Sunday, October 5, 2008

Homemade Laundry Soap

When I first heard about this from a friend, I was very curious and intrigued, and then challenged at the thought of making my own laundry soap. I just started this about a few weeks ago and I LOVE it! My clothes smell clean and they are really soft as well.

It takes just a little bit each time I do a load of laundry and I keep my stash in a tall plastic container with a lid that I got ice cream in years ago. I shredded my Fels-Naptha or Zote soap with my food processor. So easy!I was able to find all these products at our local Price Cutter in Van Buren. You might be able to find them at your local Walmart or Dollar store or even Kmart.
As far as the soap, you might find it on one of the following aisles: Spanish aisle, in with the hand soap, or the laundry aisle. We like to use Ivory for our dedicates.

Laundry Soap
1 cup Fels-Naptha (yellow)/Ivory/Castile/Zote (pink bar)  soap, shredded (I shred mine in my food processor)
1/2 cup Arm and Hammer washing soda, not baking soda!
1/2 cup 20 Mule-Team Borax

Mix well. I put it back in my food processor again with the chopping blade (the big bad dangerous looking thing) and set it to whirling until it is very finely blended. Store in an airtight container until ready to use. I like to use an old 1 gal. plastic ice cream container with lid. When I make mine up, I make a gallon at a time - last about four months.  This makes dry washing powder.

We have really hard water and use about 2 TBS per load or just a tad less than 1/8 C. ( I just leave a 1/8 C. scoop in the container). It doesn't make suds but it cleans wonderfully.

When I start a load of laundry, I set it to hot water, add the detergent, let it run for a minute, then turn it the setting that I need for that particular load (cold, warm, hot).  This just helps the detergent dissolve easier.  I used to do this when I used store bought detergent as well. 

I still use Clorox for my whites, but add a handful of table salt to the wash.  Helps with brightening the whites.

Fabric Softener: 1/2 - 1 capful (I have an old liquid fabric softener cap) of white distilled vinegar to soften and take out the static. With the vinegar, I have a dispenser on my washer that I can put the fabric softener in - this is where is put the vinegar. If you have one of those fabric softener balls, you could try this as well. Because it cuts detergent residue, white vinegar makes a great fabric softener substitute for families with sensitive skin.

We don't use fabric softener sheets either. The vinegar and the use of Dryer balls take care of the softness and the static cling. You can get the dryer balls at any Walmart, Bed Bath and Beyond, and Lowes I believe as well as

This is the final cost of what Traci and I figured (though I've concluded she is much more gifted in the math area than I am!) :

A&H Washing Soda: 55 oz. container ÷ by 4.2 oz (1/2 C) = 13 bathes per box.$2.89 ÷ 13 = .22 per batch

Borax: 76 oz box ÷ 8 oz (1/2 C) = 21 batches per box.@2.84 ÷ 21 = .14 per batch

Use one of the following soaps:
Zote 1 bar shreded will make about 6 batches..95 ÷ 6 = .16 per batch.
Fels-Naptha - $1.351 bar shreded will make 3 batches
Ivory - 3 small bars will make 3 batches

The total cost for initial supplies is $6.68, and each batch will cost . 52 cents per batch.There will be approximately 46 loads per batch. Each load will be about 2 Tbs. or 1/8 C. of detergent (which is 3/4 oz.).

If you have difficulties finding supplies, you might look at a local Ace Hardware or small grocery store chain. The Fels is located in the hand soap section of our grocery store and they carry all the supplies we need.

The cost for each load is about: .52 ÷ 46 = .0113043 cents per load. You gotta love it!