Thursday, June 30, 2011

Checking Off One of My Summer To-Dos

I was inspired last week to by my The Old Schoolhouse Crew Mates to finally make my own laundry soap.  We do a lot of laundry here, people.  Laundry soap is one of those necessities that sure make me say, "ouch" when I grab a gallon of Tide at the grocery store or Walmart.

One of my hesitations in making laundry soap is needing to cook the soap to get it liquid and gel. I don't know why, but it just seemed a lot of mixing and mess that I didn't want to get into.

One of my Crew Mates, Jennifer Dragoo Southern at Creative Learners posted this recipe:

  • 2 cups Bar Soap (finely grated)
  • 1 cup Washing Soda
  • 1 cup Borax
Here's what I did: 
  1. Since I don't have a hand grater, I used my food processor and coarsely grated the soap.  I took out the grater wheel and put in the regular blade and let the food processor chop up the soap into teeny, tiny little pieces. Two bars of Fels Naptha soap worked very well to give me the needed two cups for the recipe.
  2. I added a cup each of Mule Team Borax and Arm and Hammar Washing Soda.  I found all these ingredients very easily in the laundry aisle at Walmart.
  3. Mixing up the ingredients is really important.  Next time, I will just add the washing soda and borax to the food processor and let it all get well-mixed.
  4. Put it in a covered container.  Jennifer's recipe suggests using two tablespoons per load.   There are 12 tablespoons in a cup, so that means I've got enough soap for about 24 loads of laundry.  We do about a load a day, so I shouldn't have to mix up any more until the end of July (just in time to do laundry from Ben's Boy Scout trip!)
I have a front load washer, so I was a bit concerned about this detergent being too soap-y and bubbly, but I haven't found that to be a problem.  The clothes are coming out smelling clean and are soft.  I haven't had to tackle any rubbed in stains, yet, but I'll keep you posted.

Here's the cost of my supplies:

Fels Naptha soap = $1.94  (94 cents each)
Washing Soda= $2.77
Borax= $2.98

Total cost is $7.69, but both the Washing Soda and Borax are large boxes and will last me for several batches. 

Next up will be trying dishwasher soap!

1 comment:

Wendy R said...

This is one task I need to attempt tackling, too!