This week I am going to be sharing a bunch of new recipes and tips for that wonderful thing we all love to do...laundry.
Does any one else feel as though laundry just never ends? I can get all of our laundry washed up, folded, and put away, and magically three more loads appear. And we only have four people! Taking care of all that laundry can quickly become expensive and time consuming. After becoming frustrated with my old laundry care routine, I had been in search of more frugal and efficient ways to take care of our clothing.
Today, I am going to share with you our recipe for frugal & simple homemade laundry soap.
I had previously done coupons in order to cut cost on laundry soap. This was the one thing I seemed to be able to do well with coupons. Since I decided to forgo the coupon clipping, I knew I would have to find a new way save money on our laundry.
Thanks to Pinterest, my eyes had been opened to a whole new concept...
Make your own detergent.
I heard of a few people making their own before, but never gave it too much consideration. I figured it would be complicated, include a ton of ingredients that would be hard to find, and time consuming to make. Well, I was...wrong. wrong. and wrong again.
I originally found this recipe on The White Silk Purse. She gives wonderful detailed instructions on how to make both the liquid "paste" version and a dry version.
There are many recipes out there for making your own laundry detergent. So, when I chose the recipe I wanted to make it had to fall within these guidelines...
-It had to be simple to make.
-I had to be able to find the ingredients at my local store.
-It had to be easy to store.
-It had to be cost effective
So here is the recipe I finally settled on:
You will need 4 basic ingredients.
1. 2 Cups Borax
2. 2 Cups Super Washing Soda (Not baking soda)
3. 2 Bars Fels Naptha Laundry Soap
4. 6 Cups Hot Water
You will also need 5 quart sized canning jars to store your laundry detergent (I got 12 for $8 at Wal-Mart).
All three of the main ingredients you can find at Walmart in the laundry aisle. Easy to find at my local store...check!
Step 1: Place 6 Cups of water on the stove to heat. (You do not want it to boil, just get very, very hot)
Step 2: Grate your two bars of Fels-Naptha Soap. The finer the better. It will melt faster that way.
Step 2: Add Fels-Naptha soap to hot water. Stir continuously for 15 minutes until all the soap has dissolved. It basically looks like the picture below...frothy and bubbly. (One thing Dana from the White Silk Purse mentions, is to not let it boil...it will make a mess.)
Step 3: Once soap has melted remove from heat and add in 2 cups of Borax and 2 cups of Super Washing Soda. Stir until it is all dissolved, 3-5 minutes.
Step 4: I did this step a little different than the original instructions. By accident. But I think it ended up being easier in the end. Pour the mixture equally into 4 quart sized canning jars. Easy to store? Check!
Dana (from The Silk White Purse) then adds water to fill up to the shoulders of the jar and mix together and let it set for 8 hours. This was the part where I had two screaming kids and got a bit distracted. I forgot to add the water. It set for 8 hours. I kept looking at the jars and thinking...'hmmm this just doesn't look right. Was I supposed to get smaller jars? I thought they were supposed to be full.' Nope. I just read it wrong. Like I said, it actually worked out better in my opinion. I let my jars set for the full 8 hours and then added the hot water and filled to the shoulders of the jar.
(here are my jars, waiting out the 8 hours. Forgot to add water, they were supposed to look full by now. Oops. Oh well.)
Step 6: Spoon the contents from one jar into a blender. Mix thoroughly on high until the goop becomes thick and creamy. Spoon back into jar. Since the mixture has puffed up a bunch you should have some left over. I had enough to fill up 1/4 of a new jar. Continue process with other three jars. You should end up with about 1/4 extra from each jar giving you roughly 5 jars total in the end.
That is it! Simple to make? Check!
This was so very easy to make! A lot of other recipes require you to use the whole box of borax and super washing soda, a ton of water, and a five gallon bucket. That is too much heavy lifting for me. I love that this version fits into small jars that I can store above my washer!
Oh yah...and the really awesome thing about this laundry soap recipe...the cost!
It only takes 1 tablespoon of soap for a large load of laundry! For real! This stuff is a concentrated version so it packs a lot of cleaning power. One quart will clean about 64 loads of laundry. That means that one batch of laundry soap, 5 quarts, will last you about 320 loads!
Even better...it only cost 1.7 CENTS PER LOAD! Say what!!!!!!!!! Amazing, right?! I never thought I would be so excited about laundry soap. Hop on over to the White Silk Purse, and Dana does a break down of the cost and about how much it would cost you to make enough for a year. Guess what...it is right around $20. Compare that cost to your favorite brand.
Cost effective? Check!
Okay, so it is pretty easy to make, easy to find the ingredients, easy to store, and is cheap; but do I really like how it works?
YES! I actually love it. Our clothes do not have a flower smell like what you may get with store brand detergent. But, the Fels-Naptha gives it a wonderful clean and fresh smell! I love the smell! As far a clean factor, I honestly can't even tell a difference between my homemade version and Tide. Seriously. It even works well in cold water.
So why not just give it a try? Next time you run out of the store brand detergent, opt for buying the supplies you will need and make it yourself!
Don't want to worry about cooking it, letting it set, ect? Try the powder version (also found on the link from the White Silk Purse above). Simply grate the fels-naptha soap bar, stick it in your food processor to make sure it is super fine (powdery). Then mix with borax and super washing soda. Store in container of your choice. This apparently only takes 2 teaspoons to do a large load. I might try this version next time. Not sure, I am pretty much in love with my laundry soap now.
Have you ever made your own laundry soap? Have a tried and true recipe you love? Share your experience below!
Come back tomorrow...I will be sharing my "homemade" dryer sheets!
Linking up to Frugal Days Sustainable Ways , Raising Homemakers, Healthy 2Day Wednesday, Simply Made Home, and Homestead Barn Hop
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