Awhile back I read an article on making homemade laundry soap, and thought: people really make their own when they could just pick up a jug at the store?! Yes, they do. There are folks all over the place trying it out, some making powdered soap and others making liquid soap. My son now makes his own brew, and gave me a 5-gallon tub of it. It lasted months, and worked well. When it ran out, I decided to make some myself. Below are some pictures of the process.
Ingredients bought at Walmart:
55 oz Arm & Hammer washing soda $3.24
76 oz 20-Mule Team borax $3.97
1 bar Fels-Naptha soap bar $.97
Grate the Fels-Naptha soap into a gallon-sized pan.
It’ll look just like cheese when you’re done!
Add a gallon of water, boil gently and stir until it’s like smooth soup. Then turn off the heat, and add 1 cup washing soda and 1/2 cup borax. (Try not to breathe in the powder as you are adding it.) Mix well and cool until lukewarm so you don’t melt your soap container.
Pour soap mixture into a 5-gallon tub, fill up the rest of the way with water, and stir well.
When it’s totally cool, you’ll notice it has the consistency of half-gelled Jello. Stir it again with a spoon or long wire whisk. Store by your washing machine, and keep a lid over it so it doesn’t dry out. Use only half a cup to 2/3 cup per load (it will depend on your washer size, hardness of water, etc.). It won’t make any suds, but that’s okay, it’ll still get your clothes clean.
If you’re interested in trying your hand at making soap, just google “homemade laundry soap” and you’ll find a variety of formulas. Read the comments from people who have experimented with alterations of recipes. It’s a fun experience, and costs a fraction of the cost of the store-prepared stuff!