Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Homemade Laundry Soap

Today was meant to be an X day but seems to be turning into more of a catch-up-on-all-sorts-of-things day.  This morning I went to have granola with yogurt and some defrosted apricots (from our old tree) and was disappointed to see that we were out of granola.  I've got a batch in the oven and thought I would add that recipe to my sidebar and then got distracted by the thought (and the dirty laundry that the boys are busy creating along with their papier mache projects) that it would be nice to have the homemade laundry soap recipe I use on the sidebar as well.

This is a very simple recipe, you only need  water, a bar of laundry soap (like Sunlight), washing soda and borax.
Grate 1/3 to 1/2 of the bar of one bar of sunlight (the smaller 65 g bar).  Put this into a large pot with 2 quart jars full of water (8 cups). Heat on medium until the soap is dissolved.  I then add 1/2  cup each of washing soda and borax and still until those are dissolved.  Turn off heat and add 2 more quart jars of water.  Stir.  (Your pot is probably getting fullish) 
I then divide this soapy solution between two old liquid laundry detergent bottles that I have.  Then I add 2 more quart jars of water to EACH jug and stir.  My total amount of water should be  8 quarts (32 cups) because this makes enough to do 64 loads of laundry using 1/2 cup per load. It will thicken up as it cools and you will be left with a gel like soap that dissolves nicely when you do your laundry even using cold water.  We've used it for years and find it works very well even on our grubby gardening and grubbier boys' clothes. ;-)   I've never figured out the cost exactly but it is pennies per load and, better yet, no artificial flowery smells and plastic bottles coming into our home.

18 comments:

Grace said...

I've made pretty much the same recipe but I use Kirk's castille bar soap rather than Sunlight. Just thought I'd mention since Kirk's is easy for me to buy at Kroger and I've never found Sunlight and I don't like the smell of Fels Naptha (another brand I've seen recommended).

Carrie said...

Just wondering what kind of washer do you use? I use a high efficiency machine that I usually put 1/4 of a cap per load. Do you have experience using this recipe for a high efficiency machine??
Thanks.

affectioknit said...

I use basically the same recipe in a HE front loading machine - I have a 1/8 cup scoop that I use and I just put it in the regular detergent dispenser. It works fine - I also use a little bit of white vinegar as a rinse agent...

Andrea said...

I use this exact recipe, too. I would just add that Sunlight soap is actually a petroleum product and you can substitute it with any pure soap. I started making my own hand soap last fall so now I use my own.

rebekka said...

What a lovely and wonderful blog you have. I just found it, and I can't wait to read more!

Heather said...

Hi Andrea. I'm looking forward to learning how to make my own soap this year too, I'm going to talk to Amanda about teaching me. :-) I sometimes use the laundry soap bar from Med Market (you know the one I mean?) too, I wonder if it has petroleum product in it too. Now that you mention it I think I remember we talked about this before but I had forgotten. Thanks for the reminder.

Heather said...

Thanks Affectioknit for answering Carrie's question, as I don't have an HE washer. I do know that this laundry soap is very low(almost no) sudsing and that that is one of the concerns for HE washers. Glad to know you can use it Affectioknit because now that means I can let my mom know that she could use it too. ;-)

Jacqui said...

Great blog and wonderful ideas. I save up the small ends of soap bars that get too annoying to use,(and you really want to open that nice new one anyway) and make a gel similar to this

happyalaskan said...

Thanks, just what I've been looking for. What a nice blog. I love good ideas. Does it work with Lavender Essential Oil added? Most commercial detergents make us itch. Happy Tuesday.

Heather said...

Yes, you can add essential oils if you like but, I think, there is the possibility that the essential oils could leave little "oil" stains on your wash. I tend to like it just as it is because we line dry and then end up with that fresh sunshine smell - a favourite scent of mine. ;-)

City Sister said...

I make a powdered homemade detergent from dr. brommers, borax, baking soda, and washing soda...2 bars grated and 1.25 cups of everything else all mixed up...I use 1/8 cup in my front loader and it works great!

Justine said...

Fantastic! This is just what I need to make. Have been using local and natural detergent, but it'll be much cheaper to make my own. Just so happens, I already have the soap, borax and saved detergent jugs. Thanks!!

Paula said...

I bought Fels Naptha soap, borax and washing soda yesterday! As soon as I have a couple of empty containers (thank you Freecycle!), I'm going to make this laundry detergent. Thanks so much for the recipe!

Paula said...

I made, I used it, and my clothes are clean and smell wonderful! Thanks for the recipe! All my friends are curious, so I will pass this information on to them!

Heather said...

Glad to hear it, Paula. Thanks for letting me know!

Anonymous said...

I have used this homemade laundry soap for some time. It's cheap and works in hot or cold water plus cleans beautifully. If you don't have detergent bottles saved, use pop bottles or any kind to keep it in. I love these $ saving recipes!

Mike said...

Awesome. I was having huge problem with the commercial laundry soaps. My skin was getting really red and itchy. I'm going to try this now. Thank you so much for sharing this soap recipe with us.

Anonymous said...

Andrea said...

I use this exact recipe, too. I would just add that Sunlight soap is actually a petroleum product and you can substitute it with any pure soap. I started making my own hand soap last fall so now I use my own.
March 4, 2010 at 10:44 AM

NO IT ISN'T