Almost two months have passed since I first posted about our laundry soap making. Here is the update I said I would post about how it turned out and our experience...
The actual making of the soap was fairly simple and very inexpensive to make. The recipe for the liquid laundry soap is at the bottom of this post with step by step instructions. I have put the cost and purchase location next to the ingredients to provide you an opportunity cost analysis.
With doing as much laundry as we do...at least one large load per day (sometimes 2), our detergent has lasted over 2 months (I have enough to get through the end of October). I figure we spent approximately $2.72 to make 6 gallons of detergent. I used to spend about $20 for a super-sized Gain powder detergent at Sam's lasting about the same amount of time...therefore, we are saving over $17 to make our own detergent.
My overview of this detergent:
- I believe it is effective and the tea tree serves as an anti-bacterial in the soap.
- It does not leave a heavy fragrance (faint if any) on our clothes.
- It is not a sudsy soap...saving water needed to rinse thoroughly.
- It is gentler than heavy chemical detergents, which will help preserve the wear and tear of our clothing...allowing them to wear longer (unless you have boys that play hard and then the clothes will wear out before they normally would anyway ~ we have our share of hard-playing boys )
- I still pre-treat stains with diluted Simple Green (found in the automotive section at Wal*Mart for about $5) as I find it to be necessary in our home.
- I would also recommend removing washed clothing soon after washing is complete, otherwise they may get a sour smell if they sit too long (I'm talking hours here.).
- It is not too time consuming...about 15 minutes to make with an additional 24 hour waiting period...which makes it an money saving benefit.
She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.
1 bar of Fels Naptha soap (97 cents at Publix)
Arm and Hammer Washing Soda ($2.29 at Publix)
20 Mule Team Borax ($3.36 at Wal*Mart)
Dr. Bronner's Pure-Castile Soap...I use 16 oz Tea Tree scent ($8.39 at Target by the Burt's Bees display)
- Grate 1 bar of Fels Naptha soap into a pot with water and melt over medium-low heat...stir often.
- Pour 1 cup of Arm & Hammer Washing Soda and 1 cup of 20 Mule Team Borax into a 5 gallon plastic bucket.
- Pour 1 gallon of VERY hot water into the bucket.
- Stir melted Fels Naptha into the bucket and stir until well mixed. Add VERY hot water until the bucket is filled within a couple inches from the top and stir well again.
- Add 1/8 cup of Dr. Bronner's Castile Soap and stir again.
- Let sit for 24 hours before using.
The soap will transform as it sits into a watery, gloppy gel. You can at this point (after waiting 24 hours) transfer some of the gel to an empty liquid laundry detergent pump container, filling container with equal parts of the gel soap and additional water. Shake well before each use and pump one cap full per load for standard washers...1/2 cap full for front loading washers. (I didn't have a pump container so I use 1/2 the recommended amount, as it is concentrated in the 6 gallon bucket...hope that makes sense.)