Tuesday, July 19, 2011

laundry soap:: a tutorial

On occasion, I make my own laundry soap. It started last summer when my cousin brought me a jar that she had made, along with the instructions. The process seemed easy enough, and very inexpensive so I gave it a try. And I was hooked! It has become a staple in our household. One thing I like about it is that it is virtually unscented and dye-free. Since my daughter has sensitive skin and anything with perfumes or dyes makes her skin break out, this is important to me.

Yesterday I made a fresh batch, and I took pictures so I could share the process with you. Maybe it will inspire you to try it out yourself! One batch makes a 5 gallon bucket of detergent, which is double concentrated. It will last for a looooooooong time!

You should be able to find all the ingredients at your local grocery store, in the laundry aisle. The cost to buy them should be around $5.

You will need:
1 C of washing soda (NOT baking soda)
1/2 C borax powder
1 bar of Fels-Naptha soap (zote, ivory, or other soaps can be used here as well)
Hot tap water
Empty 5 gallon bucket

Step 1) Grate the bar of soap into a pot.

Step 2) Add 4 cups of hot tap water to pot and cook over medium-low heat, stirring regularly until all the soap is dissolved.

Step 3) Pour the soap mixture into the 5 gallon bucket and fill halfway with hot water.

Step 4) Add borax and washing soda and stir well.

Step 5) Fill bucket to the top with hot water, cover, and let it sit overnight. (it will gel)

To use: fill a container 1/2 full with laundry detergent. (Old, empty laundry detergent containers work great!) Fill the rest of the way with water and shake to mix. You will need to shake it before each use, because it settles. Use 1/4 - 1/2 c of this mixture per load.

And that's it! Let me know how it works for you.

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