*Update* The whole recipe only costs about $2. The bar of soap is $1.97 and the box of Borax and Arm and Hammer are about $4 each. Since you only use less than a cup each time you make this – the boxes will last FOREVER! I have an HE washer and dryer and this works awesome. I haven’t had a mold problem or a problem with my whites getting clean. I have also been washing the baby’s clothes in this and he hasn’t shown an irritation.*
Ok friends. This is the epic laundry soap post 101. I was supposed to do it last night, but after I got home from 2 different grocery stores, put away said groceries and fed my kids, it was almost 10pm. I decided that Biggest Loser and Reese’s easter eggs were calling my name and that I would do the post today. So…hope your eye balls don’t burn from the “high quality” of all the pictures and my ridiculous need for a manicure!
Cast of characters :
1. Grate the bar of Fels-Naptha soap. If you have a food processor, that works too. Since I’m cheap and didn’t register for one when we got married, I use the cheap old side grater.
2. After you grate the soap, it’s going to look a whole lot like cheese. And, if you forget to put a lid on the container..your kids might eat some thinking it really is cheese. Not that mine have ever done that or anything 🙂
( I went to town on that bar of soap, hence the mess on the counter. Be jealous of my mad grating skillz! )
3. Add the soap to the water on the stove. The original recipe says just use hot water and then stir the soap in on low heat, but that took way too long. I let the water boil then turned it down to medium and added the soap. It only took like 10 minutes for it to melt that way. Make sure you stir it contiunouslt though.
( my hands look ginormous )
4. While the soap is melting ( I got really tired of stirring it..and it still melted so the whole continuously thing is kinda moot in my book ) add 2 1/2 gallons of water to a 10 gallon rubbermaid tub.
( ok so apparently not only do I need a manicure, but dang..those toes are scary! annnnd proof in the right corner that I can’t do anything by myself)
5. Mix in the Borax and Washing Soda with the 2 1/2 gallons of hot tap water. Stir until it dissolves.
6. Pour in your melted soap mixture and stir again.
( janky nail polish and another set of feet to watch the process )
7. Add another 2 1/2 gallons of hot tap water to the mix.
8. Cover, if you can find a lid to fit the tub, and let sit overnight. The mixture will congeal and get gross looking, but this is totally normal. Give it a good stir and step back and smile at your $2 tub of grandma smelling laundry soap. Oh, and it doesn’t make 2 tubs full. I had made a batch 2 days ago and used it to show the finished product. Because I’m lazy like that.
immediately after mixing after sitting overnight
( taking up a collection to get this poor girl a pedi. seriously. gross )
9. I have saved an old Tide jug and I use it to put the soap in. You can dilute it, but I don’t because we have a crazy amount of stains at our house. If you dilute it, then fill up the jug with 1/2 water and 1/2 detergent mix. Use it just like you would regular detergent. And, because I just cleaned out the laundry room and want proof that it was clean at least once in my lifetime…here is a picture of the finished product!
There ya have it! You can add essential oils to it to make it smell different, but I really like the clean soapy organic smell. It’s the only thing in my life that really smells clean. With 5 kids, you learn to appreciate the little things. Like clean laundry smells and the first 20 seconds of a new trash bag before diapers hit it.
Homemade Laundry Soap
4 cups hot tap water
1 bar Fels-Naptha soap
1 cup Arm and Hammer Washing Soda
1/2 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 10 gallon tub with 2 1/2 gallons of water. Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax. Stir well until all powder is dissolved. Add another 2 1/2 gallons of 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 the rest of the 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.
– Yield : Liquid soap recipe makes 10 gallons.