Lisa's Homemaking Corner

Lisa's Homemaking Corner

Friday, March 26, 2010

Frugal Friday: Homemade Laundry Soap

Today I am sharing a recipe that, yes, I have tried, for powdered laundry soap.  I have tried the homemade liquid soaps before and neither myself nor my husband has liked them.  Someone shared this a long time ago on a yahoo group that I'm a part of, and I've been wanting to try it since.  I've been using it this week, and didn't say anything to my hubby to see if he'd notice...he didn't and that's a good thing!  LOL!

1 cup grated Fels Naptha soap (this is a bar you can find in the laundry soap aisle for just a little over a dollar...I used about 3/4 of it for 1 cup, so that's roughly $0.77.)
1/2 cup borax (I got a 4 lb. 12 oz. box for $4.26...I'm guessing there's about 8 cups in there so for this recipe, you're spending about $0.27.)
1/2 cup washing soda, NOT baking soda...I got Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (bought a 3.5 lb. box for $2.57, so guesstimating for this recipe, about $0.23)

This is enough for 16 loads at $1.27.  Not a bad deal!

Now, if you have a grater you can use for the soap that grates it into a nice powder, you can just mix all the ingredients together and use 2 tablespoons per load...Run the water, add a couple of drops of essential oil if you have it (I use tea tree oil), and add the 2 tablespoons of powder.  Give it a little stir before you add your clothes.  Be aware that you may not see suds as you do with store-bought soap (especially if you have hard water).  This is okay!  The ingredients will do their work.

If you only have something that will *shred* the soap, instead of grating it, here's what I like to do:  I first use my fingers after I shredded the soap to break it down a little more, then I store it in its own container.  I mix the borax and washing soda together in a different container (otherwise you won't have a very even mix because the powders will keep sinking to the bottom, with the soap shreds on top).  I start the water in the washer and add a few drops of tea tree oil.  Then I add 1 tablespoon of soap shreds and then 1 tablespoon of the powder mixture (after giving it a little shake).  I give the water in the machine a little stir as it's running, and then add the clothes.  That's it!

Another thing to be aware of, if you're used to using store-bought laundry soap...there is A LOT of scent in those soaps.  So when you use the homemade soap, you won't really have any scent when you pull them out of the dryer (unless you hang your clothes out to dry, then they will smell wonderful!).  But, you will notice they DO smell clean.  That kind of spooked me the first time I used this...I thought they weren't getting clean because of the lack of smell, but that's exactly how they're *supposed* to smell (NO smell)!  I was just too used to the heavy-scented store bought soap and figured that's how clean clothes were supposed to smell.  Go figure!

So, as I said earlier, I've been using this for most of the week and haven't said anything to Nick yet.  I'm really surprised he hasn't asked me if I'm doing anything different with the laundry lately, but, as I said earlier, this is a good sign!  :)  Wait until he finds out that I've been making our soap for less than half the cost of even the super good deals I've been getting combining sales and coupons!  ;)

I DO have a couple of bottles of Tide with Downy in my laundry room that I got a really good deal on awhile back.  I will save those for washing the bedding, as hubby really likes it when the sheets have that Downy smell (okay, so do I!).  :)

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