Wednesday, February 10, 2010

{ i made soap! }

Laundry soap, that is. I've wanted to try it for a long time and I finally got around to doing it last week. I used Fels Naptha soap, Washing Soda, and Borax, and the recipe that is on the Duggar Family website. In a nutshell, here's how it's made.

First, you take a bar of basic bar soap and grate it. As I said, I used Fels Naptha, but I've read that you can use Ivory or other brands if you'd like.

This was the hardest part of the process because I grated it by hand, and Fels Naptha is pretty hard. I could have used the food processor to grate it, but I didn't want to worry about all my foods that I prepare in there tasting like soap. So, I used my cheap Ikea box grater.

Finally it was all grated.

Next, add four cups of hot water in a pan with the soap and heat over medium until all of the soap is dissolved.

You'll also need a five-gallon bucket. Fill it about half way with hot water, and then add your dry ingredients, which are 1 cup Washing Soda and 1/2 cup Borax.

Add your melted soap mixture to the bucket and stir.

Then fill the bucket the rest of the way up with hot water. And stir some more.

Then, it needs to set up overnight. I put my sealed bucket in the bathroom and left it alone for about 24 hours. This is what it looked like when I opened it up.

Crazy, huh!? It has the consistency of egg drop soup. It's somewhat gelatinous, but not throughout.

To use it, you dilute it half and half with water. I took an old laundry bottle that I cleaned and rinsed out, and added two cups of the soap and two cups of water. Shake it well, and I actually shake it every time before I use it. I've been doing our laundry with this soap for about a week now and I really love it. Our clothes are super clean, they smell really fresh, and for about $3, I now have approximately 180 loads worth of soap! Can you believe it? Seriously, that's amazing.

And, speaking of amazing...look at these fabrics.

Aaahhhh....aren't they gorgeous? They will soon be put to good use in my kitchen.


Beth Howard said...

Hmmm... that's a pretty impressive return on investment! Very cool!

Anonymous said...

Pretty fabrics!

I hate to be dumb, but where do you get the Napthat soap? & I've never even heard of washing powder. Have I been living in the dark ages? I'm going to have to try this.

alli/hooray said...

Wow, this is great.
Thanks for sharing!

This Little Bird said...

that's wonderful... is it good for front loader washers too? Also, if you add 2 cups of soap and water into the empty container, what do you do with the left over soap? does it store well?

I'm excited to try this... I am doing laundry every day and would love to save a little money.

thanks for sharing.

Heather Jones said...

You're welcome! Yes, it's so cheap and it works really well!

Shelly, my mom gave it to me, but I think I've seen it in the laundry detergent aisle at Kroger's. I had never heard of the washing soda either until I began looking for recipes to make my own. I buy mine at Kroger's in Mason on Kings Mills, and it's the only local grocery store that I've seen it in. Let me know if you can't find any and I'll mail you some! I have a ton left over.

Heather Jones said...

Nessa, you're welcome! I have the rest of the soap still in the 5 gallon bucket and it's sealed tightly. I've never made it before, so I'm not sure how it will keep, or how long it will take to use it all up. Maybe you could split it with someone, because you'll use even less with a front loader machine. According to the website that I got the recipe from, this batch makes about 640 loads worth!

Anna Newman said...

That is so funny, because I made laundry soap for the first time 2 days ago too!!!!!! Although I made a dry recipe with the same ingredients and am soooooo excited about how easy it was and how much money we are gonna save. I just mixed up the grated soap, borax and washing soad dry in my old cardboard detergent box. I have already used it and SCORE! So thrilled I can also use it on cloth diapers. Why didn't we do this a long time ago, ha?!

j. sowls said...

thank you! i'm definitely going to try this.

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