Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Homemade laundry soap!

My friend Shauna and I were watching 17 and counting the other day. You know, the show about the Duggar family that has 17 kids and one on the way. It's a great show. Anyway, they made homemade laundry soap and showed the cost saving of using that soap versus buying laundry detergent. It gave me a bit of a blast-from-the-past, because in my cloth diapering days (mainly with Blondie-she was completely cloth diapered, but my first 3 kids all wore cloth diapers at one time or another. Then I got tired.) :) Anyway, I made laundry soap during that time and recognized it as basically the same recipe. Well, we thought with the financial bind we are in right now, saving money wherever possible would be helpful. So we decided to use the Duggar recipe and make laundry soap. It came out just right! Just like I remember, too. It is suuuuuper easy, and even with the start-up cost of buying a new 5 gallon bucket to keep it in, it was cheaper than buying less than half the amount of detergent than we made at Costco. Cool! The consistency was described as that of egg-drop soup, and it really is! You can see it in my hand:

The smell is actually quite pleasant, kind of lemony but you can add essential oils for different scents. I think I want to try peppermint or lavender first...
Here is the Duggar's recipe:

TIPS FOR LAUNDRY SOAP: We use Fels-Naptha bar soap in the homemade soap recipes, but you can use Ivory, Sunlight, Kirk's Hardwater Castile or Zote bars. Don't use heavily perfumed soaps. We buy Fels-Naptha by the case from our local grocer or online. Washing Soda and Borax can normally be found on the laundry or cleaning aisle. Recipe cost approx. $2.

Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap- Front or top load machine- best value

4 Cups hot tap water
1 Fels-Naptha soap bar
1 Cup Washing Soda
½ Cup Borax

- Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.

-Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of hot tap water. Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax. Stir well until all powder is dissolved. Fill bucket to top with more hot water. Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken.

-Stir and fill a used, clean, laundry soap dispenser half full with soap and then fill rest of way with water. Shake before each use. (will gel)

-Optional: You can add 10-15 drops of essential oil per 2 gallons. Add once soap has cooled. Ideas: lavender, rosemary, tea tree oil.

-Yield: Liquid soap recipe makes 10 gallons.

-Top Load Machine- 5/8 Cup per load (Approx. 180 loads)

-Front Load Machines- 1/4 Cup per load (Approx. 640 loads)

(recipe copied from duggarfamily.com)

We found all the ingredients at Food City, but the Borax was slightly cheaper at Walmart. Not enough to make a separate trip just to get it, though. We are planning a trip to IKEA next week to get a smaller container to hold about one or two gallons so we can scent smaller amounts at a time. Until then, I'll just dip it out of the bucket and use 1/8 cup (for my front loader) and add 1/8 cup of water into the dispenser with it. If my calculations came out right, it costs about one cent (or a little less) per load. Not too shabby!!


Christine said...

I saw that episode, too. My only question - does it work? Do the clothes actually get clean? I can't wait to hear your answer!

*Katie May* said...

wow that's cool!

Becca said...

I'm totally going to try that! BTW I have found 5 gal buckets for cheap at DI before. It's great to know where and how to cut costs in our sad economy, thanks!

Melinda said...

I watch that show too. Wow it must work their clothes always look so bright and clean!

SuperCoolMom said...

I am soooo trying that!

heidi said...

That sounds so easy!! I may have to try it. Maybe. Hmmm. LOL I'm scared! Isn't that silly?!