This is an experiment that began about a year ago when I dumped the last bit of super cheap laundry detergent into a load of wash. It so happened that that very same week, an unexpected box arrived on my door step. It was enough ingredients to make 10 gallons of homemade laundry soap—the prize of a giveaway I had completely forgotten I even entered.
Making my own laundry soap was something that I’d been wanting to try for quite a while. I have sensitive skin and most laundry soaps make me feel like I’ve been bitten by a million swamp mosquitoes or perhaps by a bunch of fleas. Either way, there is nothing pleasant about it!
I’d always avoided making my own laundry soap because I thought it would take time that I didn’t really have. I wasn’t sure that it would save me money, and didn’t think it would last very long. Plus, I couldn’t find the ingredients locally.
With all my excuses removed, I decided to give it a try. In all of 10 minutes, I had my first gallon of laundry soap! Making the laundry soap was probably one of the easiest experiments I’ve ever done.
My giveaway prize came with homemade soap, already grated, but even if I had to grate a bar of soap, I doubt it would have taken me much longer than that to make. It was a simple matter of blending the ingredients together and adding water.
That first gallon lasted me around 6 months. I made my second gallon in February, and I’ll be using it for a while longer.
I have enough ingredients to last me another year or two, but when I run out, I plan to keep making my soap. There are lots of variations, but here’s basically how I make mine. I cut it down into gallon sized portions since I only have a 1 gallon container and the two of us don’t use a lot of soap. But if you made it up 5 gallons at a time, just think of how long that would last!
4 cups hot water
1 Fels-Naptha soap bar, grated. (You can usually find this at walmart)
1 cup – Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda*
½ cup Borax
- Put grated soap in a sauce pan with a little water, and stir continually until the soap has melted.
- Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full with hot water. Pour in your melted soap, washing soda and Borax. Stir until all the powder has dissolved. Fill the bucket to top with more hot water. Stir again. Cover and let sit over night.
- Stir & then fill a one gallon container one-half to two-thirds full with soap and then fill rest of way with water. Shake before each use.
I use aproximately ¼ Cup per load
- Baking Soda will not work, nor will Arm & Hammer Detergent – you have to use sodium carbonate, or washing soda.
- I make mine unscented, but you could add an essential oil or some other fragrance if you like.
- This doesn’t get as thick as store bought soap, and that’s okay. It sometimes gets “clumps” in it, which is why you should shake it before each use.
- Also, this kind of soap doesn’t really suds up. That’s okay too. The ingredients do the cleaning, and the suds are just extra.
So there you have it—my simple homemade laundry soap experiment.
I don’t think that making my own soap makes me a better homemaker any more than I think that ordering a pizza for supper signifies an epic failure. (besides, I like pizza that I don’t make myself sometimes!)
But I do like saving money, and my skin rather appreciates the simple ingredients of this kind of soap. If you try it out, let me know how you like it and if you have improved on this! I’m particularly curious about scenting it, but don’t know if I dare give that a try.