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Monday, February 9, 2009

Homemade Laundry Soap and Dishwasher Detergent

I've been making my own laundry soap for a couple of years now. It's very simple, can be tailor-made, and saves a lot of money.
You'll need a few things:

Recipe
1/2 cup Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (not baking soda)
1/2 cup Borax powder
1/3 bar Fels Naptha bar soap (this type works best but I have also had good luck with Dr. Bronner's and Grandpa's soap).

Also:
Cheese grater
Pot
Wooden spoon
Measuring cup
Bucket
Grate soap and put in sauce pan. Add 6 cups water and heat it until soap melts. Add washing soda and borax and stir until dissolved. Remove from heat. Pour 4 cups hot water into the bucket. Now add your soap mixture and stir. Now add 1 gallon plus 6 cups of hot water and stir. Let the soap sit for about 24 hours and it will gel.
Use 1/3 to 1/2 cup per load.
Note: The finished soap will not be a solid gel. It will be more of a watery gel. If it does become a hard mass after sitting for 24-hours, you can simply add more hot tap water and stir - then let sit 24-hours again. If it's still too thick, repeat.
Sometimes it will come out clumpy. When pouring, just make sure some of the clumps are added as well as the more watery portions.
This soap is a low sudsing soap. So if you don't see suds, that's okay. It's also safe to use in front-loader washing machines.

Here it is broken down into steps with pictures:











First, grate your soap using the cheese grater. The kids can help with this part.


Next, add 6 cups hot water to the pot and toss in your grated soap. Cook over a low heat (don't boil), stirring occasionally, until the soap is melted.

Next, add the washing soda and borax and stir until it is dissolved. Remove from heat and pour into your bucket. Next, add the rest of your water and stir (recipe follows) until mixed well.



Let the bucket sit for 24 hours then check on it. It should have a gel-like consistency, easy to pour. Many times it will be one hardened mass. If this happens, simply add another gallon or two of hot tap water and stir well. Then repeat process of letting it sit another 24 hours and check on it again.  (I've had friends report that theirs comes out very runny. A lot of this may be due to the type of soap you're using. I believe one of them used Ivory. Although theirs was runny, I told them to try some of it and it worked fine on their laundry.)

After you have the correct consistency, you can use a funnel to pour the detergent into recycled jugs (I like to use old white vinegar gallon jugs that have been washed out).

An important thing to remember is that this isn't an exact science. If you add more soap or no Borax or less washing soda it will still work. I'm unsure if it will work as well on stains without the Borax...?

This formula is all-natural and biodegradable granted you use an all-natural bar soap. I love Grandpa's Soap Company and Dr. Bronner's.

This is a low-sudsing formula. There will not be many bubbles. Because it is low-sudsing, it is also safe to use on front-loading washing machines that usually require the expensive high efficiency detergent.

I once read that this costs less than $1 per gallon to make.

Here is the exact recipe. Many times I double or triple it.

Homemade Laundry Soap (also can be used for dishwasher detergent)
1/3 bar of soap
1/2 cup washing soda
1/2 cup borax powder

Grate soap and put in sauce pan. Add 6 cups water and heat it until soap melts. Add washing soda and borax and stir until dissolved. Remove from heat. Pour 4 cups hot water into the bucket. Now add your soap mixture and stir. Now add 1 gallon plus 6 cups of hot water and stir. Let the soap sit for about 24 hours and it will gel.
Use 1/3 to 1/2 cup per load.

2 comments:

  1. What a GREAT idea! I've been playing around with different recipes for spray cleaner as well. Any good tips?

    ReplyDelete
  2. I just use white vinegar mixed with a bit of water for a spray cleaner.

    ReplyDelete