Have you tried your hand at making laundry soap? You should. And I’ll tell you why.
One batch filled this 2 gallon jar most of the way. And guess what? I’ve been using this batch for SEVEN months! I have a HE washer and it works great in there. My mom uses the same recipe in her top loader and it works awesome in there too.
I use a coffee scoop to measure it out. I use 1 tablespoon per load. Unless it’s a particularly big or dirty load. Then I’ll use 2 tablespoons. At 1 tablespoon per load I can do 320 loads with one batch of homemade soap. Craziness!
Do you know what else it’s good for? Getting out baby stains. Or any stains really but baby stains can be particularly tough sometimes. You just get their little clothes wet, sprinkle some soap on the stain, rub it in, and let it sit. Then you just toss it in a future load of laundry and the stain is magically gone. No matter which end of the baby it came out of. Gotta keep those cute little clothes looking fresh and clean.
Now what is that jar of blue things? Those are Downy Unstopables in Fresh scent.
Have you tried them? They’re great. I was a little skeptical at first, but I was with my mom when she was buying some to try and the cashier at Target said she loved them and the scent lasted forever. And after my mom confirmed that her laundry smelled great and the scent lasted I went out and bought some. And it really does last. I put about a teaspoon in the compartment with my laundry soap and BAM! Fresh laundry smell for days. Plus the soap is so cheap I feel like I can splurge and buy the laundry scents.
So how do you get your own giant batch of laundry soap? Here’s what you need:
- 1 box of Borax (4 lbs 12 oz) = 76 oz
- 1 box of Washing Soda (3 lbs 7 oz) = 55 oz
- 1 box of Baking Soda (4 lbs) = 64 oz
- Oxyclean or Sun Oxygen Cleaner (1.5 lbs) = 24 oz
- 2-3 Laundry soap bars – Whether that be 3 bars of Fels Naptha, 2 bars of Zote, a combination, or any other kind you can get at your local store. I have seen it $1-2 a bar at Wal-Mart and Winco, so check around. I use 3 Fels Naptha at 5.5 oz each. = 16.5 oz
Note: All of these ingredients can be found on your local laundry aisle with the exception of the baking soda which is on the baking aisle. I bought a 3 pound bucket of Sun oxygen cleaner and just measured out 1.5 pounds.
- Grate up the bar soaps. I have a fine cheese grater that I used, but I decided that I wanted them smaller still so I put them in my food processor. Don’t worry. These bar soaps dissolve almost instantly so they won’t clog anything up.
- Put all the ingredients into a garbage bag and mix.
- Pour laundry soap into the jar.
- Do laundry. (Just kidding. Kind of. :p )
Now let’s do the math.
All of my soap ingredients came to around $20.
Combined this recipe makes about 234.5 oz.
1 tablespoon = 0.5 oz
So that’s 234 loads at 2 tablespoons per load or 469 loads at 1 tablespoon.
That is $0.09 cents per load and $0.04 per load respectively.
Now when you compare that to the average price of name brand detergent being about $8 for 32 loads of laundry, that comes to $0.25 a load. So you are saving at least half by making it yourself. And you can do laundry almost every day for a year for about $20. You can’t beat that.
UPDATE: I have been using this soap for a year now and my first batch is still going strong. I think I’ll be able to make it to at least 18 months on a single batch.
UPDATE (6/18/14): I finally made a second batch of this. The first batch lasted 22 months!! Keep in mind that we don’t do laundry every day and I only use 1 tablespoon per load. I find that our clothes are good and clean with this amount of soap.