Thursday, February 16, 2012

DIY Laundry Soap

I made another batch of laundry soap today.  Two actually.  This way a family member can try it for free.  I can be nice sometimes :)

I use this recipe, however there's a 1000 more online, so you can find the one that fits your own needs. I do use Ivory bar soap instead of Fels-Naptha.  Making the liquid version is probably even cheaper than powder, but it's not my style.  I may try it later on.

It only takes 20 minutes, and that includes everything from getting the materials on the table, grating the soap, mixing the ingredients, and washing the dishes.  The dishes come out the the cleanest you have ever seen them :).

I also add 1/2 cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle.  It makes the clothes so soft, and I do not mind that it takes away any fragrance that the soap has.  Laundry comes out smelling clean without any soapy fake smell.  Just clean (which smells like nothing, but I like it now). And no need for fabric softener in the dryer.

Making my own laundry soap:
  • Saves money.  Here's my run down:
    • The ingredients cost $10.89 before tax. According to my calculations, it's $1.26 per batch. It looks like to be about 3 to 4 cups in a batch, so anywhere between 24- 32 loads of laundry per batch.
    • I tallied how many loads of laundry I washed with this last jar, and I only got around 21 loads of laundry. However, I believe I over scooped a few, and I am forgetful, so my tally maybe off.  I will keep tally this batch as well, may be it will be more.  21 is not bad though.
  • Helps the environment.
    • This is debatable.  Borax is controversial in the "green" world, as it can be toxic.  Regular laundry soap is not that good for the environment either!
    • Less plastic- everything except the soap comes in cardboard- recyclable.  I will probably try a different type of soap with less fragrance and better packaging.  The soap I bought was a 10 pack.
    • Not using fabric softener.  Google it.  Terrible for you and environment. 
    • Every product is just cleaning products, no extra dyes or unneeded ingredients.  Not 100% true for the soap, but you can easily use castille soap.
  • Using all products that are versatile.  Somehow it makes me feel better knowing all the ingredients can be used for something else it case I need it.  I am almost out of soap, so if I forget to buy some, I can just use the Ivory.  You can clean the house with the other two ingredients.
  • Having fun and staying motivated.  I do not know what it is about making the soap myself, but it makes me want to do laundry more!  Seriously. I am such a nerd, I know.
If you are not into making your own soap, you can still save money by:
  • USING LESS DETERGENT! The measuring cup and back of the laundry detergent will tell you to fill to level three for full loads. BOO! For a couple of years before making my own soap, I filled the cup to level one, sometimes less, and the only difference I noticed was less smell on the clothes.  Huge money saver. Remember, the detergent is more concentrated now so even the tiniest amount over "the line" has more soap than needed when measuring.
  • Mixing powder detergent with baking soda or washing soda. I have not tried this, but it was listed a lot when researching the topic.


  1. I use Dial Basic that is purchased at the Dollar Tree, 3 bars for $1. To make creating the soap simple; I've been making one large batch, and then store in a nice one gallon glass container beside the washer. I only fill it about 2 times a year, and it costs about $20 total for the year!

    I also have been drying all of my clothes inside on racks, a shower rod with hangers, and now lines run in the laundry room. These changes of course saves money, but also does make doing the laundry a lot more fun! :)

  2. I am glad I am not the only one who's found a way to make laundry fun. :)I want to start line drying outside, however the HOA frowns upon it. I am considering setting up the basement to do it indoors or maybe the bathroom, but I do not know how long it will take to dry. How long does it typically take you?

    1. We can't line dry outside either. Inside it takes anywhere from a couple hours to a full day, depending on the fabric and how close I place the clothes. Make sure they have room for air to move around and aren't touching each other.

      Another way I make it a little fun is to see if I can hang all the clothes before a favorite song plays through twice. :)

    2. Thanks for the tips. I put a fan in front of the clothes, and it drastically reduces the drying time. We have that fan on constantly anyway because the room is so hot, so I'd like to think it's not wasting anymore energy :)

      I will definitely try the song approach.


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