Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Laundy Soap!


Since we are spending the week re-doing the laundry room I thought I would let you in on our Laundry Soap secrets. We either use Mrs. Myers Lavender detergent, it fantastic. But very pricey.
So to save money I tried my hand at making our own. I found the recipe online and as long as you dissolve the soap in the washer before you add the clothes it works really well. I know that laundry is not suppose to have that fabulous smell that store bought detergent have but truthfully I miss it a little. Although I would gladly trade it in for a more natural, better for you, not to mention way cheaper alternative. So here it is:
2 cups grated bar soap
1cup borax
1cup washing soda
First Grate you soap, we use a cheap dollar store cheese grater, I didn't want to use the one we already have in case it made cheese taste like soap after. Use the small side of the grater, the big grater teeth make soap chunks too large and have a hard time dissolving in the washing machine. You want your soap bits to be as small as possible.



I have tried a few different types of bar soap here's what I've found: Ivory is terrible for laundry soap, don't use it. Zote works well and gives the soap a cute pink tinge. Fels Naptha works well also, and Sunlight bar soap (found in the laundry detergent aisle) works really well.
So grate up two cups worth into a container.
Next add your cup of washing soda, it's pretty easy to find. Arm and Hammer makes a washing soda. Then add your cup of borax.


I usually double up the recipe just because. :)
The last step do your laundry, the recipe says add two tablespoons to each load, I add three because I'd imagine two tbsp for a medium size load but our laundry loads are huge so I use three.


Some people make liquid laundry detergent  using the same recipe. Just add 2 gallons of boiling water to a bucket, hopefully bigger then 2 gallons, and you have liquid laundry detergent.
I read about using pure castile soap so I think that will be the next soap I try. I'm thinking of using Dr. Brommers Peppermint castile soap. We already use the liquid almond scented soap in our bathroom and love it!!! If you've never tried it run to Target now and buy a bottle, you won't regret it!!!

41 comments:

  1. I use olive oil soap in flakes that can be found in the supermarket and never had a problem with not dissolving even in cold water.
    Also, because it's rather difficult to find washing soda here, I use baking soda with great results. Can't compare though...
    My recipe is 1 borax-1 soda- 1 soap and sometimes I add drops of lavender essential oil. The laundry will not smell though...I miss it too...but I'd rather not put any more chemicals on my boy's little body.
    finally, I always use white vinegar as a softener and when I do the whites I also add lemon juice as it makes them super white
    (provided that they dry under the sun)
    I love doing laundry!

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  2. Great tips thanks, Olive Oil Flakes I've never heard of them, I'll look for them the next time I'm at the store!! We use vinegar as fabric softener, works like a charm. Love the Lavender Oil idea, that's going straight into my next wash. I love laundry too!! Wish I had a drying line though that would be the best!
    ~Ashli

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  3. Oh yes! I've been looking for a tried and true recipe for laundry soap and I am going to try this.

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  4. If you love lavender smell, you can put some lavender buds (in a cheese cloth) in your washing (baking) soda, let stand there for one or two weeks. Put away the cheese cloth (with the lavender) and your soda will smell goooood...
    If you dry your cloth in the machine, put lavender buds in a tea sachet and you can use this sachet 3 to 5 times. With the heat, the lavender will smell goooood...

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  5. Great idea!! I'll try that!!! I so miss the smell of a fresh load of laundry!!!

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  6. I'm impressed that you make your own laundry soap! I need to give it a try. Thanks for sharing about it.

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  7. Hi - Can you tell me where you bought your laundry soap container? Thanks!

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  8. The laundry soap containers are from the "EVERYTHING FOR A DOLLAR STORE" it's the big green and yellow chain here in BC. If you don't live in BC Ikea makes one kind of similar, the lid comes off and it's a measuring cup!
    here's the link:
    http://www.ikea.com/ca/en/catalog/products/90166736
    Hope it helps!

