Sunday, September 30, 2012

Homemade Laundry Soap

A lot of people have already posted recipes for their own homemade laundry soap, but I've made a couple of tweaks to mine, so I thought what the heck, I'll post my version. Not only will it be a simple post to get back into the swing of blogging, but maybe someone else in my family (99.9% of my followers right now are family) will want to try this for themselves as it really does work and its so inexpensive to make.

Homemade laundry soap doesn't take much time to make, and I love how I am in control of just what goes in there... mostly because I am allergic to so many different brands out there. Tired of feeling itchy all the time when trying out a new brand (or even a new scent of brands that I knew I could safely use) was annoying, and really expensive as I would then have to go back to the store to buy something else and just give those old mostly-full bottles away.

For me, I have a glass jar that I keep in my laundry room (I like the glass because it looks pretty in there with those yellow Fels Naptha curls, and I can also keep an eye on how much I have left...I purchased the jar at Target for less than $5). As its a two-gallon jar, I make this in large batches, which will last me for eons.... however, you can start small if you'd like and cut this recipe down. For those who use the laundromat, just toss this power into a ziplock baggie and away you go... light, easy to dispense and it smells amazing!

For those who have had disappointing results with powdered soaps in the past, I understand your reluctance to try this. I hated having powdery residue on my laundry after washing, and I was positive that liquid soap was my only solution.... but not anymore. This mix not only dissolves completely but it will even do so when washing in cold water cycles! The ingredients can all be found at your local WallyWorld or WinCo stores in the laundry aisle, but other stores may make you hunt around a bit.

My version:

1 box of Borax
1 box of Arm and Hammer Washing Soda
3 bars of Fels Naptha soap
1 small tub of OxyClean

First you'll want to get out your cheese grater and grate up the Fels Naptha.... you can do fine shreds or larger ones.... personally, I like the way the larger yellow shreds look in the jar and it makes the job go a lot faster. Now some people do not like the smell of Fels Naptha (I love it) so you can substitute a different laundry bar instead. I've heard of people also switching to Ivory, Dove or other body soaps, but I am not sure how well those will clean in the end, as Fels Naptha fights stains. Of course, now that I have added the OxyClean to the mix, maybe the Fels Naptha is no longer necessary, but, as I said before, I love how it smells, so I will keep adding it to my mix. Heck, at less than a dollar a bar its not as if I am spending a lot for something that I really like.

Pour all of your ingredients together and mix. Ta-da! You are done. I have seen some people toss the mix in one-cup increments into the blender to make a finer powder, but this is a time-waster to me...

When using, a heaping tablespoon handles normal loads and I use 2 heaping tablespoons for things like towels and bedding.

This is HE safe as it does not lather up much (note that lather does not always equal clean; even though this is not lathering up like you are used to seeing, it really is working!) I always wind up with a nice clean (not perfumed) scent from my laundry. Whites are still white and nothing so far has come out gray and dingy (and I've been using this stuff for a good 8 or 9 months now). Its definitely worth a try, and it works out to pennies a load, even with buying the name brand OxyClean rather than generic. It works great on anything urine-smelling, but I usually add a half cup of apple cider vinegar to the wash anyway when I am handling anything a cat may have had an accident on....

Oh, if you want to start small, use one cup each of Borax and Washing Soda, one bar of Fels Naptha and half a cup of OxyClean.

I have not done this personally, but a lot of people also add a few drops of whatever essential oils they enjoy to the mix.... lavender, orange... whatever floats your boat in order to have a more "scented" pile of laundry. As I mentioned before I find that following the recipe that my laundry comes out smelling clean and not perfumed as it is (with my allergies its what works for me), but any additions you want to make are completely up to you.

So remember this when you find yourself in the laundry aisle, groaning over how expensive a bottle of Tide is getting.... once you try this simple mix I don't think you'll be going back.


Mindy said...

I just might have to try this. I haven't ever made my own laundry soap, but you made it sound easy (and appealing) enough that I just may give it a whirl. Of course I may have to get to the 'big city' to find some of the ingredients, but it sounds worth it. Thanks for sharing. :-)

♥Miya said...

Ooh, I would try this but my washer only takes high efficiency liquid soap.

Shawna said...

Miya.... this is HE efficient and to make it into a liquid, simply mix it in with a little water before adding it to the washer. Trust me, you will love the results.