Friday, May 27, 2011

Laundry Soap

Up until a few months ago I did not know that you could make your own laundry soap.  I have heard of people doing it and saw recipes for it but I thought that it could not work or would be expensive.  Boy was I wrong!!  Most people make their own laundry soap in order to save money.  I have two reasons for making my own soap.  The first is to save money and the second is because my son has allergies and eczema. 

I started out only using Dreft.  It is good because it is very gentle.  The only thing is it did not get my husbands clothes clean.  So I would have to separate the kids clothes out from our clothes and do several different loads of laundry.  Then Tide came out with a free and gentle laundry soap.  It is free from dyes and perfumes.  These are what breaks my son's skin out.  It worked great but very expensive.  And when you have 2 boys and a husband who are constantly getting dirty, muddy, grass stains, etc..  you do a lot of laundry.  So I was spending almost $32 a month on laundry soap. 

A friend told me about this recipe for laundry soap. I decided to try it out.  Then I went to buy the ingredients. 
                     Washing soda:  Check
                     Borax:   Check
                     Fels-Naptha:  Uh Oh!!!
The Fels-Naptha has fragrance added to it.  I can't use anything with fragrance in it for my son.  But then I remembered that the recipe said you could also use Kirk's Castile soap.  I looked on the back of that and was relieved.  All natural, no added dyes or fragrance.  So I make my laundry detergent with that.  I know you can add essential oils to it to scent it.  But since I am the only girl in the household I just leave the laundry unscented.  The Kirk's Castile soap is made out of coconut oil and has a nice fragrance to it anyway.  
So I made a batch and tried it out.  It worked great.  The clothes were clean.  I looked up a recipe for fabric softener too.  I have never used it because almost all fabric softener has fragrance in it.  I made up a batch of fabric softener and it not only softened our clothes but brightened up the colors and whitened the whites!!

So here is the recipe for Laundry Soap that I use:
1 cup Borax
1 cup Washing Soda
2 cups grated soap (this is normally one bar of soap.  I use Kirk's Castile, Fels-Naptha works great, I actually keep a bar of Fels-Naptha on my laundry sink to use for tough stains.  I just rinse it out before putting the clothing in the washer.)

I make up a triple batch at one time.  The Kirk's Castile soap comes in a 3 pack so I normally just make up a triple batch.  I started making laundry soap in January.  I have only made it twice.  The first time I made one batch.  The second time I made up a triple batch.  I just ran out last week when I made this triple batch.  The Washing Soda cost a little over $2, the Borax is around $4 and the Kirk's Castile was $1 a bar.  I still have not used up my first box of Borax.  I just opened a second box of Washing Soda.  So you can see how cost effective this laundry soap is.  I make them laundry soap up in a old gallon ice cream bucket.  First put in your Borax and Washing Soda.

Then with a grater, grate your soap right into the bucket.

Mix it all together and your soap is ready to use.

This laundry soap uses 2 Tablespoons for each load of laundry.  This is an 1/8 cup scoop which is the same as 2 tablespoons.  I put it together with the lid on and store it by my washing machine.

The recipe I use for fabric softener is very simple.  You use water, vinegar, and baking soda.  The only thing is you have to watch the vinegar and soda when you are combining them.  If not, well you all have seen the volcanoes for science fair!!!  Nice eruption without the orange color!!!

Here are the ingredients: 8 cups water, 6 cups vinegar, 1 cup baking soda

First put in 2 cups water.

Then pour in your baking soda.  Put the lid on and shake to combine.

Now add in your vinegar 2 cups at a time.  Slowly pour in each time
 letting the foam settle before adding more. 

You can see how it is foaming up after you add the vinegar.

After you have added all the vinegar put in the rest of the water.  Do this slowly too as not to bring the level up to high and set off a reaction.  I let it settle with the lid on until you here no more sizzling.  To use gentle shake to mix up baking soda and add 1 cup to your rinse cycle.  I use a downy ball.  One cup will fill the downy ball up.  That way I don't have to run down and add the fabric softener. As with the laundry soap you can add essential oil to scent it.  I just make mine unscented.  But lavender or lemon essential oil would smell great in your clothes!! This lasts me about two weeks a batch.  Not as long as the laundry soap but it is still a lot cheaper than buying it without all those dyes and perfumes!!! 

Now that I am making my own laundry supplies I have clean soft clothes at a fraction of the cost.  Plus they are allergen free!!!  Most things that are allergen free are very expensive.  So to my delight I can now save my family a lot of money on laundry care while still keeping my son's skin free from irritation.  At least from his clothes!!


Anonymous said...

I keep wanting to try making my own, but I just haven't gotten around to it yet. I really like the way your recipe sounds for the fabric softener.


Amanda said...

I've made my own for about 4 months now, and actually, it's only been done twice in that amount of time :) It takes SO long for the family to get through one batch!! I lOVE the Fels-Naptha because it's got such a wonderful smell, and this time I used something different to make a new batch and I don't know if we're going to like it!! I didn't know about fabric softener though, so that's neat. We've never actually used fabric softener, ever, so I wonder what it's for?

Greenacresmama said...

Cool - I just made my own laudry soap a couple weeks ago and want to try this recipe for fabric softener. Thanks for sharing, and for stopping by Green Acres!

Creations by Dina said...

I love this fabric softener. Especially since I never could use fabric softener before. It truly does soften your fabric and brightens your colors and whites. My husband really notices a difference if I forget to put some in a load!!