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  9. This is great! I made the liquid laundry soap but wanted to try the powder formula next. I'm loving the different bar soap ideas! Can I add this post as a link on my site? Thanks for the extra info.

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  10. I've tried making my own detergent before... but I cannot find Washing Soda anywhere! I've tried Kroger, Walmart, Tom Thumb, Target. Any tips on where to find it?

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    Replies
    1. You can order it from Amazon.com

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  11. We have several local Krogers and some carry the washing soda and some do not. Since they carry it here, though, you should be able to request it from your local store, as a special order, which doesn't cost extra.

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  12. I made this detergent using the Fels Naptha soap and it works great! Thanks for the recipe I am always looking for a more natural way to clean!

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  13. wow! would have never thought to make my own soap. since laundry soap is SO pricey now and my son is sensitive to some. Do you know if its ok to work in the HE washers??

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  14. ummmm . . . I still make this but I melt it down in boiling water! and put it into our HE machine, I'm not sure if you can put it in without turning it into liquid??? It's really easy just add boiling water to it and wait until it all dissolves. I go about 2 cups water for every cup of detergent!
    Hope that helps!!
    Ashli

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  15. The thing I don't understand is that both the borax and the washing soda have directions to add 1/2 cup with REGULAR laundry detergent, so how can 2 tablespoons mixed with a little fels naptha clean as well as laundry soap?

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  16. Kelly,
    The Fels Naptha is soap so it's like the detergent, and the borax and washing soda are there to aid the soap and make it clean better and whiten/ brighten. Same as if you added it too your detergent, the detergent is the soap and the borax and washing soda aid in the process.
    Hope that answered your question a bit :)

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  17. I've used Dr. Bronner's Lavender soap, which I purchased in a gallon jug online. It works amazingly well, although I have not tried it with very stained or soiled laundry such as diapers etc. It leaves your laundry feeling and smelling clean if you line-dry and fresh even if you use a dryer.I'm wondering if it would be possible to come up with a mixture of this type of liquid soap and baking/washing soda/borax.
    I agree with Marie-Andree regarding the dried lavender in muslin bags. It's great for use in a dryer.

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  18. I make this as a liquid and have for several years. I found I don't need fabric softenier.

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  19. Dr. Bronner's soap comes in bars...so wouldn't you be able to substitute those bars for your Fels Naptha or Zote, or whichever soap you use?
    Also, you can also dampen a washcloth with water and a couple drops of essential oil and throw it into the dryer with the laundry, either directly when it comes our of the washer, or at the very end. Either way, it leaves your laundry lightly scented!

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  20. To Busch - I use a laundry powder that is made with Dr Bronner's soap. Just link to www.wendylsgreengoddess.co.nz and she has the recipe under Cleaning Recipes. I make mine with the Lavender soap and then add rose geranium essential oil - smells wonderful. It doesn't have the borax but you could add it easily enough. She also has a host of other recipes, including a baby wash that we use in the shower. Joyce I make my liquid laundry soap using the Dr Bronner's bars and they work fine.

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  21. PS Thought I would add that I don't use the 2mls of essential oil as I find that rather a lot. Also the recipe says that it will be more of a 'clay' if you use soda crystals instead of soda ash. I whizz the soda crystals in the food processor until they are fine, then add the liquid castile and process it just enough to blend in. Then add the baking soda and again only whizz until it is just blended through - that way it stays as more of a powder. If it turns into a clay as she suggests it can, it still works fine. I also find 2mls of essential oil too much. It does make it nice and strong smelling though so up to you. I also make other scents i.e. Rose Powder with rose essential oil - you can add pretty much any essential oil scent you like.

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  22. I make my own laundry soap too but this is the recipe I use:
    1 C Borax, 1 C Arm & Hammer Washing Soda, 1 C Baking Soda, 1 Bar of Yardley's Pomegranate Rose soap
    Finely grate the bar of soap and mix all ingredients together and use 1-2 T per load.

