I’ve been making my own laundry soap for nearly four years now. Why? I wanted an alternative to buying plastic containers filled with CHemicals** that weren’t even on the packaging, and, mostly I have sensitive skin and so does my son… so, I like to know whats being put on my clothes.
I first ran across a recipe that Laura (Breezy and Brazen) had posted years ago. I got so excited that someone else was into making their own- someone I actually know! I started using this recipe right away.
I think you’re only supposed to use a 1/4 cup of this stuff…probably even less- a lot less- I used 1 cup for every large load. DO NOT DO THAT! This recipe has a tendency to leave a film on fabric making it water repellent, which is great for my t-shirts; AWFUL for towels. Towels are not meant to repel water. I don’t buy paper towels, so my non-soaking towels have been a major frustration for Nate. Haha. My bad, babe. I’m sure this works well for some families. It just didn’t work for mine…that and I don’t follow directions.
I started doing more research and after talking to my friend, Anna, she said she uses all of those things, minus the Borax, and just melts it all down in a pot with a few cups of water (I did about eight), adds the mixture to a ten gallon bucket, and fills the bucket with water. After it gels up, she just mixed it up. Brilliant! So, I did that. That actually worked great for a long time…and then I had the thought…what if I DON’T put it in a ten gallon bucket? What if it’s just the concentrated mixture? Upon doing some more research I found I can do that, and just use a tablespoon per load. TA DA! So, here’s my favorite recipe. I’m currently experimenting with different soaps. I usually go for Castile soap, but at my local Meijer it only comes in pack of three which is bound in plastic. Because I’m doing my best to avoid plastic, I figured why not try something different. My next batch I’m thinking about hitting up Health Hut to just grab one of the soaps they sell without any packaging on it. That’s a major Zero Waste win!
*1 cup…ish Arm and Hammer Washing Soda (I don’t measure things, I’m awful.)
*1 bar of soap, grated. Like I said above, I like Castile soap…but I mean…use what you want!
*A large pot full of water. Like… 12 ish cups. (again, I don’t measure, eeeeek)
*Either a strong arm and a whisk, or a hand mixer (a stand mixer would even work)
*Jars to put your product in
*Essential oils if you so desire. I didn’t use any this go around
***update*** I added (about) a cup of Borax to my most recent soap. I’m loving the stain removing power so far.
This makes a little over 2 quarts
Whatchu need to do:
Get your pot of water almost to a boil, and add the washing soda. Let that dissolve COMPLETELY before adding the grated soap. If you don’t, the soda ends up binding to the soap making a gritty product. After your soda is completely dissolved add the grated soap and stir. This is going to take some time. You don’t have to babysit it, but you may wanna turn the heat down, otherwise you’re gonna have a over-boiled disaster. When you’re soap is melted down, give it one last stir and set it aside to cool down and gel together. This part also takes some time. About an hour or so.
When you come back to your soap, just whip that baby up! I love how smooth this one turned out. The bergamot and lime scent is yummmmy!
Ladle your soap in your jars and you’re good to go!
All you need is one tablespoon per large load. It smells amazing and I couldn’t be happier with how this one turned out.
I know this seems like a lot of work; a lot of time… but if you can take a few hours in your day to make it happen, I feel it’s totally worth it. This is over 120 loads of laundry. I spent $2 on the bar, $4 for the washing soda and some time. This comes out to $0.02 PER LOAD! I think that’s pretty impressive.
*Side note* I haven’t found a homemade laundry soap that really gets stains out. Spray and Wash has been my go-to (ugh, CHemicals!) .I’m looking for a different method. I’ve tried scrubbing with vinegar and baking soda, but that doesn’t seem to do the job. If you have any suggestions for getting stains out I would appreciate hearing about it!
I hope you all give this a go. It’s so simple…and hey, who doesn’t love saving money?!
**(Say CH. Now say emicals. CHemicals! CHeetah, CHicken, CHaCHa CHa! Hee hee. Gotta love the English language. (The way I say CHemicals is courtesy of Jessica Rogers, PharmD. Love you, muffy!)