Monday, April 23, 2012

Making Home-Made Laundry Soap

I do an awful lot of laundry in my house so when some of my fellow TOS Crew mates started talking about making home-made laundry soap I became very interested.  Of course my main interest was saving money since I buy a lot of laundry soap, but I also liked the idea that one batch could last for several months.  So I decided to give making laundry soap a try and I thought it might be a fun project to include Gess in.

I waited to post about it until I confirmed whether or not I saved money and could tell you how long a batch lasted me.  I heard that it could save you anywhere from $10-$30 and could last from 6-9months.  I decided to make a smaller batch in case I found that I didn't like it or something.  Well, the batch I made lasted me just a little over 3 months, washed about 90 loads of laundry and cost me a mere $8.92 to make.  So yes, it lasts quite awhile, gets your laundry nice and clean and saves you lots of money!  I think I saved about $20 by making my own soap and it was really nice not to have to worry about running out and picking it up at the store.  Dryer sheets were my only laundry concern while shopping for 3 months!

Another great thing about making your own soap is that it is actually pretty simple to make.  I was afraid it would be quite the chore but it was not.  Including Gess in the en-devour actually made it fun and we enjoyed the time together.  So, for anyone interested in saving some money while making their own laundry soap, here's how it works. 

I found quite a few recipes to try but settled on this one.

1/2 Box Mule Team Borax (4lb 12oz)
1/2 Box Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda(3lb 7oz)
1 Box Arm & Hammer Pure Baking Soda (2 lb box)
2 bars Ivory Soap

The Mule Team Borax and the Arm and Hammer Washing Soda can be found on the laundry soap aisle of the grocery storeMost recipes called for Fels Naptha Soap for the bar soap but I read that you could substitute for other kinds of soap if you wanted to and chose to use Ivory because we have sensitive skin.  Some recipes also included Oxy Clean but we did not add that in ours and still felt our clothes came out clean.

This time I will make a full batch which will last twice as long.  Here is the recipe for that:

1 Box Mule Team Borax (4lb 12oz)
1 Box Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda(3lb 7oz)
2 Boxes Arm & Hammer Pure Baking Soda (2 lb box or 1 4lb box)
3 bars Ivory Soap
Now all you have to do is measure the Mule Team Borax, washing soda and baking soda and mix them together.  Of course if you are using the full box recipes then just dump them in!  (You will need a tub, bucket or jar of some sort to store it in.)

The next thing you have to do is grate the bars of soap.  Now if you have a food processor (which we do) this step is super easy.  We just put the soap in the food processor and grated it up, it only took a few minutes and since it was soap, it cleaned up super easy!  (You can grate them by hand.  It will just take a bit more work but it should not be too hard.)

Now you simply mix that in with your other ingredients.  (Note how nice the soap grated up.)

Once it's mixed you have a nice large batch of laundry soap.

The great part is that you only need to use 2 Tablespoons or about 1/8 cup per large load of laundry!  To me it certainly was worth the small amount of time and effort it took to save the amount of money it did. 

I made this batch on January 27th and now that we are almost out I will have to make a new batch this next week or so.  However, since I am doubling it this time it will cost me twice as much but it should last me until the end of October!  I think I can handle that!

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