Monday, May 21, 2012

Homemade Laundry Soap

Hello, lovely friends!

I have been making my own laundry soap for over three years now. I started making it for a few reasons. I have very sensitive skin and I was tired of all the reactions that I was having to dyes and perfumes. The more research that I did, the scarier it got when I realized all the unnatural stuff that's in laundry soap. When I was given my original laundry soap recipe, I was surprised how easy it was to make. Also, I could save a lot of money and it was nice to know for sure what all the ingredients were! It seemed like a win win...and it is! 
Here are my two homemade laundry soap recipes ~

Dry Homemade Laundry Soap ~

4 lbs. Borax 
4 lbs. Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
4 lbs Arm & Hammer Baking Soda (I used Meijer brand)
3 Bars Fels-Naptha soap
(You can also use Kirk's Castile soap, I have never tried it myself though)

Grate 3 bars of Fels-Naptha soap, I use an old cheese grater.

The consistency of the soap has always been very dry for me. The lighter looking flakes are how the soap has looked all these years of making laundry soap. The brighter flakes that look more like cheese was a new experience for me. The second and third bars that I grated were much softer, brighter, and grated much faster than I'd ever experienced before. I'm not sure why there was a difference this time. Really, it works either way. 

Pour the Borax, the Super Washing Soda and the Baking Soda in a tub large enough to mix everything in. Add the soap flakes and stir until everything is mixed really well. There will be powder flying everywhere! It's a lovely scent but it does make a mess. Honestly making the liquid detergent is a completely different experience for this reason alone.

About the two boxes of super washing soda pictured, the recipe calls for 4 lbs., but the box is only a 3 lb. box. I had an old box left over from my last batch and just used the rest of it for this batch.

I put my soap in some pretty jars to brighten up my unsightly little laundry closet. I would put it in pretty jars if I had a beautiful laundry room though... 

There's even more of the soap in the Borax box. This recipe makes a ton!

Use 2 (heaping) Tbs. per load. I just fill my pretty little 1/4 cup measuring tea cup half full.

Source ~
I found this recipe on The Sugar Pie Farmhouse blog and Aunt Ruthie found it through The Beehive Cottage blog. I'm linking to both posts here because both blogs are so cute and each post was done so beautifully and creatively. The only difference from my old recipe is the use of baking soda and the fact that it's a dry recipe.

Liquid Homemade Laundry Soap ~
(from cousin Sarah)

(I took this picture at our old apartment quite a long time ago)

3/4 cup Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
3/4 cup Borax
1/2 bar Fels-Naptha soap

Grate soap in a big pot. Add 6 cups water and put over medium low heat for 30-35 minutes until the soap is dissolved. Now, this is where it's a completely different experience from the dry recipe; the wonderful smell of the soap fills your entire home with the most pleasant and clean aroma, it's amazing! It smells like the whole place has been cleaned from top to bottom. I just love it!

After the soap has melted, add Borax and the A&H super wash soda and stir until dissolved (about 2 minutes). You can add fragrance here. I have never done this, but it's how the recipe was given to me, so I thought that I should pass that along. Put 4 cups hot water in a 3 gallon container; then add the soap mixture and stir. Add 1 1/2 gallons cold water, stir and you're all set. It will gel up as it sits. Use 1/2 to 3/4 cup per load.

This is what your laundry soap will look like. 
I divide the laundry soap up into about 5 or 6 Gold Peak iced tea containers. I also used two apple cider gallon containers for the cold water part of the recipe. Never use old milk containers. They can hold bacteria so it's just not a good idea!
The mixture is pretty thick but it separates a lot. I use a funnel to pour the liquid into my containers, otherwise it makes a huge mess all over your counters. I would often shake the bottles to get everything back to the right consistency before adding to the wash.

Please let me know if you decide to make your own laundry soap! I would love to hear about it and if you like it or not. If you try both and like one over the other I would love to hear about that too!

I also want to say that the soap does not suds up and your laundry does not smell like detergent after cleaning. I'm so used to scent free everything that I don't even think about it anymore. Just a little warning, this recipe may not be for everyone. 

I hope you enjoy making your own natural homemade laundry soap!


Linking With ~

Ivy and Elephants


Liz Marie Blog

The Shabby Nest

Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special

Fine Craft Guild


Maryjane-The Beehive Cottage said...

Oh Jamie, I am thrilled you have given the laundry soap a try and love it! I have been making it for over 5 years now and still love it! Also wishing you a Happy Anniversary! Beautiful wedding pictures!


Helen said...

I have everything to make the soap, but I was using up what I had left of the other. I am sure that it will be much better for my family if I just get to it and stop putting it off. Thanks for the recipe.

Angie said...

I have always wanted to make my own laundry soap. Thanks for the recipe!

Liz @ Quirky Vistas said...

I had never considered making my own soap... You are so ingenious. Thanks for stopping by Quirky Vistas and leaving me a nice note. I just love your wedding pictures and the smashed cake and the picture where it says it was the happiest day of your life. That is too sweet!

Anonymous said...

I wanted to try and make my own laundry soap a few years ago, bought the ingredients, then never did it. Thanks for the inspiration and your recipe! I'm excited to give this a shot again. :-)

Jan and Colleen said...

I made my first batch of laundry soap a few weeks ago and have been using it since then. I love it, is much cheaper and I think a good product. I love how it smells too, I made the liquid version.

Decor & Harmony said...

I have got to give this a try :) I bought all of the fixin' but never did you even know how much money I could have saved!! Thanks for sharing. Stop by for a blog visit I'm your newest follower!

Linda @ Life and Linda said...

Happy Anniversary. Great idea making your own laundry soap...Thanks so much for sharing this recipe.

Creating Love And Joy said...

jamie, hey there...came over to see your blog.. i also make my own laundry detergent..i'll never go back to store bought..

Mimi@blueroofcabin said...

I keep thinking I am going to do this and never do. I am glad I stumbled onto your post I need to do it. Laundry soap is on the list for tomorrow perfect timing. Thanks!

Laurel Stephens said...

I really want to give this a try. I'm thinking about doing it with my daughter and sharing the soap between us. What a great post, Jaimie!! (Pinned it!)

Anonymous said...

I have been using the liquid homemade laundry soap for about 5 months now and I LOVE it!! So much cheaper and it works VERY well!!!

Rose :: Fine Craft Guild .com said...

I love this diy soap idea and think our readers will do also. May I invite you to come participate and link it up at our linky party: