Monday, September 20, 2010

Making laundry soap

When I first heard people were making their own laundry soap, visions of cauldrons over bonfires in the back yard filled my head. It couldn’t be further from the truth – we do all the work over the kitchen stove.

After glowing testimonials from a sister-in-law, a neighbor, and some lady in Relief Society, I went for it. Assembling the four ingredients was relatively painless. The hard part was finding a 5-gallon bucket I was willing to use as a storage vessel for the final product.

The first two ingredients are: Borax and Laundry Soda. (Both are white powders)


The third ingredient is Zote laundry soap; available at your local WalMart. (It’s on the top shelf – look up.)

The last ingredient is water. Boiling water. Here's what it looks like to boil the soap.


It will eventualy turn clear.


Here’s my final product. (The pink comes from the Zote.)


So I’ve used it for over a week and I love it! My clothes come out soft. They smell like cotton, or polyester, or a blend. They aren’t full of some left-over commercial scent. (My friend uses an extra smelly dryer sheet because she misses the smell of a meadow in the spring time.) The colors are staying true and the whites are as white as ever.

The best part? The cost. For four gallons of laundry soap, I paid... 0.67 cents! Four gallons! I figured out my cost savings over a year...(drum roll please)...$152.68. That’s $12.73 per month. That’s a pedicure every other month. Don’t you think I deserve one after all that laundry?

Here's the recipe if you want to give it a try. As always, I'm here if you have any questions.

Laundry Soap

3 ounces of Ivory or Zote soap, grated or chopped into small pieces
1 cup 20 Mule Team Borax (Found at WalMart in the laundry isle)
1/2 cup Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda (found at Smiths in the laundry isle)
5 cups of water
5 gallon bucket
3 gallons of hot water
1/2 ounce essential oils (optional)

Heat the 5 cups of water until it almost boils, add soap and stir until the soap dissolves.

Fill the bucket with 3 gallons of HOT water. Add the soap mixture and stir until smooth. Add the soda and stir again. Add borax and stir again. Cover and let set for 24 hours. Add essential oils and stir. (If you don’t add oils you still need to stir it one more time.)

You can divide it into smaller containers. Any plastic container will do (except for milk containers).

In a regular, top-loading machine, use 1/2 cup for a full load. If your cloths come out a little stiff use a quarter cup less next time. In a High Energy machine use 1-2 tablespoons for a full load. If your cloths come out stiff use a half tablespoon less next time.