Sunday, March 22, 2009

Dirt Cheap Laundry Soap

An article appeared in our local paper last fall with instructions to make your own laundry soap for a lot less than the name brands. Wow! I know I'm a little weird but that really appealed to me.
(I secretly wish I could raise goats and chickens, build a worm composter in my garage and have bee hives. But that would mean I'd be living by myself; Fred would be gone!)

I like the idea that it costs pennies a load, plus you can reuse your containers. Plastic is one of my pet peeves. I hate how much plastic we recycle. So if you want to try this out, save some of your plastic laundry containers or large mouth juice bottles . (Milk jugs don't work well because the openings are so narrow.) You can find most of these ingredients at your local grocer. The washing soda and Borax are in the detergent aisle. The Boraxo usually shows up in the hand soap area, next to the Lava. If you can't find Boraxo, you can grate your own handsoap. Just make sure its grated to powder; a food processor will do the trick.

Laundry Soap Recipe:
  • 2 Cups Borax

  • 2 Cups Washing Soda

  • 2 Cups powdered hand soap (I use Boraxo. You can also FINELY grate any natural hand soap)

  • 1 Quart water in 2 qt saucepan

  • 10 Quarts (2-1/2 gallons) boiling water
Combine the 1 quart water, Borax, washing soda and Boraxo in your pot and bring to just below boil, mixing until all ingredients seem dissolved and foamy. Using a 5 gallon bucket (or any large plastic continer, like a small kitchen trash can) pour in heated soap mixture. Then add your 10 quarts boiling water( very hot tap water will work as well). Mix again until all soap seems dissolved. Let sit 24 hours
The next day you'll need to mix it again. Notice that the top layer has congealed overnight.

After you mix, start filling your containers. I use a funnel to fill mine. Or push the bottles down under the surface and let gravity do the work. Then seal and rinse well before storing. Use 1/4 to 1/2 cup of finished detergent per load depending on how dirty and how large your laundry loads are.


Bridget said...

Really? Seems pretty simple. What is the scent like?

I am Liz Schubert. said...

No smell really. Maybe a little like Softscrub or baking soda. Maybe you could add a couple drops of scented oil?