Monday, March 29, 2010

Cheapskate Monday: Homemade Liquid and Powder Laundry Soap

I'm going to throw it out on the table.... I'm not ashamed. I, my friends, am a cheapskate. For the past year I've been making my own laundry soap and saving lots of money. I've debated whether or not to share the recipe with you since it's not food, but I thought you wouldn't mind this once if it saved you money too.... and who doesn't like saving money? I've made both the liquid and dry and while the liquid has a few more steps, it's the best value coming at 1 cent per load. Yes, you read right. It cost 1 CENT PER LOAD!!! I would recommend using Nels-Naptha soap (you can see it in the picture). I have used Ivory, but felt it left a residue on the clothing making them look worn faster. I switched to Fels-Naptha and have not had that problem again. Our local Wal-mart doesn't carry Fels-Naptha or Washing Soda (not baking soda), but a local grocery store does down the isle with the regular laundry soap. I found the recipe for this soap on the Duggar Family website along with a lot of great food recipes. Enjoy... saving money by using this, not eating it :)

LIQUID LAUNDRY SOAP
4 Cups - hot tap water
1 Fels-Naptha soap bar
1 Cup - Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda*
½ Cup Borax

- Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.

-Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of hot tap water. Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax. Stir well until all powder is dissolved. Fill bucket to top with more hot water. Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken.

-Stir and fill a used, clean, laundry soap dispenser half full with soap and then fill rest of way with water. Shake before each use. (will gel)

-Optional: You can add 10-15 drops of essential oil per 2 gallons. Add once soap has cooled. Ideas: lavender, rosemary, tea tree oil. (I did not do this)

-Yield: Liquid soap recipe makes 10 gallons.

-Top Load Machine- 5/8 Cup per load (Approx. 180 loads)

-Front Load Machines- ¼ Cup per load (Approx. 640 loads)

POWDER LAUNDRY SOAP
1 Fels-Naptha soap bar
1 Cup - Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda*
½ Cup Borax

-Grate soap or break into pieces and process in a food processor until powdered. Mix all ingredients. For light load, use 1 Tablespoon. For heavy or heavily soiled load, use 2 Tablespoons. Yields: 3 Cups detergent. (Approx. 40 loads)

*I store my powdered laundry soap in an empty oatmeal container.

12 comments:

Chris said...

Alexis makes our bar soap, essential oil based cleaners, face cleanser pads, all kinds of stuff. I told her she should start up her own blog for aroma therapy.

I'll have to shot this link to her because this is one thing we haven't made.

Annie Jones said...

Some people use Zote soap, which seems to be more easily available, but I don't like it's citronella scent. I LOVE the way Fels-Naptha smells. :)

Katy ~ said...

I've seen this recipe before, was tempted to try it, but wanted to hear the results from a known and trusted friend. Since you like it and are satisfied, I think now I'm going to do this too. You are so cool for sharing your experience and the "recipe". Thank you thank you thank you. I certainly welcome saving money.

Sheila said...

Thanks for the "recipe" for the liquid laundry detergent. I do make the powdered detergent and have for about a year now. I thought the liquid would be too involved to make--but it looks easy enough! I love the feeling of the clothes when I use it--and they smell good too. I have tried quite a few of your food recipes too--thanks for them too!!

April said...

My daughter has very sensitive skin and is constantly getting rashes from even the mildest products. Would this recipe be good for people who have alergies?

Alexis AKA MOM said...

I've always wanted to do it, but I'm a little lazy on it .. lol :)

Heidi said...

April- I've always bought the hypo-allergenic laundry and bath soap because I have very sensitive skin and am allergic to dyes and perfumes. I even get rashes from using shampoo in the shower. My husband and son have asthma and I my daughters have sensitive skin also. I've never had a problem using this soap. I think it's ideal for allergies because you know what is going in it and you don't have to add dye or fragrance.

Willoughby said...

I've never made my own detergent before, but I've seen lots of people online who do. One cent per load? Can't beat that!

teresa said...

this is great! i'm glad you shared!

Mary at Deep South Dish said...

I remember this recipe from back in the 80s frugality days and always wanted to give it a whirl but haven't ever been able to find Fels-Naptha anywhere around here so I never got around to trying it. Course, these days I just don't have that much laundry to do, but one cent per load? That's crazy! I knew it was frugal but I had no idea it was that cheap.

Holly (2 Kids and Tired) said...

I love homemade detergent. I much prefer the dry over the liquid though.

Julie said...

I have been using the dry recipe for quite a while now and love it. I have been wanting to try the liquid recipe. I had a hard time finding the Fels-Naptha too. The only store in our area that has it is Kroger. But there is every only 1 or 2 bars on the shelf. I think it is because of the popularity of this recipe recently. Thanks for sharing!