Thursday, August 4, 2011

Homemade Laundry Soap

You would think that after 25 years of marriage and children, that I would have the laundry thing down....well, no I don't.  It is still the same disorganized pain it has always been.  There is not quite as much of it however, as in the past, which is nice. When we had a full house and no where to hide all that clean laundry waiting to be folded, I almost had a handle on it.  I had made a New Years resolution a few years back NO LAUNDRY IN OUR BEDROOM (except the folded kind, put where it belongs :) In an attempt to stick to this, I started folding right out of the dryer and stacking everything for my peeps to put in their rooms where it belongs (maybe occasionally some of it would hit a drawer in my boys rooms, usually not!)  Anyway this worked for a while until our two oldest boys got married and moved out....then I had all this room and a guest room right next to the laundry room...Guess what it is piled with most of the time?  I can't fold laundry, I'm a slave to my sewing machine!  Well regardless of my laundry habits, I want to share a recipe for homemade laundry soap that is super easy to make, very inexpensive, and also all natural, as much as soap can be. You can find several variations of this recipe online, but this is the one I have tried several times and it works.

1/3 bar of soap-Fels-Naptha is what I have used, or my homemade soap (use a bit more if using homemade)
1/2 cup washing soda (not baking soda-available in the laundry soap aisle)
1/2 cup borax
A bucket ( I use a 5 gal size, but 2 gal would work, or any container that works)

Grate the soap and add it to 6 cups hot water in a pan on the stove over low heat.  Stir until melted and combined.  Add the borax and washing soda.  Stir until the powder is dissolved, then remove from heat.  I use a wire whisk to blend it all together.  Then add 1 quart hot water to a 2 gal (at least) clean pail.  Add the heated soap mixture and stir well.  Add to this 1 gallon plus 6 cups of tap water.  Stir well.  Let the soap sit for about 24 hrs.  It will gel up, but not a solid gel, it is a bit watery.  Makes 2 gallons, or enough for 64 loads.
Use 1/2 cup per load.  Oh, ya... here's the best part... to make this recipe costs approximately $1.00 per batch!  That is less than .01 per load! Amazing right?

I also recently found a recipe for a homemade bleach/brightener substitute:
1 cup hydrogen peroxide
1/4 cup lemon or grapefruit juice
12 cups water

mix and store in a labeled plastic jug. Use 2 cups per load.  This recipe is from Mother Earth (one of my favorite natural do it yourself sites on the Earth!)

For other recipes, including a powdered form, and some larger batch recipes, try tipnut

This won't help your laundry get folded, but it will save you some hard earned $$$, enjoy.

I would love to see your comments on trying this recipe, or the others available out there.  Anyone have tips on getting jujitsu gi's white? That is my next quest.

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