Saturday, February 25, 2012

Laundry Soap

I've been thinking about making my own laundry soap for a while. I keep planning to make a batch of soap just to shred up and use in the laundry. Well, that just hasn't happened. But, I did find a box of soap the other day. I have no idea what kind of soap it is or why I stuck it in a box. It doesn't smell anymore (if it ever did). It doesn't have any orange spots. I used some and it was lye heavy. So, why was it stuck in a box? I have no idea!

That makes it perfect for laundry soap! I looked up recipes online and found some for laundry powder and some for liquid soap. They all looked about the same. Shredded soap, washing soda, and baking soda. Some recommended borax if you have hard water. I don't, but I like borax, so why not add a little.

The only difference I could see between the powder and the liquid was the addition of water. So, I picked the easiest and went with it.

You will need:
  • 1 cup shredded soap (there are commercial bars of laundry soap, but use whatever)
  • 1 cup washing soda
  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 1/2 cup borax (more if you have hard water; may also be omitted)
  • Container for soap
  • Large pot
  • Lots of water
  • Essential oils or fragrance of choice (could also use a scented bar of soap)
Bag of leftover shredded soap.
I decided to do the liquid soap. It is easier to me because you don't have to worry about it not dissolving. If you want your soap scented, you can use about 20 drops of essential oils or fragrance oils. You could also choose a scented soap, but it is up to you.

  1. Use a cheese grater to finely shred your soap. If you shred too much, store the extra in an airtight container for next time.
  2. Add 1 cup of soap to about 4 cups of boiling water. 
  3. Stir until the soap melts. 
  4. Add washing soda, baking soda (I added my essential oils to the baking soda before dissolving), and borax (if desired). 
  5. Add water until you have 20 cups total.
  6. Heat to boiling and stir well. 
  7. Cover pot and let cool.
  8. Pour into labeled container.
  9. Use about 1/4 cup per load. More for heavily soiled laundry.
Soap melting
If you want powder, just omit the water. Dump all your ingredients into a food processor (except fragrance). Mix well. Store in container.
Reusing an old detergent bottle!

I always add vinegar to the fabric softener compartment on my washer. It helps rinse out leftover detergent, dissolves uric acid (I add extra to the loads of diapers), leaves clothes soft, and helps reduce static in the dryer. Don't worry, the smell doesn't linger.

Have you ever thought about making your own? What would be your biggest concern?