Thursday, September 24, 2009

Homemade Laundry Soap

My friend makes this and loves it so I decided to give it a try.

You only need 3 ingredients to make laundry soap; a soap of some sort (Zote or Fels Naptha), washing soda, and borax.
The Ingredients:

THE SOAP: The most common soap to use is Fels Naptha. It is an old fashin type soap that you can find in the laundry isle. You can also use Zote. Wal-mart does not carry these. I found mine at Smith's. I bought Zote, is cost just over $1.

WASHING SODA: This is not to be confused with baking soda. They are not the same thing. Washing soda is sodium bicarbonate or soda ash. The brand to look for is Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda. You can find it in the laundry isle. Again, I couldn't find this at Wal-mart, but I did find it at Smiths. Under $4.

BORAX: Borax is a laundry whitener and deodorizer. The brand to look for is 20 Mule Team. It comes in a 76 oz. box. This is available at Wal-mart in the laundry isle. I didn't look for it at Smith's but I would guess that they carry it. Under $5.

Here is the recipe:
1/3 bar of Fles Naptha or Zote
1/2 cup Super Washing Soda
1/2 cup Borax Powder

-You will need a 5 gallon bucket. You can purchase 5 gallon buckets from bakeries for a dollar or two. Also, you can buy buckets at Lowes for under $3.

Mark soap so you know where the 1/3 mark is. Grate the soap and put it in a saucepan. Add 6 cups of water and heat until soap melts.
Melting the soap:

Add washing soda and the borax and stir until dissolved.
Remove from heat. Pour 4 cups of hot water into the bucket. Add soap mixture and stir. Then add 1 gallon plus 6 cups (22 cups) of water and stir. Let the soap sit for 24 hours and it will gel. You only need 1/2 cup per load.
Finished product (before letting it sit for 24 hours):

-The finished soap will be a watery gel that looks like egg drop soup.
-The soap is low sudsing. So if you don't see suds, it's okay.
-Optional: If you want your soap to have a scent, you can add 1/2 oz of essential oil or fragrance of your chioce. Popular scents to use are orange or lemon essential oil.

This makes 34+ cups of soap. That is 68+ loads of laundy. You have enough Zote to make this two more times, enough borax to make this 18 more times and enough Washing soda to make this 13 more times.

So if you do the math you can do hundreds of loads of laundry for under $10.

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