I’ve been making my own laundry soap for a few years now. I know that sounds impressive…like I’m some kind of housewife guru or something…but believe me, it’s nothing of the sort. The fact is I’m too cheap to buy the stuff. Plain and simple. So a few years ago I came across a website by the Duggar family, those crazy folks with all the kids, and there was a recipe on their site. I copied it, modified it a bit to suit my needs, and have been using it ever since.
So this morning when I realized I was low I made another bucket…this is how it goes.
You will need:
Fels-Naptha bar soap
Borax Natural Laundry Booster
Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda.
First, I grate the Fels-Naptha bar on my cheese grater. It takes quite a sturdy cheese grater, as the bar is really hard. This is the hardest part and my hand gets a little tired. Maybe a kid should be doing it…after all, they are the dirty boogers using it all up. Careful you don’t grate your fingers. Ouch.
I heat the shredded soap in a small pan of water until the pieces are dissolved.
Meanwhile, I take an old bucket, I use a cat litter bucket minus the litter, and fill it almost all the way up with hot water from the tub. I think my bucket is about 4 gallons, give or take, and I’m sure you could use a 5 gallon bucket and dilute it even more. I’m paranoid and my kids are pretty dirty so I use a more concentrated version than the Duggars do. Maybe their kids are always clean…mine are disgusting.
After the bar soap is dissolved, I pour that into the giant bucket of hot water. Then I pour a bit of Arm and Hammer and a bit of Borax in. I don’t measure…I use about a ½ cup to 1 cup of each. I get a broom handle and stir until mixed.
Then I put the lid on and sit the bucket next to the washer. It takes a day for the mixture to gel up and sometimes you have to stir it again after it gels a bit.
Voila, you are done. Now just use a little plastic scooper…maybe a ¼ cup…and dip it in for each use. As an alternative, pour a cup or two of Tide, or another smelly soap you like, into the bucket in the end. I do this because I love the smell of it and make a bottle of Tide last about a year or more.
Oh, and I also make my fabric softener too. I buy a bottle of Downy…again, the smell…and pour it in another kitty litter bucket. I fill it the rest of the way up with water and drop in a few small sponges. To use, I grab a sponge, ring it out so it barely has any liquid, and throw it in the dryer with the laundry. The only pain is making sure the sponges get put back in the bucket …that’s why I have four or five.
I estimate my laundry soap costs me about 10-15 dollars a year. That’s right…a year…for our family of nine. Good luck with your laundry venture!