Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Homemade Laundry Soap!

Tired of spending SO much money on a good laundry detergent? I am. I've never been one to spend a lot of money, which means I've always bargain shopped, been frustrated with different brands, found one that I liked, then discovered it was no longer on sale, then search for a new one. I even finally switched over to liquid detergent and loved it. Last year I did six months of couponing and bought almost a year supply of laundry soap!!! It was wonderful...while it lasted. Now I'm not couponing and I have decided to try a homemade recipe that a friend recommended.

In the process of trying out her recipe, I hunted forever to find Washing Soda. For any of you that want to try this recipe, I found the Washing Soda at Smith's. It's in a box that looks like an oversized box of baking soda, Arm & Hammer brand. It's similar to baking soda, only much more acidic, which removes the yucky smells from your laundry! I did some research on google to compare recipes and found them to be very similar. I took many other people's advice and didn't use the type of bar soap originally recommended. When choosing your soap, make sure there are no added oils to the bar soap. I'm pretty sure that includes Shea Butter. Oils will stain your clothes. Oxi Clean is a great stain remover! You can use as little as 1/4 cup in this recipe; however, my boys come home with grass stains in their knees, so I feel I need the extra for our laundry. Here is the recipe I ended up with:

Laundry Soap

1 cup Borax
1 cup Oxi Clean
1 cup Washing Soda
1 bar soap, grated

Use 2 TBSP per load of laundry. Yes, that's right. Only two tablespoons per load. Amazing, I know! You'll want to label your container so that anyone doing laundry can see how much to use. I found a small scooper that is 2 TBSP so I just leave it in my container. This recipe is low sudsing which means it will work great in your high efficiency washer!

Other suggestions:

One person recommended putting each bar of soap in the microwave for one minute and thirty seconds. This puffs it up and makes the soap crumble easily for the recipe. I tried this and it's pretty darn cool, except that the glycerin soap I chose smelled horrible after being microwaved and gave us all headaches. I simply used my food processor to grate my soap. Then it breaks down into smaller pieces when being stirred.

Once you try the recipe and find a bar soap you like, make a huge batch. Tonight I discovered that I could probably use entire boxes instead of measuring out cup for cup. I box of Borax is about the same as two boxes of Washing Soda. I bought my Oxi Clean at Costco so that box is twice as much as I need to match boxes, but you get the idea. Then an 8 pack of bar soap is sufficient. It doesn't have to be perfect.

If you prefer liquid detergent, google homemade laundry soap and follow the directions to turn this recipe into liquid laundry soap! You'll need a huge bucket for mixing and storage.

Write the recipe down on your container so that you can make it again without hunting. Also, write down how much to use in each load so that your laundry helpers will know what to do with the homemade laundry soap.

My current batch using entire boxes should last me several months! Possibly the whole year. I guess we'll have to see. But in my opinion, I'll be saving a bundle over the course of the next several months! Let me know what you think after you make yours. Feel free to let me know if you have any questions.

Thank you to Shelly Wolf who posted her homemade laundry soap on her blog! I'm always looking for a way to save money.