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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Rubba Dub Dub

My sister-in-law was telling me about this homemade soap she has been making to do her laundry.  I was intrigued by this possibility to save some money so I thought I'd give it a whirl.  I looked up several recipies on line but went with the first one I read.

My kitchen smells clothesline-fresh tonight.  I have a 5 gallon bucket full of laundry detergent waiting for me to test out tomorrow.  It will take the yuck out of laundry....at least for a couple of loads.

Here's the recipe.
Homemade Laundry Soap

1/3 bar* Fels Naptha or (Ivory, Zote, any bar soap will do)
½ (1) cup washing soda (Arm and Hammer)
½  (1)cup borax powder

~You will also need a small bucket, about 2 gallon size~
(double the recipe and use a 5 gallon bucket, doubled amounts in parathesis)
Grate the soap and put it in a sauce pan. Add 6 cups (12 cups) water and heat it until the soap melts. Add the washing soda and the borax and stir until it is dissolved. Remove from heat. Pour 4 cups (8 cups) hot water into the bucket. Now add your soap mixture and stir. Now add 1 gallon plus 6 cups (2 gallons plus, 12 cups) of water and stir. Let the soap sit for about 24 hours and it will gel. You use ½ cup per load. (1 cup, if clothes are extra dirty)

*Note: I used the whole bar of soap for doubled batch.

Picture directions at:

Hint: My sister-in-law said to add your favorite scent to the soap; buy a small bottle of your favorite detergent and add it to the mix at the end.  The websites I was reading said to add 1 Tablespoon of essential oil (your favortie scent) to each batch. 

This time I added a bottle of detergent.  Next time I am going to try the oil.

I spent a total of $9 to make this batch.  I have enough left over washing suds to make 5 more batches; enough borax to make 11 more batches.  The websites said it figures out to be about a penny per load.  The websites also said that Tide figures out to be about 20 cents per load.

Not that I'm going to save millions, but this will be another staple to have in that food storage I'm working on building.

Happy laundering.


  1. Since Jack does the laundry I hope he reads this...since I do the shopping I will have to purchase the stuff. It sounds interesting so maybe we'll give it a go! Thanks for helping me save for retirement..I'll be living under a bridge probably, but thanks for helping anyway!

  2. Thanks for the awesome idea Stacy! I think I'm going to use that. Every little bit helps in trimming the budget!