Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Homemade Laundry Soap
Right about the same time, our youngest started getting a rash that we thought might be related to a new laundry soap, so I seized the moment and made a batch.
A batch is 5 gallons of concentrated laundry cleaning superpower. You dilute it in equal parts with water.
To use it, you fill your soap container [I use an old empty Era bottle] half full with this concentrate and then fill it the rest of the way with water. I keep it on my dryer so that it's always vibrating and stays mixed.
Laurie's Homemade Laundry Soap
[She got it via the Duggar Family]
1 bar Fels-Naptha soap, grated
4 cups very hot water
1 cup Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda [not baking soda!]
1/2 cup borax
5 gallon bucket with lid
Heat the water in a saucepan and add the grated soap. I used the grater you see in the pic above and then used the same grater to stir everything with. It took about 15 minutes to melt the soap. I didn't want any lumps, so I stirred until all the lumps were gone.
When you get bored of stirring, measure the borax and washing soda into the bucket and fill the bucket half full with the hottest water you have out of the tap. Then stir until it's dissolved. I put the bucket on a chair next to the stove and took turns stirring the bucket and the Fels-Naptha stuff [all with the same grater].
When the soap is done melting into the water, then pour it into the bucket and stir, stir, stir. Fill the bucket the rest of the way with water and put the lid on tight. It'll be ready to use tomorrow after it cools. The color is sort of a pearly pale gold. It smells nice as is, but they say you can add some essential oils if you like. Laurie's got thick like consomme, but ours didn't. It works fine anyway.
The truly fabulous thing about this is that if you get a few bars of Fels-Naptha, then you can easily store enough dry ingredients [soap, washing soda and borax] for a year or two's supply. And it's cheap. Really cheap!
On Walmart.com, the prices are as follows:
Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda: $3.24/box
20 Mule Team borax: $6.58
We bought 3 bars of soap and a box each of the other stuff [enough for 3 batches or 30 gallons of laundry soap - and enough washing soda and borax for many more batches if we got some more Fels-Naptha.]
Total: $16.84 for 3840 fl oz. [Yes, three thousand, eight hundred and forty ounces]
Or: $ .56/gallon. [Yes, fifty-six cents per gallon]
Era cost $8.97 for 150 fl oz. Or $7.65/gallon
If you go through a gallon a month [conservatively speaking if your family is like ours], then you'd spend a half an hour in the kitchen and about $6.72 for the homemade stuff. Or you'd spend $91.80 on Era or something like it.
You'd save $85.08 a year. And if your family is more like mine you'd go through twice as much laundry soap [we dig a lot...] and so you'd save $170.16 a year on laundry soap.
A substantial savings, wouldn't you say? Enough to buy the supplies you need for a decent 72 hour emergency kit. Yep.