Monday, February 14, 2011

Laundry Soap.....

I have been making my own laundry soap since 2008, when I discovered Soaps Gone By

this is the ingredients and directions for a large amount (almost 5 gallons) 

1 bar grated Fels Naptha soap (1 cup grated)
5 gallon bucket
1 cup Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
1 cup 20 Mule Team Borax
4 1/2 gallons water

Put grated Fels Napha  in saucepan and cover with enough water to cover the soap.

Heat on low until it dissolves.  (once it starts to dissolve I find a long whisk is best for stirring it melts it gets thick and creamy with the whisk)

Fill the bucket with hot water (the 4 1/2gal) and add the soap mix

Add the 1cup Arm & Hammer Washing Soda, and 1 cup Borax, and mix well.

I use a really big Chinese slotted spoon to stir it (that's the biggest problems-finding something long enough to stir.) 

As it cools it thickens....but you can use it immediately.  1/2 to 1 cup per laundry load. 

Smaller batches can be made.  I use and old tea type cup ..I guess it is about 6oz and not always filled.  This takes the grime and grease out of my oldest's clothes and it takes the smell out, but leaves clothes soft..I never use softener any more, but if I have too, I put some vinegar in the rinse water.  (the clothes never smell like vinegar...)

As far as the smell, you can add fragrance if you like but they come out, just as is, fresh air....and even better when the laundry is dried out on the line in the sun...

The reason I like the Soaps Gone by website's kit is the soap is already grated.  They give you a bag of it grated plus 2 extra bars, and whole boxes of the borax and washing soda ...which can be hard to find these days.....enough for plenty of batches and good for many many they give you a whole bunch of recipes for powder detergent, the liquid detergent above, and basic cleaner and disinfectant...there are also other recipes on the site.  It takes about 15 to 20 mintues to make and it's fun. 

Stir it now and then, until it sets.  It gels over night and sometimes when you try to stir it is separates, and you can't seem to mix it together but I use it that way anyway, and it works fine...

See you later,


  1. Oh, you're better than me. I wouldn't put the time into it. I've heard this method is really great for getting clothes clean and fresh smelling.

  2. When I first started doing it, it felt like it took forever, but now it seems like it is a fast operation. I let it melt while I do dishes and then it is just filling the bucket and adding the washing soda and borax and trouble at is worth it..cost wise and less chemicals too (and less to buy at the store.) You could do it..15 minutes isn't much. I need some pretty containers to put it in...

  3. How does it do with your whites? Is it gentle on colors? Just curious as I have been considering doing this for a bit.

  4. So far I haven't had any problem with colors. For whites I do add bleach sometimes (And I am using cold water, mostly. Warm is even better so I have been using a warm wash with the whites and a small amount of bleach...)
    I don't know..maybe that undoes all the 'good"..but it gets the laundry clean...and I really like how they smell...fresh. (and surprisingly soft).
    My oldest son is a "truck filler", and also does light mechanics, so he comes home smelling like oil, grease and gas...and even his work clothes come out fresh and clean.

  5. Basically these ingredients are the pure versions of what is in most laundry detergents, then they add whatever chemicals to it they color it and make it smell nice, or whatever.
    My son's clothes from work never felt clean, they always felt greasy. Now they don't so something is working!
    I like using it because I feel like the less chemicals we get in our lives the better..but if it didn't work I wouldn't be using it, because it wouldn't be worth it. Same as when you buy a commercial brand, if it isn't working for you, you switch to something else.
    When I first did it, I thought it was going to be for "just that one kit to try it out"..and I never looked back. And it's fun..and kind of "Little House On The Prairie"...(I always thought I was born in the wrong decade... or era...hee hee)

  6. I should try this, as I'm allergic to so many things in the soap you buy in the store. And my skin is so dry!

  7. I'll have to check out the website. I've been thinking of making my own.

  8. It's fun, and saves money...and Brenda, yes, it seems like it might be good if you have allergies. I know there are several kinds of detergents on the market that make me itch head to toe if I use them, and I really don't have allergies, and this never caused a problem.
    You don't need to make 5 gallons at a time either although it doesn't go bad if you do, no matter how long it takes you to use.
    Good, I hope this helps someone...

  9. Hi Janie
    I love these kinds of things. I try to use natural homemade as much as I can. Love your blog.


  10. Thanks Lisa...I hope to find some more good things...

  11. I've never thought of making my own soap. What a great idea.

  12. Oh thanks for the larger I don't have to do the math! :)