Today I made another batch of laundry soap. I had ran out about a month ago, I was using the leftover powdered store bought soap, wow is there a difference! When I use the commercial soap, I often need to run a second rinse cycle, especially if I look at the rinse water, it’s nearly as soapy as the wash cycle, I know that is just being dried into my clothes, that can’t be good for my skin. When I use my homemade laundry soap, I use so much less, and it gets my clothes just as clean if not cleaner, and I don’t see that residue of suds in the rinse water. When I made this batch, it went so much faster! My dad has come for his annual visit, he brought out my food processor, YEAH! I was able to grind down 3 bars of soap in the same amount of time it used to take me to do half a bar, and usually by the time I had gotten a full bar ground down by hand, I was ready to stop for the day. Yeah, I’m a wimp, I admit it.
I wizzed three bars of Kirk’s Castile Soap through the shredding disc, that took it down pretty fine, but I wanted it powdered so I replaced the shredding disc with the chopping blade and pulverized it down to a fine powder (don’t breathe that dust, it’s bad for you). I measured out how much the powdered soap ended up being, (I just eyeballed it, I didn’t get exact measurements), and put in equal amounts of Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (NOT baking soda) and 20 Mule Team Borax, if you use your gray water on plants, then skip the borax. You simply use 1 part of each by volume, mix well, put in a suiteable container. You only need to use 3 tablespoons of the mix per load. If your clothes are dirty enough that you feel the need to add more, resist the urge, use the recommended amount, and run your clothes through a second wash with another 3 tablespoons of the mix.
You can use most any bar soap, I prefer using a castile soap, you can even use bath soap, just make sure it is plain, don’t try it with moisturizing soaps or the kinds with added grainy bits (for exfoliating), it will not work as well, I have even used Ivory bar soap, it worked just fine. You can even find bar soaps that are made just for laundry, Zote Soap, just make sure you use the white one, not the pink one, the pink one is too soft to grate up. Look for Zote soap and Kirk’s Castile soaps on the laundry isle of the store.
Some people like to take this a step further and make this into a liquid, I personally don’t do this and have never found a reason to, the soap mixture dissolves just fine in the wash for me, I have had no trouble with this. Also in the powdered form, it takes up much less room. I have also seen many different recipes that called for differing amounts of the ingredients, I have found that equal parts (by volume) works fine, it’s easy to remember too.
One thing you will notice after you have been using homemade laundry soap for a while is your whites may start looking dingy, commercial laundry soap contains brighteners, these chemically make your whites look white without bleach. The fix is easy, all you have to do is what your grandmother and generations before her used, it’s called bluing, Mrs. Stewart’s Bluing was the one everyone used. It was a blue liquid that when added to whites, made them bright white. It can still be found in stores, if you can’t find it, go to the shampoo isle, look for blue shampoo, this is made for white or blond hair, it does the same thing for hair that bluing does for laundry. A squirt of the blue shampoo will bring your dingy whites back to sparkly white. Just be sure you add it before you add your clothes, make sure it is well dissolved before adding your clothes.
I found some great videos of people making their own laundry soap, give it a try, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised!
This one uses a slightly different recipe, but I’m sure it works great too.
This one is just funny. :)
Let me know if you make your own laundry soap and tell me what you think of it.
1 part bar soap – grated
1 part washing soda (not baking soda)
1 part borax
Mix well, use 3 tablespoons per load
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