Who doesn’t love saving money!? And how much better is it when you can save money by being more conscious of being healthy!? My sister posted this fabulous and oh so inspiring recipe for DIY laundry soap on her blog, and I just HAD to try it!
I have been toying with the idea of making homemade cleaning products for some time, but always manage to put it on the back burner…well not this time. I was ready for some money saving options! I was also ready to broaden my horizons.
I have been trying to be “clean” in the household chemical department for some time. We use vinegar for most everything in the kitchen, and I have switched to using nothing but Dr Bronners in my bath/shower. However, I had never taken the time to address the laundry issue and/or find a way to make mixtures that would prove to be more user friendly and budget stretching. I had tried the “soap nut” thing, in hopes of finding an easy “clean” way of doing laundry…but I just felt it wasn’t worth the money and I simply wasn’t very impressed with the job they did.
So, thank God for my sister and her motivation! I can’t believe I hadn’t done this sooner! Soooo EASY, and is going to save us soooo much money! You can get a marvelous write up as to the “why’s” of all this, and a great “numbers” breakdown as to how much this is going to save you, by checking out my sisters post HERE.
I have modified her recipe just a bit. Instead of using the Fels Naptha, I opted for a bar of Dr Bronners Hemp Lavendar Pure Castile Soap. I love the stuff, and it’s just so nice to be able to know what every ingredient is!
Also, it only takes about 1/8 cup of soap in our HE washer. This is because we have a water softener, and we have been instructed by the guy that put it in, to be sure to use a lot less soap products than we normally would. After a few trial runs, we landed at 1/8 of a cup working well for us. My sister said that she will use about 1/4 of a cup for her HE washer. I’m not sure if they have soft water or not. So see what seems to work best for you. Either way, you are still going to save a TON of money, and you won’t have to be making this stuff as often as you would be buying it from the store. The batch is huge, and its only a QUARTER of the original recipe that my sister had found!
So, on with the recipe…
You will need…
- 1/4 bar of Dr Bronners Bar Soap (any scent)
- 2 Tablespoons Borax powder
- 1/4 cup (4 Tablespoons) Arm & Hammer WASHING Soda (not baking soda)
- 1 cup water (for melting soap)
- 20 cups of water for mixing everything together
- A large bucket (we chose to buy a 5 gallon bucket with a lid since we knew we would be doing this many times in the future.
- 2 old laundry jugs (at least 1 gallon each) or other jugs that you have that you can re-purpose We bought a couple of water jugs from Walmart. They only set us back about $4 for the pair. We figured with as much as we would be using them, they would more than pay for themselves.
First you want to cut your bar of Dr Bronners into 4 equal pieces. Put 3 of them into a ziplock baggie so you will have them for future batches.
Then you need to grate up your 1/4 of a bar on a cheese grater…which is sort of funny, because it will end up looking a lot like cheese.
Put the grated soap into a small pot with 1 cup of water and cook it over medium low heat until it is completely dissolved.
Stir constantly…it will get a bit sudsy, but that’s okay.
Now, you are going to put 10 cups (2 1/2 quarts) into your trusty 5 gallon bucket, or whatever bucket it is that you have chosen to use
Pour in the dissolved soap, borax, and washing soda, and mix thouroughly until everything is well combined.
Add 10 more cups, stir well again, and your done.
Put the lid on your bucket and set it aside until morning.
The next morning, you will notice that it has thickened and gelled quite a bit. Mix it up again to thin it up a bit and get it ready to pour into your gallon jugs.
Fill the jugs each about 1/2 full. My jugs were only 1 gallon, so they ended up a bit over 1/2, but it seemed to work out fine that way. ( Thank you to my beautiful mother for being my gracious assistant! )
Once it is divided between the two jugs, you are going to fill them the rest of the way up with water. Make sure the water is running fairly slow so it doesn’t suds up terribly.
Give them one final good shake to combine, and you are DONE! You will want to shake them good before each use to make sure these nice little floaters get mixed back in.
And that’s it. It took us all of 15-20 minutes, tops, of prep for this the night before. The next morning, all of 10-15 to stir it up and get it poured into jugs. Easy peasy, and totally worth it!
1/8 of a cup per load seems to work great for us.
Be sure to give it a good shake before each time you use it. There tends to be a bit of “gel” settling that happens after the jugs have sat for a bit.
Here is the easily printable version, for your convenience.
Have you ever experimented with DIY projects such as laundry soap? Do you have any specific types of soap you prefer to use in the mix? Let me know if you have any nifty pointers to add!