Monday, May 17, 2010

Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap

I've been eyeballing all the recipes for homemade laundry soap for years, and they all were powder...which doesn't work in my front-loader, HE washing machine. So when I came across a liquid recipe that had instructions for a front loader, I jumped at the chance to give it a try.

The first step was gathering the ingredients.
I checked at Walmart for the washing soda and Fels luck. Then I called 2 local hardware stores, Kmart, and natural foods store. None of them had it. I was almost ready to buy it all on Amazon, and pay 4 times what it costs if I could get it locally, plus shipping. Then, I read one of the reviews on Amazon and it said they found it at one of the larger Publix stores. I called my local store right away the corner, and no luck, but the big mega-Publix a little further away (locals: the University location in Sarasota) and SURPRISE! They had both in stock, and the items were dirt cheap compared to Amazon! **Update 5/21/11 I found all the ingredients at my local Walmart! Hooray!**
I loaded up my machine, and was worried it would be too sudsy for our machine, but I actually think it is LESS bubbly than our regular laundry soap. My laundry was clean, had a slight fragrance of the Fels Naptha, but I was pleased with how clean the laundry came out.

The recipe recommends you run vinegar with the laundry soap to remove any soap buildup the Borax can leave, so to make sure I get it in the machine also, I have a big container of vinegar right next to the soap, and I throw some into the machine every other load or so (sometimes I forget!) in the bleach tray.

I will continue to use this soap and see how long it lasts for our family. I am very pleased with the outcome, and am excited to have laundry soap for MONTHS!

Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap
recipe from The Duggar Family through Party of 5
Yield: Liquid soap recipe makes 10 gallons.
Top Load Machine- 5/8 Cup per load (Approx. 180 loads)
Front Load Machines- 1/4 Cup per load (Approx. 640 loads)

4 cups hot tap water
1 Fels-Naptha soap bar
1 cup Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
1/2 cup Borax

Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with water.

Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.

Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of hot tap water. Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax. Stir well until all powder is dissolved.

Fill bucket to top with more hot water.

Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken.

Stir and fill a used, clean, laundry soap dispenser half full with soap and then fill rest of way with water. Shake before each use. (will gel)

Optional: You can add 10-15 drops of essential oil per 2 gallons. Add once soap has cooled. Ideas: lavender, rosemary, tea tree oil.

Price Breakdown:
Borax: $3.99 (I had it in my laundry cabinet, so FREE!)
Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda: $2.19 (Publix)
Fels Naptha: 99 cents (Publix)
5 gallon bucket with lid: $3.50 (Lowes)
Funnel: 99 cents (Lowes - or free if you have one or can make one, like I was kicking myself for!)
Used spout laundry soap container: Free! (Thanks Stephanie!)


Makes 640 loads: so 1.8¢ a load

1 comment:

  1. Wow. Nice job on this. When I run out of the detergent I have, I've have to try this. Sounds wonderful. Thanks.