Sunday, April 11, 2010

Making Your Own Laundry Soap

First, I just want to say a few words about experimenting. I've been doing a few experiments around the house, which you know about if you've been reading this blog. Most of these have changed our lives here, and hopefully for the better, if not just differently. I've been learning some new skills and I'm trying to keep cobwebs from collecting on my brain.

We're experimenting with new gardening methods. We did the t.v. experiment and haven't died. We've been switching to more organic/natural/nutritious foods. We stopped bringing soda into the house.

My friend is waiting for me to show up in an Amish hat but that would totally ruin my hair. She also thinks I'll start making those solid color sack dresses. I don't think the Amish have iTouches so it really won't work for me.

I wanted to try making my own laundry soap. After a bit of Google I had a recipe and a plan. I thought I would have trouble finding the ingredients but they were all at the local grocery store in the laundry aisle. 1 bar of Zote laundry soap ($.89). 1 box of Arm & Hammer Washing Soda ($3.17). 1 box of 20 mule team Borax ($3.54). Total cost for these items is $7.60.

The first step was to grate 1/3 of the Zote bar. This is easy because it's actually pretty soft. Smells nice, too. Since I only used 1/3 this makes our cost for one batch $.30. This is then added to 6 cups of water and heated till the soap melts.

Next, I added 1/2 cup of the Washing Soda and 1/2 cup of the Borax and stirred til it dissolved. (1/2 cup of Washing Soda is 4.2 ounces which equals $.25, and 1/2 cup of Borax is 3.5 ounces which equals $.18.)

Once dissolved I removed from heat and added mixture to 4 cups of hot water in the container and stirred some more. Lastly I stirred in 1 gallon and 6 cups of water. All done. This took me 18 minutes from start to finish. Total amount is 2 gallons. It makes 64 loads of soap at 1/2 cup soap per load. Total cost per 2 gallon batch/64 loads= $.73. Total cost per load of laundry $.01.

The soap needs to sit overnight to "gel." It doesn't completely gel and actually has an egg drop soup consistency. I read that the ingredients can be changed up to reach the preferred consistency. Later we added .5 oz of lemon essential oil, although it smells great by itself.

We washed 3 loads of laundry with it today and I wore a shirt washed with it. 1) The kitchen did not blow up when I made it. 2) The clothes did not disintegrate when washed with it. 3) My skin did not burn off and I did not go blind wearing a shirt washed in it. No rash either.

I definitely encourage you to try some new things, even if your friends make fun of you. It's fun and it's NOT permanent. I did research on canning but I decided I don't trust myself enough to not give us all botulism. Just wait and see what I do if the HOA approves of residents having chickens!


  1. Love the new design...Next project...Homemade deodorant and toothpaste? Hee Hee Hee!

  2. No. I'm making you a sack dress. :P

  3. I'm totally trying this. We're trying to do more natural things around here, too. I just started using vinegar and water to clean my house with and I'm loving it!

    I applaud you on the coke thing. I'd die without the Diet Mt. Dew, though. I'm not strong enough to give it up. Not yet. Maybe not ever.