I bought everything at my local grocery store on the laundry aisle. I spent a total of $8.57 to get started but each batch only cost $3.24! It makes a LOT. My friend warned me and it was not an exaggeration--it made a lot of liquid laundry soap! I made and began using mine on May 15.
She found the recipe on this site. This is an extremely interesting site. I am thinking of making my own dryer sheets....maybe by July I'll get that pulled together.
Homemade Laundry Soap
Bar soap--I used Fels-Naptha but the site has several suggestions
2 cups Borax
2 cups Washing Soda
1 quart boiling water
2 gallons water
5 gallon bucket (or something big enough to mix it in)
Grate the bar of soap while you are waiting for the quart of water to boil. I just used my cheese grater. It was easier than I thought it would be. And it kind of looks like cheese.
Measure the Borax and Washing Soda into the 5 gallon bucket.
I added the grated soap a little at a time, stirring the whole time. Keep stirring until the soap has melted. It did seem to take a little while--like 5 minutes or so.
Once the soap has melted, add the soapy boiling water to the powder mixture. Stir. And stir some more.
I am not sure that I let it sit long enough to fully dissolve. It was pretty grainy.
It wasn't as dissolved as I thought it was going to be, but it was fine. It sort of resembled Malt-O-Meal.
This is when I slowly added the 2 gallons of water. I didn't want it to become foamy, so I did it slowly. And then stir it some more. Gently, so as not to cause it to foam up.
I had thought to save my previous laundry soap container to house my new soap. I simply poured it in and off I went to do laundry.
Of course, it wasn't quite that easy. I couldn't pour from the 5 gallon bucket into the funnel in an accurate manner so I had to pour into a pitcher and then into the funnel. Much safer way of handling the transfer.
This does make a lot of soap. 2 gallons of water plus a quart of water is a lot of soap. Not all of it fit into my container which is why I used a bucket that had a lid that sealed up tight.
The directions and my friend both said the soap kind of gels, so it does have to shaken before each use.
You are probably asking why I decided to make my own laundry soap. When I share that I made my own laundry soap, people start looking for my crazy button.
I have a couple of reasons. For one, laundry soap can be expensive. Two, we have delicate skin. I can use one kind of laundry soap. I cannot use any liquid fabric softener. NONE. Which is why when I have kids in my classroom who can use liquid fabric softener, I often inhale deeply when they are around. I love the smell of Downy--my skin does not. And three, this homemade laundry soap might just be easier on the environment.
I do have a top loader for a washing machine and yes, it probably voided the warranty because I am not, nor have I ever used the recommended HE detergent. Since the machine is almost 3 years old, the warranty is probably a non issue.
Making my own laundry soap only cost me 30 minutes of my time and that included buying the ingredients. It really was quick and easy.
And that crazy button? You are going to have to look a little harder. Just sayin'.