    I have been using this recipe for well over a year now and LOVE it!! The Yardley's soap gives the laundry such a nice scent, though it diminishes in the dryer :)

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  23. Can you use this recipe with an front loading HE washing machine? I really want to try this but just wanted to check.Thanks so much

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    Replies
    1. I use the powder form in my HE washer, no problems!!

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  24. Hi laura,
    You'll have to melt down the mixture with boiling water to make it a liquid soap but I've used it in our machines and so far no problems!
    But I should mention that it is definitely against manufactures recommendations! So it's up to you!
    Hope that helps a bit
    Ashli

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  25. Just a suggestion, there are several brands now that carry scented crystals that you can add to your detergent to make it smell like the store bought kind. It's next to the fabric softner at my store :)

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  26. I just found you on pinterest, and am anxiously awaiting the arrival of my essential oils so I can try your cleaning recipes, but I have one question re: your laundry detergent...I purchased Dr. Bronner's lavender bars to grate instead of the soap you suggested...will this work the same? I am planning on making the powder version instead of a liquid....

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    Replies
    1. Hi,
      It should work the same, although i've never tried it so I'm not sure!
      If you try it let us know how it turns out!!
      Lots of Love
      Ashli

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  27. Annonymous...I too made the powdered version and used with Dr Bronner's bar soap. Just banged it on the counter to break it in chunks and then gave it a whizz in the food processor to grate it. Works like a dream! Been using it in my HE washer with jsut plain vinegar in the rinse dispenser.

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  28. I used ivory but it doesn't work that great. I should probly let the detergent dissolve in washer first before I put clothes right? cuz i found some chunks in there afterwards. I used dove before and found no problems so i think i will use dove for now on.

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    Replies
    1. I find that Sunlight bars or Zoot bars work really well, I've heard Dr.Bronner's bar soap works really well too.
      I've never had to dissolve it before, but making sure you grate it on the fine side of the grater is important!
      I have found recently that Zoot does work better then ivory!
      Hope that helps
      Ashli

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  29. I've made my own laundry soap for a few years. 1 bar Fels Naptha grated, and melted in some hot water...to that, add 1 c borax, and 1 c washing soda, stir til granules melted. Put in a 5 gallon bucket, and add hot water til almost the top. Let sit overnight, and stir REALLY well, it will be egg soupy. (I use a wooden dowel to stir). It works great!

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  30. I forgot...I also added about 20 drops of doTERRA essential oil blend Serenity, doesn't "smell" the clothes, but it smells good when I open the bucked to use the detergent.

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  31. Why is ivory Soap bad to use? I just made a batch with ivory soap and now I'm concerned it was a waste! Where do you find the other soap brands listed above?

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    Replies
    1. I made a batch using Ivory and I find it cleans really well. I put the Ivory in the microwave for about 90 seconds (interesting experiment if you're in need of a chuckle lol) & ran it through the food processor once it was cool. I have done about 10 loads using just over 1tbsp in a front loading washer & my clothes have come out clean & smelling clean without heavy perfumes.

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  32. ashli - have u tried the white zote soap? i get mine at walmart and use it as a stain remover - i'm gonna make some this weekend! also do u have any ideas of natural DIY fabric softners?

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  33. Walmart carries Fels Naptha, Borax, and washing suds. I read that baking soda, baked in the oven, becomes washing suds. Any truth to that? I love my homemade laundry soap! I just made my first batch and the recipe is mixed into a "whip" consistancy. I haven't had any problems with it dissolving. I do miss the smell of store-bought laundry soap, but my redheaded daughter has very sensitive skin and I feel better using what I made.

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  34. I also use this recipe and for whitening. I use 1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide plus 1/2 cup extra washing soda to the the homemade laundry detergent and let it agitate before adding clothes then let it soak ..... longer the better, if you want them nice and white. I have used this and it works. i think Fels Naptha smells nice !!!! I will try the white vinegar for the softener.

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  35. I have a question on the vinegar. Does the vinegar make the clothes smell like vinegar and how much do you put in?

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