Homemade Laundry soap

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Little girl playing--doing laundry

Image via Wikipedia

Here it is!  I found the original recipe here.  Have you been dying to try it?  I was pretty excited, but then I was less so after making several mistakes in the prep.  It’s still a great recipe, though.  So here’s what I did and what I will do differently next time.  Hopefully you will learn from my mistakes so your first attempt will be more enjoyable!

You will need:

  • 4.5 oz. bar of soap (Ivory, Pure & Natural, ZOTE, or other laundry soap)
  • 1 cup of borax
  • 1 cup of washing soda
  • white vinegar

First Mistake:  I used Fels Naptha because it said laundry soap and I’d seen it used in other recipes.  BUT… the smell was so strong!  By the time I finished mixing the batch, it was making me feel ill.  I DO NOT recommend using Fels Naptha and I will be using something less smelly next time.

1.  Grate the bar soap into a mixing bowl.  (Use the small holes!)

Second mistake:  Looks like cheese, doesn’t it.  Yeah, I grated it too big.  It wouldn’t mix in properly.  I’m going to try running it through the blender to get it better incorporated.  Hopefully the blender is airtight enough so the powder doesn’t fly all over the kitchen.  Next time I will use the small grating side!

2.  Add the Borax and the washing soda.  Mix for 5 minutes or until well combined. (NOT like the picture!)

3.  Store in the container of your choice. 

Mine is in an empty dishwasher soap container.   It will probably hold 3 batches of this recipe.  It’s such  a great container that I regret not saving and using the others!  

4.  To wash, add 1 Tablespoon per load (or 2 for heavily soiled loads).

5.  For HE washers, fill the fabric softener cup with white vinegar.  For regular washers, add the vinegar when you would add the fabric softener, or put it in a Downy ball at the beginning of the wash.

Third Mistake:  In the middle of the cycle my HE machine started beeping and flashing a warning at me.  Luckily, I was able to continue the load with no harm done.  I later read online that soap can clog the drain lines of HE washers more easily.  I also found out that vinegar removes soap residue AND softens clothes.  So don’t leave it out!

I washed a load of smelly rags with this soap and they came out looking and smelling clean.  So in spite of my mistakes, I’m pretty happy with the performance of the laundry soap.  Hopefully my future batches will go more smoothly!

What do you think?  Are you interested in trying this?

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