Sunday, September 1, 2013

Make your own Laundry Soap

Quite some time ago I ran across this blog post about making my own laundry soap and I've never looked back since! K has very sensitive skin and over the years we've taken her to the doctor for "contact dermatitis" which is basically a rash caused by something she came in contact with. And, while it never seemed like it was the detergent we were using was causing it, I couldn't rule it out 100%. Now I have to be honest here, this also came about for two other reasons. 1. I love saving money and I've often heard that buying detergent is the the equivalent of the most expensive bottle of water since so much of it is just that, water. But reason number 2 is that I'm a bit of a hippie (or green living fan, if you will). I like knowing that I'm using things that are at their purest and simplest form and that there aren't any crazy chemicals in our stuff if I can avoid it. Plus it's super simple to make and only takes three ingredients.

Borax, bar soap, and washing soda (NOT baking soda)
We've only used Ivory bar soap so far because it's what we had lying around the house but I recently realized that it's made by P&G so I purchased some Dial Basics HypoAllergenic so I'll be using that in our next few loads so hopefully it works out well. Other people have used Fels-Naptha, Zote or Dove bars so just find what you like or have lying around and use that.
The recipe for this soap is very easy to remember - one cup Borax, one cup Washing Soda, one grated bar of soap. You can easily double or even triple the amounts but just keep it a one to one to one ratio.

We use a microplane to grate our soap because it gives you the finest pieces to more uniformly blend with the other ingredients. This last batch I made I tried to take a short cut by grinding the soap in the food processor and I'm guessing that because the Ivory is such a soft soap that's the reason it ended up basically remelting back into a solid at the bottom of the processor. Maybe if we used a harder soap like Fels-Naptha it would have been fine but I guess the old expression about if it ain't broke, don't fix it, applies here. (Update: I just made a batch with the Dial Basics and was able to grind it in the food processor just fine.) Mix your three ingredients and you're done.

The great thing about making your own laundry soap is you only need to use a tablespoon of it per normal size load so it lasts a long time. Plus, each batch does approximately 40+ loads so that comes out to about $.05 a load (way cheaper than store-bought soap).

The only thing I miss with using this laundry soap over a kind I buy in the store is the smell. Your clothes will come out just as clean as the name brand, store bought stuff but there is no scent, just the smell of, well, clean clothes I guess. Also, we use dryer balls instead of dryer sheets so there's no chance of a lingering fake fresh scent on our clothes. And actually, now that I'm used to it, it seems so foreign to me now to have clothes that I washed on our vacation still smelling of Tide (not that I don't love and miss that scent every now and then.)

1 comment:

  1. Heya, girlie! Just want to chime in here...we use Fels Naptha ($1.09 a bar) and it works great in the food processor. I put the grater attachment on top of the regular chopping blade and go to town. The other great thing is that this soap smells wonderful. I would highly recommend trying it. Remind me about this the next time you're here...I'll be happy to bring some up from the laundry room for you to smell. :)