Seasonal Foods

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Make Your Own Laundry Soap!

Well, I have recently become aware of something that I thought was great! There are recipes online everywhere for laundry soap, and that is a huge financial cost, especially for families. So I searched around for a recipe that would make a large amount for the lowest cost, and found one at The Grocery Cart Challenge blog (http://grocerycartchallenge.blogspot.com).

This was not the only site that had this recipe, and I do not know who originally made this recipe — if I did I would definitely make sure to give them recognition.

This blogger also does a grocery cart challenge, where she only spends $60 a week on groceries for a family of six. No I am not getting paid to advertise, I just want to make sure you check her out, her ideas are awesome!

Anyways, back to the laundry soap recipe. Here it is:

⅓ bar of Fels Naptha Soap (I used sunlight bars instead, at a cost of $1/bar)
½ cup of Borax (cost approximately $6 for a big box)
½ cup washing soda (cost approximately $6 for the box)
32 cups warm water (free from the tap)
5 gallon bucket (I used a REALLY big stock pot that I have had for years...so that was free)

Grate ⅓ bar of soap (try not to grate your knuckles or fingers, as I did), and put into a large pot. Add six cups of warm water and heat until the soap is completely melted (this took me about a half hour, but my soap was grated really fine). Add washing soda and Borax, stirring until dissolved. Pour four cups of hot tap water into the bucket. Add the soap mixture and stir together. Add another 22 cups of water and stir to combine. Let the soap cool and set for 12-24 hours. It will have the consistency of hand soap. You would use ½ cup for a top loading washer, and ¼ cup for a front loading washer.

Let’s see how this breaks down financially. All the materials that I paid for came to $13, but I still have enough left to make several more batches. The amount of laundry soap made by one batch of this recipe is just over 4.43 liters.

How well does it measure up to name brands? Well, I did a weird test to find out: I used a name brand laundry detergent with a colour safe bleach on a white cloth shower curtain (left unwashed for two months) and it took three washes for it to get completely white. The laundry soap I made took four washes, but that was without the colour safe bleach, Oxy, or vinegar. Had I used any of these, I am fairly confident that it would have taken one less load.

All in all, my laundry soap materials cost as much as one 4.43 litre bottle of name brand detergent, but it will make three times the amount of detergent. And if you spent one more dollar for another bar of sunlight, you could make six times the amount of detergent. And it took just a little over an hour (and few accidentally grated knuckles) to make!

I’m fairly certain that you could do it too, and probably without the band-aids!

angela@thestew.ca

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