Friday, April 6, 2012

Making Laundry soap

Apparently while the girls and I were gone to the convention last weekend the laundry soap ran out.  I only found this out by going to use the washer and finding a load of dry towels in the washing machine.  When I grabbed the empty jug of what should have been soap to pour in I also solved the mystery of why someone had put towels in but not run the machine!  So it took a little longer to get laundry going today as I had to stop and make the soap.

Do a quick search on the internet and I’m sure you’ll find a dozen different recipes and procedures for making laundry soap but this is how we’ve been doing it for several years now.  I have tweaked the recipe to work for us.  We prefer Zote soap which we find at our local Big Lot for .90 cents.  I know a lot of people use Fels-Napa and we tried it once but went back to Zote.  I also add Borax where the original recipe I started with didn’t call for it.  We have found it takes the odors out of the clothes better.  Before we started using it our workout wear didn’t smell quite how we liked it!

It saves us a lot of money, the box of Washing Soda for instance has the Rural King sticker on for $3.49.  As I mentioned the Zote was .90 cents and the sticker is not still on the Borax but I don’t think it was more than $3-4 dollars and I’m still using the same box I originally bought 2-3 years ago.  Each box of Borax probably does 10 or more batches of detergent and each box of Washing Soda probably at least 5 batches.  I’d estimate that’s about $3 per batch (and that’s probably a high estimate) which fills 5-6 laundry jugs which used to cost $3 or more EACH.  Huge savings!

Oh, and I’ve mentioned a couple stores but we’ve found the supplies at Rural King, Big Lot, Meijer and Wal-Mart.  Not all of the stores have all three items but some do.  Look around where you shop and I bet you’ll spot what you need fairly easily!  Beauty of it is I keep them on my laundry shelf and have the ingredients ready to make.  It only takes about ½ hour start to finish and it last us (family of 6) about 6 months before I have to make another batch.

You’ll need:

Bar of Zote soap grated (14.1 oz.)
1 Cup Washing Soda
½ to ¾ cup borax

First grate the soap then put in a large stockpot and cover soap with water.  Heat and stir till soap is dissolved.   Remove from heat and add in the Soda and Borax, stirring as you go.  Continue stirring and add in 2 ½ gallons of water.  
Once you add the water most recipes say to let it cool and gel then fill the jugs.  We never do we go ahead and fill the jugs while it’s warm and more liquid.  It’s much easier.  Just be sure to stir it up as you fill so the soap doesn’t settle.

Use about a ½ cup per load.  We use old liquid laundry detergents as the lids double as measuring cups so it works nice.  I know other people have also used old milk jugs.  If you can try to use the laundry ones as they have a larger opening for filling and dispensing.

Happy clothes cleaning!

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