Monday, December 1, 2008

Make your own laundry soap

I had a friend over for breakfast the other morning and we got to talking. She told me that she makes her own laundry soap for about seventy-one cents and it lasts for sixty-four loads. That works out to a little over a penny a load! I am going to try the recipe this week...I'll update you on how it works but until then, here's the recipe:

1/3 bar of Ivory, Zote, or Fels Naptha soap, grated

1/2 cup washing soda

1/2 cup borax powder

1/2 to 1 ounce of essential oils for fragrance (optional)


~ small bucket, about 2 gallon size ~

Place grated soap in a saucepan. Add 6 cups water and heat it until the soap melts. Add the washing soda and the borax and stir until it dissolves. Remove from heat. Pour 4 cups hot water into the bucket. Now add your soap mixture and stir. Now add 1 gallon plus 6 cups of water and stir. Let the soap sit for about 24 hours and it will gel (not a solid gel, more of a watery gel). You use 1/2 cup per load.

**I am not planning on using my homemade laundry soap on my cloth diapers. I'm afraid that the borax might ruin the covers. Anyone have thoughts about this?

The Math

Fels Naptha: $1.12 for a 5.5 oz bar. The recipes says use a 1/3 of a bar. I calculated 2 oz. just to make the math a little easier. The cost of the Fels Naptha per batch is: .40 cents

Washing Soda: $2.23 for a 55 oz. box. This came to .17 cents per batch. I calculated how much per oz (2.23 divided by 55) and then weighed a half cup of washing soda (4.2oz.) and multiplied my per oz. price by 4.2

Borax: $3.27 for a 76 oz. box. This came to .14 cents per batch. Did the same calculations as above, however a 1/2 cup of borax weighs 3.5 oz.

For the final numbers I have .40 + .17 + .14 = .71 for 2 gallons of laundry detergent.


CC said...

I'm determined to try this when I run out of my huge Costco box. But where to get the Fels Naptha? Can you get me some?? please???

Laura Mo said...

Powdered Laundry Detergent
1 cup grated Fels Naptha Soap
1/2 cup washing soda
1/2 cup 20 mule team borax

Mix and store in airtight container or bag.

For light loads use 1 tablespoon. For normal loads, use 2 tablespoons. For heavy loads, use 3 tablespoons.

Cost per "normal" load .15

Sarah said...

where do you get the washing soda? i haven't been able to find it.

Laura Mo said...

I'm still looking...I'm going to try Winco tonight...and I'm trying to find someplace local to get Fels Naptha soap. I'll let you know what I find.

Laura Mo said...

I found the Fels Naptha and Washing Soda at the Winco on 122nd. They were both in the laundry section (go figure) and the prices were in line with what I saw on-line.

Lisa said...

Do you think this might be okay for "sensitive skin" folks? I have to buy the "all free" stuff for my darling KP and his skin. :) Thoughts??

Anonymous said...

Maybe using 1/2 bar of Dr. Bronner's might work better for sensitive seems like it would be less harsh. I'm not sure though...maybe google homemade laundry soap for sensitive skin.

Laura Mo said...

Dr. Bronner's has a sensitive "free & clear" bar soap...It might work.

Lisa said...

Thanks! I'll see what I can find... :)