It used to be that when I heard about those super crafty and thrifty types who were making their own things like laundry soap, body wash, toothpaste… and so on and so forth, that I would be like:
I mean, seriously. Just buy the soap, people. How is that so difficult? But these days? I’m sort of more the “Just pay the rent, people.” type. And it’s turning out to be fun to make my own things and save money in the process!
The first thing I tried was laundry soap. I got a recipe from a friend who got it from a friend who got it… okay you get it. And then I got another friends recipe to compare, and cross referenced them and sort of used both. This is adjusted a little from the original recipe, but I can’t claim ownership of any of it. I don’t know who came up with it in the beginning, but I’m giving them full credit here: Laundry Soap Recipe Maker, thank you for your contribution to my cleanliness.
I gathered the ingredients and took them to my mom’s house, where we spent… I don’t know, an hour? Less? It was a long time ago, okay? making this soap. We split this batch, and it lasted us for months! Our clothes were clean and smelled nice, and that’s all you can really ask of your laundry soap, isn’t it?
Here is what you will need for the soap:
1 bar FelsNaptha soap (found in the laundry soap section at Kroger)
2 cups Washing Soda (also found in the laundry section)
2 cups Borax
1 five gallon bucket with a lid
1 long spoon for stirring
Heat water in a sauce pan, about a quart or so. Use a cheese grater or your KitchenAid grater or a knife or a hammer or whatever pleases you, to shred the bar of FelsNaptha. Add that to the hot water. Stir occasionally. Do not boil, but get it hot enough to melt the soap. You can now pour this in your bucket. Dissolve the washing soda and borax in hot water and add it to the soapy bucket water. Now fill the rest of the bucket with hot water and stir it up good & proper. Once this is all mixed together, you want to let it set for 24 hours before using it. But don’t ignore it- stir it up every couple of hours to make sure everything is setting up properly. Actually, I don’t know why you stir it. You just do. And keep the lid on the bucket, for Pete’s sake. You don’t want the water evaporating. But loosely- it doesn’t have to be tight.
When we made it, we did a smaller batch in a 3 gallon bucket. You can adjust the water amounts if you want a thicker soap. Or a thinner soap. It’s up to you, man. And if you need more washing soda or borax, by all means, add more! If the soap is getting too thick after you’ve used it for a while, add some hot water and stir it up.
We use around 1/4 to 1/2 cup per load. Use more or less as needed. But you really don’t need more than that. All told, this 5 gallon batch of soap should only cost you a few dollars and last you a long, long time. Unless you have dozens of kids who spend their days rolling around in a barnyard. Then it might only last you half of a long, long time.