Make your own Laundry Soap

Monday, May 05, 2008 AnnMarie Brown 0 Comments

1 bar ivory soap (or fels naptha, or homemade soap - it has to be SOAP though, not a detergent bar. Most of your commercial bars of "soaps" are detergents. Ivory is real soap. Irish Springs is detergent. It must be soap.)
1 cup washing soda. Look in the laundry detergent aisle, beside the Clorox 2 and borax.
1 cup Borax - optional. I often don't use it and I haven't noticed a difference.
Two gallons of water, give or take. I use my big stock pot, fill it with water, and it works out well for me. I've been making this for years now, and I don't really measure anything. It always works just fine. :-)
Grate the bar of soap into the water, heat until the soap is dissolved. I usually sit this on the stove on low and go do something else, then come back, stir it, remove it from the heat, and add the washing soda and borax.
Then I have to let it cool quite a bit, because I use plastic jugs to store it, and if I pour it straight into them, the jars melt. although this can sometimes create interesting looking jars, it can also put holes in them, so it's best to let it cool.
When it is completely cool, it will gel and sometimes get pretty thick. Stir it up, it is fine. Add a little more water if you need to, but really, it'd fine. Shake it up before you use it and you'll be able to scoop it right out.
I use about 1/2 a cup a load. Give or take. :-)
Inevitably, someone will ask me if this REALLY gets your clothes clean. Yep! Remember, this is a farm family, with 3 boys, two of whom play football. And this, and the occassional stain remover, is all I use. :-)
I have to say that I do use this recipe all the time. We love it here and cleans our clothes wonderfully. I thought I would post you the link to Heather's blog so you can see the pictures that go with the recipe.