I love researching and discovering new ways to be frugal, healthier, and simpler. A couple of years ago, I found out that making my own laundry soap was actually all three of those things. Yes, even simpler! It takes 10 minutes. And, it costs about $12 per year for our family. I purchased three ingredients at my grocery store, found a container (you can use an old store-bought laundry soap container or recycle old vinegar containers, or use a bucket). It is not sudsy and you may need to undo the propoganda brainwashing that you have encountered that makes you think you need suds in order to be clean. This stuff cleans better than anything else we’ve used and all of skin is happy. Here’s the recipe for those of you who are interested. My recipe is basically one that I’ve settled on after trying many different recipes I’ve found on the blogosphere. You can find similar recipes all over the internet.
Ingredients (you’ll spend about $10-12 to get started and that may just last you a whole year, depending on how big your family is):
- 1/2 bar of ivory soap
- 1/2 cup Arm and Hammer Washing Soda (found in the laundry soap section of grocery store)
- 1/2 cup Borax (also found in laundry soap section of grocery store)
- lots of water
Directions (10 minutes once you get the hang of it):
- Use a cheese grater or food processor to shred the ivory soap. Pour the shreddings into a saucepan with 4-5 cups of water. Cook on medium-high heat, stirring often, until soap melts and mixture is a creamy white color.
- Stir in washing soda and borax and stir well. Turn off stove top once mixed and pour entire contents into container of your choice and add 3-ish gallons of warm/hot water.
- Let sit overnight for best results, but honestly, by the time I finally get to making my next batch of soap, it’s because we are completely out of clean undies in my house, so sitting overnight is not required.
- Before every use, stir container. It is normal to have some ivory soap shavings floating at the top and borax/washing soda settled on the bottom in between uses. Put about 1/2 cup of liquid in each load. I also pour a splash of vinegar to act as a natural fabric softener and odor absorbing agent if I have anything with strong odors, but my laundry soap alone will typically handle it just fine.
Let me know if you make your own laundry soap or if you try this recipe and what you think! This laundry soap is NOT SUDSY, but it cleans just as great and is especially great if you have sensitive skin in your family, like we do! (If you are concerned about whether borax is a safe product to use, check out this article.)