I think it’s been almost 2 years since I started making laundry soap. I started mostly out of curiosity, and partly because I didn’t feel like spending $30 on the Norwex soap (nothing against them though…the laundry soap was great) we had been using and had no desire to buy Tide again.
Some people don’t agree but we don’t like our laundry to smell flowery, and I found a recipe for home made laundry soap and gave it a whirl. Incidentally, there are many, many, many recipes online if you search for them. Just pick one and try it.
The recipe I chose has 4 ingredients: water, ivory soap, borax, and washing soda.
I grated the bar of Ivory soap into a pot and added some water (the amount of water isn’t very important). Heat it up and stir a bit till the soap dissolves.
Measure 1 cup each of washing soda and borax into a 3 gallon pail (I got mine empty from the bulk food store for a couple bucks). Boil some water and add it to the pail and stir until the powders are dissolved.
Then add the soapy water and stir it all together, adding more hot water from the tap if it won’t all dissolve. Then just fill the bucket up with cold water and stir it again.
That’s about it. It should gel as it cools. I use about a 1/3 cup per load, unless it’s really dirty, and then I use twice as much. Oh, I should also mention I use cold water for washing, which is partly why I don’t make the powdered version. This way the soap and powder are already dissolved.
The last couple of months, my clothes seem to have a build up of something on them…not sure what but maybe from the hard well water. I bought a little container of Tide Free (that went against my grain) and used that for a week or so and everything’s back to normal.
I should use vinegar in the rinse to help with the hard water deposits, but I never catch the rinse cycle to add it. I was dreaming the other day that I set up a little arm on the dial that would trigger a bell when it got to the rinse cycle, but I haven’t rigged it up yet. 😉
In case there’s any doubt, this laundry soap is CHEAP! It costs me about $13 for the borax AND washing soda (2 years ago) and a bar of Ivory soap is less than 50 cents. I use less than a dollar’s worth of the powders and a bar of soap per batch, so $1.50 tops (I don’t even think it’s that much). A batch lasts me about 3 months.
I’m pretty happy with the soap. It’s REALLY cheap and it doesn’t have any unpronounceable chemicals or fragrances in it. My clothes feel clean and fresh without the fake flowery smell (which, I might add, is overwhelming now when I do smell it!).
Have you tried homemade laundry soap?
Note: when adding the cold water to the bucket, if a lot of bubbles start to form on top, use another container to fill it up. I think the aerated water that comes out of the tap creates a lot more bubbles, but if you use a cup or container to fill it, it won’t bubble up so much.