Thursday, February 10, 2011

How I make Laundry Soap

My ingredients.:o)

I've been making my own laundry soap for about 10 years now. When Auriana had reactions to her shots and I began to walk the long road of discovery about how chemical our world is.....laundry soap became the first thing that had to go. 

She was also my first cloth diaper baby. Back in those days the only thing she could tolerate was baking soda washes with vinegar rinses. That's what I used for all my clothes. Sometimes I still do. It has always worked great for me on everything other than whites. 
This stuff works great on the whites too. 

I have a high efficiency washer, and I haven't noticed any of the problems that are mentioned when you use "non-he" soap. I can't claim that it would be the same for you though, so you'll have to do your own evaluations there.
You'll also notice the "ivory" soap in the above picture. I don't always use ivory, in fact, I usually use a handmade goat milk soap. It is my opinion that you can use any soap you want as long as it isn't one of the greasy ones. I have never tried a heavy olive oil soap in my washer, for instance. I would imagine that it would leave residues on the clothes. But having no experience with it I don't know.

On to my way of laundry soap making!
Grate up your soap
I usually only use about a fourth of the bar of soap. I will say that it varies depending on which soap I'm using. The only reason this matters to me is because I like for my laundry soap to have about the same consistency of store bought laundry soap. Having said that, however, I must also say that it will work no matter what the consistency is. If it's too watery, I add a little more. Too thick? I heat it up again and add a bit more water.

I think that the big Ad boys have really made us so frightened of doing things for ourselves. I know that when I first started doing this I would agonize over getting things JUST RIGHT. I mean, if it wasn't JUST RIGHT, then I hadn't actually made laundry soap.....had I?
Yes, I had. It really is easy.

Hangin' with the Borax

I use equal parts of borax and grated soap. I throw them together in the jar, or pot before I pour the water in.  I always pour hot water over them and I feel like it makes the soap melt faster. It could be done the other way though, it just might take a little longer.

With the water added.

I place this mixture into a saucepan and heat it until all of the soap is melted. Then I pour it into mason jars until they are half full. I add barely warm water almost to the top of the jar and place a lid on it. Then the kids take turns shaking it when they go by until it's cooled completely.

 See the separation?
 The water on the bottom?

As the mixture cools it will separate. In the beginning I used to drizzle cool water in and stir constantly until it was set up to the consistency that I wanted. I'm a lot calmer about it now.:o)

If we don't mix it properly then I just shake it before I pour it out. I also judge how much soap I need by how thick or thin it is.

I like a consistency of about hand soap. I only use around a tablespoon per wash, and everything turns out beautifully. We have a lot of dirt, grime, sticky, and stinky that goes on here. So I consider our laundry to be a pretty good judge of the quality.:o) 

I usually add some essential oils, just because I like the smelly good. The other thing I like about this is that it's super inexpensive. I think I wash about 50 loads for around 50 cents. 
A penny a load is worth some experimentation.

Don't you think?

Here it is ready to go in the wash.


Anonymous said...

Hi Wendi
I use borax for everything. Its way better then any scouring powder. I was my floors with borax lavendar oil and a bit of liquid castille soap. Since I have everything on hand I think I will try your recipe. Wish me luck.
Tina Driscoll

Restless Prairie Farm said...

Good Luck Tina!! I use borax for everything too.:o) It gets the sinks all sparkly.

umbrellalady said...

I have made my own soaps for years. I used to make laundry soap but haven't for awhile. It sure smells nicer than commercial soap and the clothes feel so soft! Thanks for the reminder - I think I will grate some up and make a batch of laundry soap.

Restless Prairie Farm said...

I'm almost out of my handmade soaps. I only have what we're using in the showers and sinks.:o) It's time to make up some more.

The smell is one of the reasons I do it. Commercial laundry soap gives me a headache.

Elisa said...

I make the powder kind w/ washing soda, borax & a bar of fels naptha.

Restless Prairie Farm said...

I've never tried to make the powder kind. They never have the washing soda here. I did find it online once, but it felt too expensive by the time I'd pay shipping.

I did hear at one time that Ace would have it shipped directly to your area Ace store, but I never pursued that option. By then I'd been making this soap for a while and didn't feel a need to try any of the others.

Have you ever tried it with Zote instead of Fels Naptha? They have it locally here and I've read that it works the same.

Creseh said...

I've never tried making my own soap. I tried once - but was not able to find washing soda in my area. I did check into the ACE thing but didn't pursue that. I've never found the Fels Naptha either. I know I can find IVORY and is the borax the same thing as 20 Mule Team - I've seen that at Wal-Mart. I am anxious to try this now. Anything to save money and get rid of chemicals in my home. Thanks for this tutorial.