Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Laundry Soap!

Who here is cheap frugal?

**raising hand and waving wildly**

Then have I got a recipe for you!  You see, several years ago I quit my job to stay home with my children.  Then my husband was promptly laid off.  While he worked to get his business off the ground, I tried to find ways to save lots of money.  Now that we're doing a bit better, this is one of the money saving habits that stuck with me.  Because I usually have an apoplectic fit when I see how much the laundry detergent goes for at the grocery store.

Note: There are many, many laundry detergent recipes out there, but this one works for me.

The ingredient list is quite simple:

1 bar of bathsoap, grated, or 1/3 bar of Fels Naptha laundry soap, grated
1/2 cup Borax
1/2 cup Super Washing Soda
2 gallons water, divided

And here's how you make it!

Grate the bar of soap.  I used Dove (pomegranate scented) this time.  I used to use the Fels Naptha, but Hubby started complaining about the scent.  So I switched to Ivory. Eventually he started complaining about that scent, too.  So this time I tried Dove.  We'll see how he likes this one.

It's kinda pretty, sitting there.  Anyhoo, add it to six cups of water and heat in a saucepan on the stove top.

(Fun fact: I have approximately 28 cake pans and two sauce pans!)

Heat and stir until it's all melted.  With Ivory you know it's melted because it's clear in it's liquid state.  Do not allow the soap to boil.  It's soap.  It will foam up very quickly.

Add the Borax and Washing Soda.

Stir until it's all dissolved.

Put 4 cups of hot water (I just use hot tap water) in your laundry soap receptacle. I use a clear art supply bin.  The lid latches and it has a handle.

Pour the hot soap mixture into the hot water and stir.

Add six cups plus one gallon of additional water and stir to combine.

It's not ready to use just yet, though.  Put it in the laundry room and let it cool overnight.  In the morning, you will have one big jellified blob of soap.  Stir it really good, breaking up all the big chunks, and now it's ready to use. I usually stir again before each use.  I just keep an old plastic mixing spoon next to the washing machine. If it looks kind of chunky and weird, you did it right!

It's kind of pretty, huh?  I use 1/2 cup per large load of laundry.  And the very best part is, it costs me $.76 to make two gallons of laundry soap.  At least it did when I used Ivory.  I'm sure the Dove just pushed me up to $.96 or something.  I'll have to do the math.  Anyway, it beats what they want at the grocery store.

**Update: I did the math.  Using Dove soap it's $1.51 for two gallons of detergent.  Eeek!  Dove is kind of pricey.  But still a good deal for what it is.

Additional note: Do NOT use this laundry soap on cloth diapers.  It will irritate your baby's butt, and then you'll have to wash all of your diapers in hot water six times to get all of the old detergent out. It's fine for baby clothes, however.

That's all for now.


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