I thought I would try my hand at making my own Laundry Soap. Knowing what goes into a product is very important for me. I follow The Homestead Survival Blog and love their posts (they have great ideas go check them out). I had first tried my hand at dish detergent and really did not like the out come and alas, neither did the Fireman. It was easy enough to make but there were no bubbles and we here at the Suburban Reaper love our bubbles! There was also no lather, no grease fighting properties, and the water took on a grayish hue in the sink! Since all these combined make me and the Fireman unhappy, we will continue to let Seventh Generation make their wonderful dish soap for use since they do such a fantastic job at it.
Fireman: “Babe, the soap won’t come out of the bottle.”
Me: “Just squeeze the bottle and don’t forget to shake it first.”
Fireman: “Is it suppose to be clear?”
Me: “You did not shake it!”
Fireman: “There is no lather, I don’t like it.”
Me: “Oh for the love of… Its fine just use it!”
Currently we use Sun & Earth clothes detergent. It is a great product and I really like the scent. The reasons I want to make my own are, ingredients and cost. Previously we had used Tide, until I had a very bad reaction when some of the powder had not rinsed out of the clothes. Because of this a burn/rash developed in an almost perfect shape of my shirt. Leaving the outline of my bra. As if I had been wearing a bikini top and laid out in the sun for too long. What a joy that was to go through! Needless to say I am now fanatical about the rinse cycle!
So I tell the Fireman that I am going to make laundry soap and he immediately goes to the unhappy place of the dish detergent. Well, we all have that one person in our families that is the accountant. You know the one, they remember all the mistakes? Yep, this would be the Fireman!
Fireman: “Its not going to work.”
Me: “Shh, we will try it!”
Fireman: “Can you just do a load with your clothes?”
Fireman: “You know there are companies that make laundry soap?”
Me: “I’m trying to save money.”
Fireman: “It does not cost that much.”
I am following the recipe that The Homestead Survival just posted recently from Tales From a Cottage.
– Empty 5 gallon bucket
– Empty 1 gallon jugs (Milk Jugs)
– Large saucepan
– Wire whisk
– Liquid cup measurer
– Solid 1/2 cup measurer
– Long handled mixer
– Wooden Spoon
Ingredients (Makes 3 gallons):
– 1/2 cup Washing Soda
– 1/2 cup 20 Mule Team Borax
– 1/3 bar of Fels Naptha Soap grated (1/2 cup)
– 3 cups water
– 3 gallons water
First step is to grate the soap. I had some grated soap left over from the dish soap debacle of 2013 so I just added it to the Fels Naptha and determined that 1/3 bar grated is about 1/2 cup measured. I always want to know measurements as this allows me to better experiment with a recipe.
Next I melted the soap in 3 cups of water. This won’t take long and be careful not to let the mixture boil as it will overflow. Once melted add both the 1/2 cups of Borax and Washing Soda then mix until dissolved.
Then you pour the mixture into a 5 gallon bucket. Add the 3 gallons of water to the mixture slowly and thoroughly mix in between. I used a wire whisk during this step. Now I did not use an empty gallon to measure for the water, that would of been logical and honestly did not think of it until I was looking at the original recipe. But what I did instead was use a 8 cup liquid measuring cup. Now I had to figure out how many cups in a gallon.
2 Cups in a Pint
2 Pints in a Quart
4 Quarts in a Gallon
And so two “C’s” fit inside a “P,” two “P’s” fit inside a “Q,” and four “Q’s” fit inside a big, enormous “G.” Thanks for making this understandable The Kitchn. Taking this into consideration then means that there are 16 cups to a gallon. And you all thought you would never use math again!
So with my handy 8 cup measuring cup I would need to add six of these cups to make the 3 gallons. Ok, I start adding the water and mixing in between each addition. Everything is going fine until, yep I forget how many times I have added the water! Oh no, what am I going to do now? I do what is logical to me and get another empty 5 gallon bucket and start filling it up until I match the same amount in the other bucket. Well it worked! I had only put three cups (of the 8 cp measuring cup) in. Remember the dish soap that I will never live down? Since it is made up of the same ingredients as the clothes soap I empty the remnants into the laundry soap mixture while it is still hot. Thus allowing it to melt into the concoction. Now, let the mixture sit for 24 hours stirring every now and then. Once mixture has cured pour it into the empty jugs.
I use 1/2 cup to 1 cup of the soap dependent upon how dirty the clothes are, and there are times when the Fireman can defeat the detergent! A good/bad fire will do that for you.
I have washed three loads with this soap and it is doing great. I like the smell, but the next batch I probably will add some essential oils to it. Many EO’s have anti-septic and anti-bacterial properties that will work great with this.
Fireman: “My clothes smell like wax.”
Fireman: “They smell like paraffin wax.”
Me: “You are crazy, they do not!”
Fireman: “Can you add softener so I can’t smell it?”
Me: “Sigh… sure Babe, I’ll add the unscented softener to block the wax smell.”