Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Tips and HInts Tuesday - Homemade Laundry Soap

Today's Tip is To: Save money by making your own laundry soap!

Thank you to Rachel Mitlo for this "recipe." I'm giving you all her notes! For those of you who have been wanting to save money by making your own laundry detergent - here's how to do it, with Rachel's notes and all! Head on over to her blog to check out the great things she has to say! Thank you Rachel!

Here's what you need:

1/3 bar Fels Naptha laundry soap
1 cup Washing Soda
1 cup Borax powder

Grate soap and put in sauce pan
Add 6 cups of water and heat until soap melts
Add Washing Soda and Borax, stir until dissolved
remove from heat
Pour 4 cups HOT water into bucket
Add soap mixture, stir
Add 1 gallon + 6 cups water, stir
Let soap sit for 24 hours to gel

So, here are my thoughts...this recipe makes 2 gallons of detergent.  For our family of 5, that lasts for 2 to 3 months.  When I need to make a batch, I'll do it on a Sunday night after the kids go to bed and it takes about 30 minutes???

The website I looked at said to use 1/2 cup per full load, but I tend to use closer to a cup.  (we have an extra large tub in our washer)

You can also add essential oil...BUT, oil is REALLY expensive and I bought grapefruit oil and added the recommended amount to a batch and it had NO scent after the dryer.  The next time I tripled the amount of oil and it STILL did not smell like grapefruit!  So, personally, I wouldn't bother.

The liquid in the bucket smells REALLY powerful...like soap.  But after the wash there is NO scent!

It does not actually turn to gel....it looks more like yellow soup with a thick film on the top.  Every time I use it, I stir it really well with the measuring cup.  I also keep it sealed with the bucket lid when I'm not using it.

It's safe for high efficiency machines, and so far it has not bothered anyone skin in my house and some of us tend to have sensitive skin.

For stains, I spray them with the Oxy Clean spray stuff...but I did that when I used store bought detergent, too.  I ruin white loads, so you're on your own for that...

The Fels Naptha Bar Soap and Borax 20 Mule Team can be bought in the laundry aisle at Giant Eagle...or wherever.  The Arm & Hammer Washing Soda is a bit trickier.  Stores don't carry it, but Giant Eagle can special order it for you.  We bought in on Ebay.

Here's my money breakdown : ( not to the exact cent, but close enough)
We used to buy a huge thing at Sam's Club for $16.00 4x a year...so, that's $64/year

Fels Naptha - $1.30 this will make 3 batches wich lasts us about 7 months???  
Borax - $5.00
Washing Soda - $5.00
The boxes of powder last a looong time and can actually be used for other stuff, too (like cleaning vomit out of carpets and vans).  I have yet to buy more....

So, this is about $15/year.

I had to buy a 5 gallon bucket with a lid at Home Depot for about $4.00

UPDATE FROM RACHEL: I made a new batch and tried a different oil (lily of the valley/fresh linen) and it worked much better than the grapefruit oil.  I think I got ripped off on the grapefruit oil because I bought it online, yada, yada, yada.  This oil I got at Jo Ann's and has a very light clean scent.

Has anyone else tried this!?

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the shout out! I would love to hear any suggestions on how to brighten the white load...or eliminate the yellowish stains from sweaty t-shirts! It drives me nuts!!!


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