and 1/2 cup Borax.  It's a good idea to have the washing soda and borax ready to go so the detergent gels correctly.  Stir with your long handled spoon until dissolved.

It will begin to gel pretty quickly, but will take overnight to gel completely, as it cools.

Add hot water to within 1-2 inches of the top of the bucket, and put on your lid.

Once it gels, it will be a gel like substance and a liquid.

I use about 1 cup per load, keeping the cup in the bucket,  but you can experiment with what works for you.  I have heard that people stir with a long handled spoon or ladle before each use, but I just make sure to get a little of the gel and the liquid together in each load, and it works fine for me.  Again, this is where you will want to do what suits you best.  I used to put it in my old detergent bottle and shake before each use.

When there is heavy soiling of clothes, I use about 2 cups of the stuff, though I'm not sure that's necessary.

Enjoy saving dollars and using soap whose ingredients you can list on one hand!

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